Next year, this whole discussion about the College Football Playoffs will be moot with the CFP expanding to 12 teams. Arguing about nos. 3, 4 and 5 are very different than 10, 11, 12 and 13. You lose the benefit of the doubt when you lose games. Even in the SEC.
But this year it’s still a four-team field, and with so many variables influencing the decision, there’s a lot to analyze. And to put it plainly: the College Football Playoff committee was wrong. College football has it, or at least it does. used have – until good now, the best regular season in sports because the games were the most important thing. We have a smaller sample size in this sport than any other.
Leaving out an undefeated 13-0 Florida State team in a Power 5 conference was the wrong decision.
Michigan and Washington, both undefeated with top-10 wins, were the easiest. The problem for the College Football Playoff committee was that there were three teams with legitimate arguments for the final two spots.
Sorry, Georgia. You didn’t win your conference title, and in this format, that has to count for something.
Booger McFarland is not happy that Alabama entered the CFP over an undefeated Florida State team.
“To me, this is a travesty for the sport… One team has one loss, and that’s Alabama. That’s not the case in the state of Florida.” pic.twitter.com/3rhBvvpT1D
– Horrible advertisement (@awfulannunciando) December 3, 2023
Alabama and the SEC are the proverbial elephant in this room. Nick Saban is the greatest coach of all time and, for me, this year was the best coaching job he has ever done during a season. His team was defeated at home by Texas in Week 2 and didn’t look any better battling a mediocre USF team the following week. But Jalen Milroe continued to make strides and when it mattered most, he and the Tide made enough plays to defeat a Bulldogs team that wasn’t as dominant as it was in its previous two title seasons.
The problem for Alabama (and the SEC) is the partner they are about to bring in: Texas. did beat Alabama convincingly in Tuscaloosa. That happened and there was nothing strange about it.
The Longhorns, 12-1, were the class of the Big 12. There wasn’t a second-best team in the Big 12 this year, but Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma, the team Texas stumbled against, and as expected, Texas beat Cowboy Saturday. Remember, this was an Oklahoma State team that went 9-3 and lost by a combined score of 78-10 against South Alabama and UCF. That wasn’t going to help Texas’ cause, but did we forget that a week ago Alabama barely escaped against an Auburn team that was defeated at home the week before by New Mexico State, 31-10?
The biggest problem was with Florida State, the 13-0 Seminoles of the ACC. As we all know, FSU lost star quarterback Jordan Travis two weeks ago. Seminoles backup Tate Rodemaker, who had led them to a comeback win over Louisville a year ago when Travis was injured, didn’t look very good in the regular-season finale at archrival Florida. He also suffered a concussion.
ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips calls it “unfathomable” that Florida State was left out. “The state of Florida deserved better. “College football deserved better.”
Statement from him: pic.twitter.com/3BYozQOSog
—Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) December 3, 2023
FSU’s third player, Brock Glenn, had a shaky outing in the ACC Championship Game, but the defense was dominant. Led by Braden Fiske and Jared Verse, the Seminoles had 14 TFLs and seven sacks and became the first team in five years to hold a Jeff Brohm offense under 200 total yards. It’s no coincidence that that same FSU defense began the year by dominating LSU and the SEC’s biggest star, Jayden Daniels, 45-24, and held the SEC and the nation’s No. 1 offense to their worst performance of the season. .
FSU was the only team to hold Daniels below 60 percent passing in a game. Daniels ran for almost 100 fewer yards (99) against the Noles than he did when he played against the Crimson Tide.
CFP rankings often lead to a discussion between the “best” and the “most deserving.” Better It’s usually the get-out-of-jail-free card whenever your team loses or has a serious loss that you can’t explain. Similar to the nonsense of, “Well, Las Vegas would make so-and-so more than just a touchdown favorite against them.” Excellent. But tell that to Washington. The Huskies were almost a double-digit deficit against Oregon last week, a team they had already beaten this year. …Well, the Huskies beat the Ducks again.
I understand. The SEC has been the most dominant conference in college football for the past two decades. But this year hasn’t been like the others if you’ve been paying attention. It’s just been a bad year for the SEC. In fact, the ACC went 6-4 against the SEC this year. Yew This was a one-loss FSU team, I’d say the Seminoles didn’t make it in, but they did. Texas also shouldn’t have been left out by a team it beat at its own venue.
As his colleague David Ubben wrote on Saturday night, games have to matter. What’s the point of messing with them if we’re going to try to rationalize them?
(Top Florida State Photo: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)