GWINN: The College Football Playoff Committee Snubbed Florida State, And it Was Absolutely the Right Thing to Do

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 18: Quarterback Jordan Travis #13 of the Florida State Seminole
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

If real estate is all about location, location, location. Then football is all about timing, timing, timing. All teams play a season. But, in truth, there are seasons within a season.

Earlier this year, Alabama looked like the worst Nick Saban-coached team in the last ten years. On Saturday, they looked like they could be the best team in the country. In September, the Broncos looked like the worst team in the league. Now, they’re in the playoff picture.

With this in mind, you should look at the College Football Playoff Committee’s decision to snub undefeated, conference champion Florida State, not as the nice thing to do but as the right thing to do.

College Football Playoff Selection Committee Chairman Boo Corrigan explained the committee’s reasoning to ESPN on Sunday.

“Florida State is a different team than it was the first 11 weeks [of the season],’’ Corrigan said. “As you look at who they are as a team right now without Jordan Travis, without the offensive dynamic he brings, they are a different team, and the committee voted Alabama four and Florida State five.”

The committee selected Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama.

Corrigan also stressed that the coaches on the committee played a vital role in the decision.

“One of the questions that we ask from a coaching standpoint is, ‘Who do you want to play? Who do you not want to play?’” Corrigan said. “We are looking at where we are today, not where we were three weeks ago or eight weeks ago. [The former coaches] got a significant voice in the room. We went around and around late [Saturday] night and came back again [Sunday] morning to do it again. We came back with Florida State at No. 5.”

This is why the committee exists.

Judgments need to be made. The judgment here wasn’t that Florida State’s body of work was undeserving. The judgment was that they weren’t anything close to the team they were with Jordan Travis and would likely get smoked in the first round and not seriously challenge for the championship.

And who can dispute that reasoning?

Florida State barely won the ACC on Saturday with a third-string freshman QB who completed only eight passes for a whopping total of 55 yards against a good but ultimately limited Louisville squad. What would have happened when that third-string freshman QB, Brock Glenn, faced Michigan’s defense? We’ll never know, but chances are it would not have gone well.

Head coach Mike Norvell of the Florida State Seminoles holds up the trophy after the Florida State Seminoles defeat the Louisville Cardinals 16-6 in...

Head coach Mike Norvell of the Florida State Seminoles holds up the trophy after the Florida State Seminoles defeated the Louisville Cardinals 16-6 in the ACC Championship at Bank of America Stadium on December 2, 2023, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

If Jordan Travis had been Florida State’s QB in that game they probably would have hung 50 on Louisville. But they didn’t because he wasn’t, and Florida State is a different team without Travis.

Florida State was not a good team. They were a great team. And nothing that anyone says will make them or their fans feel any better about a season that could have very likely ended with them winning a national championship.

But, the committee didn’t rule against them because of bias or some sinister plot. The timing just didn’t work out.


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