Florida State Seminoles running back Lawrance Toafili (9) celebrates his touchdown. The Florida State Seminoles defeated the Louisville Cardinals 16-6 to claim the ACC Championship title in Charlotte, North Carolina on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023.

Undefeated Florida State Left Out of College Football Playoffs

Sunday’s College Football Playoff field was revealed, and it was not without shocking news.

The No. 4 spot went to Alabama following its win over No. 6 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, while Florida State slipped to No. 5 despite a 13-0 record and ACC Championship Game win over Louisville.

This is the first time an undefeated Power Conference champion has missed the CFP.


FSU’s 2023 Resume

A summary like Florida State’s was hard to beat. The Noles opened up their season rather strong with a victory over No. 5 LSU. They also went on to win in overtime over Clemson.

The Seminoles showed the tenacity of an elite team by persevering when not at their best – something Michigan and Washington, both unbeaten, could do but Texas and Alabama, both with one loss, could not do.

Against North Alabama, the Seminoles were shorthanded because their star quarterback, Jordan Travis, broke his leg.

On Saturday night, fourth-ranked Florida State beat No. 15 Louisville 16-6 to win its first Atlantic Coast Conference championship since 2014, making life difficult for the CFP selection committee. Or so we thought.

Following the news, Travis wrote on X, previously known as Twitter, that he wished he had been injured earlier in the season.

Controversial Selection?

CFP committees have gone out of their way for the past decade to claim they choose the best four teams.

Travis’ absence led to FSU’s offense cratering in two games. A combined 30 fewer points than expected were scored by the Seminoles offense against Florida and Louisville due to Travis’ injury.

Additionally, FSU’s defense allowed 19.5 fewer points during the same time. It held Florida to the lowest yardage and yards per play (3.9) of the season (232, 81 fewer than any other game). Former Florida State linebacker Derrick Brooks had the following to say.

The Georgia Bulldogs entered Saturday’s game ranked No. 1 in the nation. It is unquestionably the strongest league in college football this year, not just according to the committee’s ranking, which includes five SEC teams in the top 13. If Georgia had won, the top three spots would not have been up for debate. Florida State and Texas would have been on opposite sides of the debate.

Florida State dealt with more than just Travis’ injury. Tate Rodemaker, the backup quarterback, suffered a head injury in the regular season finale against Florida and was unable to play in the ACC title game. It’s not a serious injury, and it won’t keep Rodemaker sidelined for long, but it was the worst time to suffer it.

Still, Alabama’s summary was better than FSU’s. As the season opened, the Seminoles defeated a No. 5-ranked LSU team and a 5-7 Florida team without Graham Mertz.

In terms of strength of schedule, FSU ranked 55th in the country. Michigan (33rd), Washington (11th), Texas (13th), Alabama (5th), Ohio State (7th) and Georgia (37th).

Overall, FSU’s opponents went 77-79. Only three of Alabama’s opponents finished the year with a losing record and Alabama went 98-61 against them.

In the final CFP top 25, the Seminoles won three games against LSU, Clemson and Louisville. All season long, Alabama had four wins, including one over the consensus No. 1.

About Victoria Alves

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