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Kyle’s Corner: Florida State should be in college football playoffs

The College Football Playoffs – set to begin Jan. 1 with Alabama and Michigan kicking off at 5:00 p.m. followed by Texas ad Washington at 8:45 p.m. The championship will be held on Jan. 8.

Alabama has made it to the college football playoffs again. Sigh.

Call me one of those sports fans who like the underdog — after all, I have been a Cleveland Browns enthusiast for the entirety of my 21 years on Earth. You could even call me someone who simply does not want to see the same team at the top every single year.

You can then understand why I loathe to report the Crimson Tide having another shot to win a national championship. The big question remains, though: Does Alabama deserve to be there?
According to the College Football Playoff Committee, its job is to pick the four best teams, not the most deserving. The most-talked-about dilemma of Alabama making it to the playoffs comes at the expense of Florida State.

The Seminoles were a perfect 13-0 in the regular season, capping it off with a 16-6 win over No. 14 Louisville in the ACC Championship. Ranked as the No. 4 seed going into the game versus the Cardinals, it seemed like a no-brainer to leave the Seminoles as the final team to make the playoffs after their latest win.

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Here is the curveball — Seminoles starting quarterback Jordan Travis, who is in the conversation for winning the Heisman Trophy this year, was injured during the North Alabama game on Nov. 18. Despite Florida State winning two games after his season-ending injury, they are not good enough to make the playoffs.

Remember, the committee’s job is to pick the four best teams. I will credit Alabama for defeating the former No. 1-ranked Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game. But does that win alone solidify them as a better unit than Florida State?

I say no. The reason why Florida State was booted out of the playoffs was solely because of injury. But, you cannot assume that they are now worse than Alabama because they lost their starting quarterback, and punishing them for the wrong that which they have not committed is bizarre and frankly unacceptable. Who is to say that the Alabama quarterback will not get injured during the first play of the semifinal game against Michigan — would that make the committee regret putting Alabama ahead?

Ask Nick Foles and the rest of the 2017-18 Eagles if they are a worse team than anyone else who made the playoffs that year because Carson Wentz got hurt during the regular season. Spoiler alert: the Eagles won the Super Bowl that year.

Florida State is now the first team since the college football playoff era to be an undefeated champion in a Power Five conference and not make the final four. The committee decided that because Florida State does not have a star quarterback, they cannot win games.

Regardless of style points at the quarterback position, or whether a team is winning games with their offense or defense, the best teams show that no matter who is out there, they find ways to win.

The Seminoles did everything that was asked of them in order to put themselves in a position for success, and instead of rewarding them, they get snubbed of a playoff spot.
Whether or not the Seminoles would have gotten blown out by No. 1 Michigan in the semifinal round, they earned the right to be there. Maybe that could fall into the category of most deserving, but to an extent the two are intertwined. At some point, you have to say you are the most deserving because you are the best, and Alabama’s qualification do not measure up to Florida State’s.
One may say, “the competition of the ACC is not as good as the SEC.” While that is more often than not a fair statement, I would encourage whoever holds this claim to look at how Alabama has performed since the beginning of October.

They barely scraped by Texas A&M with a 26-20 win, almost gave up a 21-6 lead versus Arkansas and most recently was gift wrapped a win by Auburn during the Iron Bowl. All the aforementioned opponents a “top four team in the nation” took down are unranked. That is not representative of the status Alabama currently holds.

What this really comes down to is ratings and money. The NCAA knows that the SEC is the butter to its bread. It would have been the first time since the playoff era that an SEC team was not put in the top four, and could have resulted in less viewership and less yeast in the dough to keep it from rising high.

The chair of the selection committee, Boo Corrigan, said in an interview that Liberty deserved a bid to the New Year’s Six bowl over Southern Methodist University because they “kept winning.” That’s exactly what FSU did, so why are they not in?

It would be an absolute pleasure to see Alabama get walloped by the Wolverines on Jan. 1. Do I think the Crimson Tide are a good football team? Yes. Do they deserve to be in the playoffs over Florida State? Absolutely not. The committee made a grave mistake with this decision, and all I can finalize with is thank goodness there is a 12-team bracket next year.

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About the Contributor
Kyle Chandler
Kyle Chandler, Sports Editor
Kyle Chandler is a former collegiate athlete. After being a member of the Allegheny baseball team,  Kyle still loves to be around the game and has picked up sports journalism and broadcasting as a profession. He is the play-by-play broadcaster for Allegheny sports. He recently completed an internship as the radio play-by-play broadcaster with the Lake Erie Crushers. Following in the family footsteps, Kyle is the grandson of the late Nev Chandler, who broadcasted for the Cleveland Browns, then Indians and Cavaliers, and has inspired the kid to get into the business. Although Nev has passed away, Kyle's cousin, John Chandler, who is a sports anchor at NBC New York, has taken him under his wing to show him the works. Kyle aspires to become a sports play-by-play broadcaster and is looking for a job in the Minor Leagues upon graduating college.
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  • R

    ROLL TIDEDec 13, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    If fsu met on a neutral field tomorrow or even a home field tomorrow they would not beat any of the top 6-7 teams how they have been playing since losing Jordan Travis… I feel sorry for fsu but the committee has never and never will say if you go undefeated you get in the playoffs that is not how that works, if it worked like that liberty would be in. They take the absence of key players into consideration and they also look as strength of schedule which Alabama is #5 in the nation with fsu at #66 in the nation. There was nothing corrupt going on I see that fsu could not beat the top 4 teams how they have been playing and bama is playing their best all year so I do not see anything wrong with bama being in over fsu. Nothing got stole from fsu bc it was never owed too then everyone just thought If they won they would be in because no undefeated team had ever been left out until now, but it’s because there has never been a season like this and each season is different. Did fsu play a great season? Yes they did, but it’s not based on most deserving or being undefeated it is based on who is the 4th best teams in the country which they got it right. AP poll rankings fsu is still ranked #4 but colleges football playoffs they are #5 and that’s alot too do with strength of schedule and fsu missing a key player and bama beating Georgia who was #1… fsu will play georgia in their bowl game they still got a really good bowl game maybe they will beat Georgia. Everyone still has too give Alabama credit they lost too a good texas team and beat the #1 team in the nation at the time and they don’t deserve too go??? Fsu had their best win against lsu, every other win was really nothing too outstanding. But now they have a chance in their bowl game too take on Georgia so we will see how they do their!!! ROLL TIDE ROLL! LANK!

  • B

    BamaFanDec 12, 2023 at 2:44 am

    Too bad, your hate for Alabama isn’t enough to convince most football analysts and coaches that FSU was a top 4 team. Now watch Bama win #19 Natty ……Roll Tide lol