Why Did Florida State Not Make The Playoffs?

The undefeated Florida State Seminoles found themselves excluded from the four-team College Football Playoff, sparking controversy and disbelief across the nation. The playoff committee’s decision, announced on December 3, 2023, marked a historic moment as Florida State became the first undefeated power conference champion to miss out on the playoffs.

The Unexpected Snub

The Seminoles, boasting a flawless 13-0 record and clinching the ACC title with a victory over Louisville, were left in the cold while Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama secured coveted playoff spots. The exclusion raised eyebrows, particularly as Florida State’s dream season was marred by the absence of star quarterback Jordan Travis, who suffered a serious leg injury last month.

Committee chair Boo Corrigan defended the decision on ESPN, stating, “Florida State is a different team than they were the first 11 weeks. Without Jordan Travis, they are a different team. And the committee voted Alabama four and Florida State five.”

Coach Norvell’s Outcry

The committee’s decision prompted a strong response from Florida State’s head coach, Mike Norvell. In a statement expressing his disappointment, Norvell stated, “I am disgusted and infuriated with the committee’s decision today to have what was earned on the field taken away because a small group of people decided they knew better than the results of the games.”

The undefeated Florida State Seminoles found themselves excluded from the four-team College Football Playoff
The undefeated Florida State Seminoles found themselves excluded from the four-team College Football Playoff
( Image By : npr )

Travis, the ACC Player of the Year, echoed Norvell’s sentiments, expressing his devastation on social media. “I wish my leg broke earlier in the season so y’all could see this team is much more than the quarterback,” he tweeted.

Committee’s Justification

The playoff selection committee evaluates teams based on polls, computerized rankings, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, championships won, and the “unavailability of key players.” Alabama’s rise to No. 4 after winning the SEC championship game over Georgia played a pivotal role in pushing Florida State to the fifth spot, despite their flawless record and ACC title.

Fallout and Future Hopes

Florida State’s exclusion stirred not only disappointment but also raised questions about the fairness of the selection process. The Seminoles will now face the two-time defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs in the Capital One Orange Bowl on December 30, a matchup that brings its own set of challenges and emotions.

While expressing optimism for the future, athletic director Michael Alford criticized the committee’s decision, stating, “The consequences of giving in to a narrative of the moment are destructive, far-reaching, and permanent. Not just for Florida State, but college football as a whole.”

Unanswered Questions

As fans, players, and coaches grapple with the shocking turn of events, questions linger about the committee’s adherence to its own guidelines and the impact of unforeseen circumstances on a team’s playoff chances. The Seminoles’ defensive prowess in the absence of Travis has been outstanding, with 13 sacks over the past two games.

Looking Ahead

As the college football community absorbs the impact of this decision, eyes turn towards the future. The expanded playoff field set for 2024 promises to bring less drama, with a shift from a four-team to a 12-team tournament. But for now, Florida State must navigate the disappointment and focus on the upcoming Orange Bowl clash against Georgia.

In a season filled with twists and turns, Florida State’s omission from the playoffs stands as a stark reminder of the unpredictability and controversy that often accompanies college football.


Q1: Why was Florida State excluded from the College Football Playoff despite being undefeated?

Florida State’s exclusion was attributed to the absence of star quarterback Jordan Travis and the committee’s perception of the team as different without him.

Q2: How did Alabama’s victory impact Florida State’s playoff chances?

Alabama’s win in the SEC championship game propelled them to the No. 4 spot, pushing Florida State to fifth despite their perfect record.

Q3: What is the future of the College Football Playoff format?

The playoff format is set to expand in 2024, transitioning from a four-team to a 12-team tournament.

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