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College Football Playoff Rankings: FSU left out of playoff, ranked No. 5

What’s even the point?

Charles Mays/Tomahawk Nation

With a 16-6 win over the Louisville Cardinals in the ACC Championship, the Florida State Seminoles solidified a 13-0 record and one of college football’s best resumes.

FSU opened the season with an eye-opening blowout win over LSU, the first of eight wins over bowl-eligible Power Five teams (the most in the country). The Seminoles have three wins over top 25 competition — Louisville, LSU and Clemson.

In the final College Football Rankings of the 2023 season, Florida State was slotted No. 5 behind the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines, No. 2 Washington Huskies, the No. 3 Texas Longhorns and the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide.

“I am disgusted and infuriated with the committee’s decision today to have what was earned on the field taken away because a small group of people decided they knew better than the results of the games,” head coach Mike Norvell said in a statement. “What is the point of playing games? 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 P5 conference champion, but we also played two P5 non-conference games away from home and won both of them. I don’t understand how we are supposed to think this is an acceptable way to evaluate a team.”

“I’m hurting for our players who have displayed a tremendous amount of resilience and response this season. What happened today goes against everything that is true and right in college football. A team that overcame tremendous adversity and found a way to win doing whatever it took on the field was cheated today. It’s a sad day for college football.”

“I’m proud of the work we have put in and the players I have the privilege to coach. We have one more opportunity to define this 2023 team in the Orange Bowl, and I believe in how our team will respond.”

It’s the first time since the inception of the BCS that an undefeated Power 5 team was denied an opportunity to play for a national championship over a one-loss team.

“The consequences of giving in to a narrative of the moment are destructive, far-reaching, and permanent,” FSU athletic director Michael Alford said after the announcement. “Not just for Florida State, but college football as a whole.”

“The argument of whether a team is the ‘most deserving OR best’ is a false equivalence. It renders the season up to yesterday irrelevant and significantly damages the legitimacy of the College Football Playoff. The 2023 Florida State Seminoles are the epitome of a total TEAM. To eliminate them from a chance to compete for a national championship is an unwarranted injustice that shows complete disregard and disrespect for their performance and accomplishments. It is unforgivable.

“The fact that this team has continued to close out victories in dominant fashion facing our current quarterback situation should have ENHANCED our case to get a playoff berth EARNED on the field. Instead, the committee decided to elevate themselves and ‘make history’ today by departing from what makes this sport great by excluding an undefeated Power 5 conference champion for the first time since the advent of the BCS/CFP era that began 25 years ago. This ridiculous decision is a departure from the competitive expectations that have stood the test of time in college football.”

“Wins matter: Losses matter. Those that compete in the arena know this. Those on the committee who also competed in the sport and should have known this have forgotten it. Today, they changed the way success is assessed in college football, from a tangible metric - winning on the field - to an intangible, subjective one. Evidently, predicting the future matters more.”

“For many of us, today’s decision by the committee has forever damaged the credibility of the institution that is the College Football Plavoff. And, saddest of all, it was self-inflicted. They chose predictive competitiveness over proven performance; subjectivity over fact. They have become a committee of prognosticators. They have abandoned their responsibility by discarding their purpose - to evaluate performance on the field.”

“Our players, coaches, and fans - as well as all those who love this sport - deserve better. The committee failed college football today.”


Final 2023 College Football Playoff Rankings

  1. Michigan Wolverines (13-0)
  2. Washington Huskies (13-0)
  3. Texas Longhorns (12-1)
  4. Alabama Crimson Tide (12-1)
  5. Florida State Seminoles (13-0)
  6. Georgia Bulldogs (12-1)
  7. Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1)
  8. Oregon Ducks (11-2)
  9. Missouri Tigers (10-2)
  10. Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2)
  11. Ole Miss Rebels (10-2)
  12. Oklahoma Sooners (10-2)
  13. LSU Tigers (9-3)
  14. Arizona Wildcats (9-3)
  15. Louisville Cardinals (10-3)
  16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-3)
  17. Iowa Hawkeyes (10-3)
  18. NC State Wolfpack (9-3)
  19. Oregon State Beavers (8-4)
  20. Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-4)
  21. Tennessee Volunteers (8-4)
  22. Clemson Tigers (8-4)
  23. Liberty Flames (13-0)
  24. SMU Mustangs (11-2)
  25. Kansas State Wildcats (8-4)