Dec. 6—Sports give that enviable opportunity where every team starts out on an even playing field, with the one goal of competing for the championship.
There’s always the chance that the best team doesn’t win the whole thing, but they at least had a shot at it.
Unless, you’re the 13-0 Florida State Seminoles.
By now, I’m sure most fans have heard about the final College Football Playoff rankings and about how the ACC Champion Seminoles were snubbed.
It’s not that FSU lost its starting quarterback in the second to last game. It’s not that they play in the ACC.
It’s the love affair ESPN has with the brand that is the SEC.
Nevermind the fact that the “weaker” ACC had a winning record against the SEC this season with a 6-4 record. Or the fact that this could be considered a “down” year for the SEC.
ESPN, it seems, wouldn’t dare to leave that conference out of the playoff picture.
The SEC has been the national champion 14 out of the 17 years the CFP has been in place. It would feel weird if the conference wasn’t represented in the games, I guess.
But, no one on the committee can put a valid argument as to why FSU was left out and how they placed teams after the final vote proves it.
Georgia fell from first to fifth, and they have just as valid an argument to be in the final four. They lost by three in the SEC Championship, and were the two-time defending national champion.
Why didn’t they fall to five and bump FSU down to six?
You can argue the ACC title if you want, but the smoking gun is Texas.
Explain to me this: the Seminoles defeated Louisville in the ACC Championship by double digits as did Texas in defeating Oklahoma State in the Big XII Championship.
Texas had one loss. Florida State had zero.
Explain how a team, ranked seventh, jumps FOUR spots to number three? They leapfrogged, idle Ohio State, Florida State and Georgia to make the playoff.
The answer is simple: Alabama.
Texas went into Tuscaloosa early in the season and defeated the Crimson Tide. It is the only blemish on Alabama’s record.
Essentially, if you take the then number-eight Alabama into the top four, you can’t take them without Texas. They were a package deal.
I can almost guarantee the committee was rooting for Georgia. Why? If the Bulldogs won the SEC, they would have had four undefeated teams vying for the championship.
They could simply tell everyone else to win their games.
Now you’ve got Florida State left out as they did everything they could, only to be told it is not good enough.
And in doing so, the CFP committee may have doomed another conference.
FSU has made it well aware they’re unhappy with the payouts the ACC gives out annually. They’re not alone as a number of other schools — including Clemson and North Carolina — have looked at ways of breaking the Grant of Rights deal that locks the schools in the conference until 2036.
According to reports it would take anywhere near $120 million to pay the fines to break the GoR to leave the ACC. Something that would be a hefty price to take on.
But, it may be something that isn’t tabled anymore and discussions heat up.
If you look at the college landscape a year from now, it shows a grim future.
I mean that all four schools in the CFP will be representing two conferences next year. Outside of the contractually obligated Seminoles, and the Group of Five champion Liberty, every New Year’s Six bowl participant will come from the Big Ten or SEC.
The highest ranked team that falls out of that? Arizona at 14.
Ultimately, will I still watch the college football playoff? Sure. All four teams are good and any of them — Michigan, Washington, Texas or Alabama — could win the whole thing.
But, it doesn’t change the fact that college football changed for the worse this weekend. It may have very well doomed a conference to extinction. And, it will forever change the sport many people watch.
Next year this argument goes away when the CFP jumps to 12 teams, but I’m sure another argument will come up then.