On Sunday, the Florida State football program became the first Power 5 team in the College Football Playoff era to win their conference title as an unbeaten and not receive a chance to compete for the national championship. The College Football Playoff committee put a wrench in the four-team postseason field, selecting the one-loss Alabama Crimson Tide over the Florida State Seminoles. Many of those involved within the Florida State program took exception to being passed over despite going unbeaten, but none seemed more aggravated than athletic director Michael Alford.
FSU athletic director Michael Alford: “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. … It is unforgivable.” pic.twitter.com/JtCdy7rCHJ
— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) December 3, 2023
Florida State Football: AD Michael Alford Rips College Football Playoff Committee
“The argument of whether a team is the ‘most deserving OR best’ is a false equivalence. It renders the season up to yesterday irrelevant and significantly damages the legitimacy of the College Football Playoff,” said Florida State football AD Michael Alford in a lengthy statement on Sunday. Despite going undefeated in the regular season, including a dominant defensive performance in the ACC Championship against the Louisville Cardinals, the committee picked the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Seminoles. Alabama lost one game on the season but beat the then-top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship on Sunday.
Alford continued, saying, To eliminate them (FSU) from a chance to compete for a national championship is an unwarranted injustice that shows complete disregard and disrespect for their performance and accomplishments. It is unforgivable.”
Florida State led the ACC in points scored and had the fewest points allowed per game. They housed an elite defense with exceptional playmakers on offense, including the fantastic wide receiver duo of Johnny Wilson and Keon Coleman. Running back Trey Benson also posted 1,132 yards from scrimmage with 15 scores.
Alford did not mince words, saying, “The fact that this team has continued to close out victories in dominant fashion facing our current quarterback situation should have ENHANCED our case to get a playoff berth EARNED on the field. Instead, the committee decided to elevate themselves and ‘make history’ today by departing from what makes this sport great by excluding an undefeated Power 5 conference champion for the first time since the advent of the BCS/CFP era that began 25 years ago.”
Florida State lost their starting quarterback, Jordan Travis, in Week 12 to a gruesome knee injury. The Seminoles used longtime backup Tate Rodemaker in the season finale, where he threw for 134 yards without any scores or picks. However, he suffered a concussion in the win, rendering true freshman Brock Glenn as the signal-caller in the ACC Championship. He struggled mightily, but the Seminoles pulled off a 16-6 win behind a stellar defensive performance.
Alabama Crimson Tide Jump Florida State Football in Final CFP Rankings
The CFP committee gave the Alabama Clemson Crimson Tide the final spot over the Florida State Seminoles. On Sunday, Alabama pulled off a 27-24 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship. However, the Crimson Tide lost to the Texas Longhorns at home earlier in the season. They also narrowly beat Auburn in the regular season finale, needing to convert on a fourth-and-goal from the Auburn 31-yard-line with 43 seconds remaining in regulation to pull off the win. Despite the ups and downs, the committee picked Alabama over a Florida State team that beat every team they faced in 2023.
However, Michael Alford said it best, “Wins matter. Losses matter…”Our players, coaches, and fans – as well as all those who love this sport – deserve better. The committee failed college football today.”
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