May 26, 2024

While four teams are celebrating the opportunity to play for a national title on the field, undefeated ACC champion Florida State is on the outside, becoming the first unbeaten Power 5 conference winner to ever miss out on the College Football Playoff.

“It’s unfathomable that Florida State, an undefeated Power Five conference champion, was left out of the College Football Playoff,” ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said in a statement. “Their exclusion calls into question the selection process and whether the Committee’s own guidelines were followed, including the significant importance of being an undefeated Power Five conference champion.

“My heart breaks for the talented FSU student-athletes and coaches and their passionate and loyal fans. Florida State deserved better. College football deserved better.”

While Michigan (13-0, Big Ten champion), Washington (13-0, Pac-12 champion), Texas (12-1, Big 12 champion) and Alabama (12-1, SEC champion) were the top four teams who made it into the playoff, the Seminoles (13-0) were judged by an untimely run of injuries at the quarterback position.

Instead, Florida State, as the No. 5 seed, will face the two-time defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs (No. 6) in the Orange Bowl.

The committee seemed to focus on how competitive the Seminoles would be in the playoff without quarterback Jordan Travis, who suffered a season-ending leg injury in mid-November. FSU started backup Tate Rodemaker in its regular-season finale victory over Florida Gators, but a concussion kept him out of the ACC title game.

That forced coach Mike Norvell to go with freshman Brock Glenn on Saturday, a win over Louisville in which the Seminoles’ defense led the way.

“Florida State is a different team than it was the first 11 weeks,” CFP selection committee chairman Boo Corrigan told ESPN. “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.”

Georgia’s pursuit of a third straight national championship was derailed by one ill-timed loss. The Bulldogs (12-1) had won 29 straight games, but Saturday’s loss to Alabama in the SEC title game left Georgia on the outside looking in. As a result, the Bulldogs become the first No. 1 team in the penultimate CFP rankings to fall out of the top four after losing in Championship Week.

The SEC had won the past four national championships (Georgia twice, Alabama and LSU), and six of the nine titles overall during the CFP era. Twice, two SEC teams have played for the championship: Alabama beat Georgia for the 2017 title, and Georgia topped Alabama for the 2021 title.

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