Clearly four teams are not enough

Clearly four teams are not enough

MIKE BURKE

Allegany Communications Sports

Florida State is the first undefeated Power 5 Conference champion not to be selected for the College Football Playoff and now national selection committee chair Boo Corrigan is getting the attention of the Lindbergh baby kidnapper, when he’d much rather be getting the attention of Boo Radley.

Irate fans either don’t know, or don’t care, but old Boo (Corrigan, that is) is the athletic director at North Carolina State, a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the same conference that Florida State is the undefeated champion of, so it would have behooved Corrigan’s school financially had the Seminoles made the cut and been selected.

But as Corrigan said on Sunday as the face of the committee, the committee simply didn’t believe the Seminoles were one of the four best teams, particularly without injured starting quarterback Jordan Travis, who suffered a serious leg injury in a week 12 FSU win over North Alabama.

“(I am) devastated, heartbroken,” Travis posted on X, formerly Twitter, shortly after the four teams for the playoff were announced. “In so much disbelief (right now). I wish my leg broke earlier in the season so y’all could see this (Florida State) team is much more than the quarterback. I thought results matter — 13-0 and this roster matches up across any team in those top 4 rankings. I am so sorry. Go Noles!”

If you’ve been out of the country the past couple of days, the four teams that will play for the national championship are No. 1-seed Michigan, undefeated, No.2 Washington, also undefeated, No. 3 Texas, lost to Oklahoma, and No. 4 Alabama, lost to Texas.

Michigan is the Big Ten champ, Washington the Pac 12 champ, Texas the Big 12 champ and Alabama the SEC champ. Michigan and Washington, nobody seems to have a problem with. The other two, Texas and Alabama, are intertwined, because they couldn’t have taken Alabama without taking Texas because Texas beat Alabama.

Yet the committee seems to have been bullied into taking Alabama after Nick Saban proclaimed before the SEC title game, which the Tide would win over two-time defending national champ Georgia, that it would be a sin not to take an SEC team in the playoff — kind of like killing a mockingbird.

Well, not exactly …

As for the undefeated Seminoles, though it would have been hard to prove they would have been a good match for the final four to anybody outside of Tallahassee who was watching the snoozefest on Saturday night that was the ACC championship game (I mean, it was bad), there are several things about this Florida State team to consider.

The much-beleaguered ACC (I beleaguer them because I don’t like them) carries a 6-4 record against the SEC this year. The Florida State defense did not give up 30 points in a single game this year and held Louisville’s top-20 offense to just 6 points. Despite the ugliness of the game, FSU gained more yardage in the ACC title game than Michigan did in the Big Ten title game — though, to be fair, Michigan played Iowa.

Florida State beat four top-25 teams and defeated arch-rival Florida with backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker, who then missed the ACC title game with a concussion, which the Noles won with their third-string quarterback, which is a great credit to their defense.

Florida State coach Mike Norvell said in a statement he was “disgusted” and “infuriated” by the CFP decision.

“What is the point of playing games?” he asked. “Do you tell players it is okay to quit if someone goes down? Do you not play a senior on Senior Day for fear of injury? Where is the motivation to schedule challenging non-conference games? We are not only an undefeated (Power 5) conference champion, but we also played two (Power 5) non-conference games away from home and won both of them.”

Florida State also won a national championship in 1993 it did not deserve to win, but that has nothing to do with this other than to say the cold greed of college football giveth but really loves to taketh away, and an argument can be made that the Seminoles got tooketh.

Thus, Florida State’s reward for their undefeated Power 5 conference championship season will be a date in the Orange Bowl with one-loss Georgia, who has its own gripe about not gaining a playoff berth after being the No. 1 team in the nation for nearly every week of the past two seasons.

You just know the College Football Playoff committee arranged this game so Georgia, which is already a 13.5-point favorite, will prove it right for not selecting Florida State. You just know those committee members not only expect a huge Georgia victory, but will be praying like mad for one.

Sounds like a pretty juicy David versus Goliath to me, and who knows? Maybe that big dummy Goliath is getting set up once again — Goliath in this case being the College Football Playoff committee.

Mike Burke writes about sports and other stuff for Allegany Communications. He began covering sports for the Prince George’s Sentinel in 1981 and joined the Cumberland Times-News sports staff in 1984, serving as sports editor for over 30 years. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBurkeMDT