Many in Seminole Nation, suffice to say, are wavering between shock and rage after Florida State University, which won its conference and didn’t lose a single game all season, did not qualify for the playoffs.
FSU had an outstanding season in 2023. For the third time in the history of the program, the Seminoles went 13-0. But their final two victories came without their standout quarterback, Jordan Travis, who ended his season on Nov. 18 after injuring his leg in FSU’s home game versus North Alabama.
Despite their perfect record, the members of the College Football Playoff committee did not think that the Seminoles should be included; instead, they chose Alabama. The Crimson Tide, with their selection, will be in the playoffs for the eighth time, more than any other team.
College football fans across the nation, but especially in Tallahassee, couldn’t believe that Florida State didn’t make it into the playoffs.
Kyle Pitt, a Junior at FSU said, “Florida State, a name brand school in a Power 5 conference, legitimately won every single game it played and doesn’t get an opportunity to compete for a national championship. What a terrible system.”
Since the playoffs’ introduction in 2014, the Seminoles became the only unbeaten team from a Power-5 conference to be left out.
Supporters brought up Ohio State’s 2014 team, which, despite starting third-string quarterback Cardale Jones, was invited to the playoffs. Many believe that the Seminoles were entitled to the same chance.
“I don’t want to hear anything about it’s because of Jordan Travis, when Ohio State had the same situation. The committee just loves the SEC,” said Jaylen Ratliff, a student at Tallahassee Community College.
The College Football Playoff committee, which is composed of former coaches, players and athletic directors, grades the teams according to how well they play on the field. They also take conference titles, schedule strength, head-to-head competition, and similar results against similar opponents into account.
Jordan Travis expressed his dissatisfaction with the choice on X, the previous Twitter platform, writing: “Devastated … heartbroken. I wish my leg had broken earlier in the season so you could all see our squad is much more than just the quarterback. I’m in such amazement. I believed that outcomes mattered. 13-0, and any club in those top 4 rankings can match this lineup. I truly apologize.”
On Dec. 30, Florida State, the No. 5 seed, will play the Georgia Bulldogs, the two-time defending national champions and ranked No. 6, in the Orange Bowl.