Florida State was controversially eliminated from the College Football Playoff despite remaining undefeated. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
College football playoff madness
The four-team College Football Playoff (CFP) field was announced on Sunday — and it wasn’t well received.
Undefeated Florida State was eliminated from the group by the selection committee in favor of SEC champion Alabama with one loss. This is despite the Seminoles leading the Crimson Tide for most of the season, including last weekend, and winning their conference championship.
The debate centers on whether the committee got it right or not
With the NCAA set to move to a 12-team field next season, the debate has become whether or not the committee got it right in its final year in which it selected just four teams. Although there is no objective answer to this question, the public seems to believe that this is not the case.
The nomination goes to…
Four teams advance to the CFP to compete in a mini-single-elimination tournament.
While schools like Michigan and Washington had virtually guaranteed spots in the CFP and Texas was the projected third team, the fourth spot was up for grabs.
Florida State, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State were all contenders for the fourth spot. Here are a few important talking points for every school:
State of Florida
- 13-0 ACC champions, 2-0 against top 15 teams
- Fourth place before the championship weekend
- Starting QB Jordan Travis was out for the season a few weeks ago
- 12-1 SEC champions, defeated back-to-back national champion Georgia in the SEC championship game
- Lost at home to Texas in Week 2
- 3:1 against the top 15 teams, 4:1 against the top 25 teams
- 12-1, only loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game
- In first place for most of the year
- Defending two national champions
- 11-1, only loss to Michigan in the season finale
- Beat No. 7 Penn State
- 1:1 against the top 25 teams
Make a decision
The selection committee should determine the four best teams to participate in the CFP. However, the top four teams have often become the four most worthy teams, and for good reason.
Last year, TCU went 12-1, with its only loss coming in the Big 12 Championship Game. Despite falling behind many other teams in their own conference in the preseason rankings, they confirmed their selection to the CFP with a semifinal win over No. 2 Michigan, 51-45.
However, they were crushed by Georgia 65-7 in the national championship.
In 2021, Cincinnati even made it into the CFP at 13-0 behind NFL players Sauce Gardner and Desmond Ridder, but lost in the semifinals to No. 1 Alabama 27-6.
This is the first time an undefeated Power Five conference champion has missed the CFP. For many, the only question is, “What else could they have done?”
The injury to Travis, once a Heisman candidate, played a key role in the decision to remove the Seminoles from the group, committee chairman Boo Corrigan said.
Backup Tate Rodemaker took over during a game against North Alabama when Travis was injured and played most of the win against Florida before he too was injured. Third-stringer Brock Glenn gained just 49 total yards in the team’s ACC Championship Game win over Louisville.
The Seminoles averaged 20 points in two full games without Travis. That’s less than his average of 40.1.
Travis said after the decision that he wished the team had more opportunity to showcase his skills, even without him in the lineup.
College Football Playoff Betting Odds
According to betting odds provided by FanDuel, Alabama, which was added to the list instead of FSU, is the second most likely team to win the CFP. Michigan is in first place, Texas and Washington round out the field.
CFP betting odds:
- Michigan (+170)
- Alabama (+210)
- Texas (+260)
- Washington (+800)
Alabama is a 1.5-point underdog against Michigan in its New Year’s Day game. Crimson Tide QB Jalen Milroe has been crazy lately, contributing to Bama’s resurgence since the loss at Texas.
Speaking of Texas, they are a 4.5-point favorite over Washington late in the game. The Huskies were 9.5-point hounds over Oregon last weekend and haven’t been in the CFP since 2016, when they lost to Alabama in the semifinals.
The most likely scenario is that Michigan beats Texas in the championship game (+350). After that, Alabama beats Texas (+420), Michigan beats Washington (+500) and Texas beats Michigan (+550).