As I reported Sunday, Florida State University athletic director Michael Alford went nuclear over the fact that the undefeated Seminoles were not invited to the four-team College Football Playoff despite their perfect season. Opinions have been hot on both sides, with FSU fans claiming they were robbed, with others asserting that they shouldn’t have gotten the nod because their star quarterback Jordan Travis suffered a season-ending leg injury in November.
Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy tweeted: “Fsu should boycott the Orange Bowl. They don’t owe anybody anything. They got f******. F*** them back.”
There’s clearly no shortage of hot takes out there, and now Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) and Governor Ron DeSantis have weighed in, and neither of them were pleased with the outcome. DeSantis:
What we learned today is that you can go undefeated and win your conference championship game, but the College Football Playoff committee will ignore these results.
Congratulations to @FSUFootball on an outstanding season and winning the ACC championship!
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) December 3, 2023
DeSantis didn’t go full-on Rambo like the Florida AD, but it was still clear that he thought the ruling was unfair. Sen. Scott was much more pointed in his response:
Read my letter to Chairman Boo Corrigan ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/D554J82c4S
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) December 4, 2023
“Yesterday, for the first time in its 10 year history, the College Football Playoff (CFP) Selection Committee (the “Committee”) made the shocking decision behind closed doors to exclude an undefeated, Power Five conference champion from the playoffs,” Scott wrote in a letter to CFB Playoff Chairman Boo Corrigan after Florida State defeated Louisville 16-6 on Saturday to win the ACC Championship only to fall from 4th place in the playoff standings to 5th thus missing the playoff despite being undefeated. [Bolding mine.]
Scott pulled no punches and flat-out questioned the integrity of the CFP Committee:
“The Committee’s decision to drop the 13-0 Florida State University (FSU) Seminoles from its previous 4th-place ranking, and thereby exclude the team from the upcoming playoffs altogether, mere hours after they won the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Championship game has rightly raised questions among millions of Americans about the integrity of the process employed by this 13-member body, which consists of just five (38%) individuals with relevant experience in coaching or playing football at the collegiate level or higher,” Scott continued.
He even hinted at official action, though it’s unclear how he’s going to get the transparency he demands:
Today, I write to demand total transparency from the Committee regarding how this decision was reached and what factors may have been at play in reaching this outcome.
Scott also noted the financial impacts of the decision, arguing that the ACC and FSU have been denied the $2 million revenue distribution that would come from a playoff appearance and the potential loss of earnings by FSU’s players because they will not get to perform on the big stage.
He went on to “request” 10 pieces of information, including notes, emails, texts, and recordings regarding the CFP Commitee’s decision to leave FSU out of the championship race. One thing made clear from his letter is that he, or at least whoever wrote it, knows his football—he gave a quite detailed argument based on stats and previous games about why the Seminoles should have received an invitation.
I put “request” in quotes, because this is not a subpoena, and the Committee could theoretically just ignore it.
One thing is very clear—there are a lot of passionate opinions about this apparent snub, and the fervor comes from both sides. Another thing that is inarguable: despite many attempts to make the college football playoff selections less contentious, the process is still controversial and continues to leave many fans enraged.
The Seminoles will play the Georgia Bulldogs—a team that won the national championship in 2022 and only lost one game this year and who myriad fans also believe should be in the playoffs—on Dec. 30 in the Orange Bowl.
Let the arguments continue.