This was an unprecedented move as an undefeated Power Five Conference team was left on the sidelines. FSU didn’t need a hail mary to survive rivalry week like Alabama did; they didn’t struggle against Louisville. They won by ten points, and the defense was dominant. I know the starting Quarterback was out. But so was the backup, and the Noles won with an unprepared third-string quarterback against a solid Louisville team. Does anybody remember the old saying defense wins championships? The Noles defense is pretty damn good.
The Goal of sports should consistently be winning games; whatever FSU did this season was fine as long as they won. Even if their defense won their last three games while the defense struggled, should it matter how they won? Or just that they won?
However, that wasn’t quite what happened due to an old system established when these players were elementary schoolers that didn’t anticipate or accommodate what transpired in 2023.
Back then, those responsible for designing a four-team playoff were more than reluctant to do it and did a terrible job with it.
They knew they needed to move beyond a two-team Bowl Championship Series, yet too many of their motivations didn’t center on creating a better watching experience for fans or creating an exhilarating postseason — instead, their focus was protecting the bowl industry while upholding Rose Bowl’s late afternoon New Year’s Day television window with second half sunset views over the San Gabriel Mountains, as well as taking an incremental approach when bold action would have been more appropriate and necessary. In other words this issue should have been dealt with a decade ago.
Florida State was further affected by the misplaced emotions of commissioners from Big Ten, Pac-12 and its own Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) commissioners in 2021. At that point, plans to expand its playoff to 12 teams before the 2023 season were in the pipeline until Texas and Oklahoma approached SEC commissioner Greg Sankey asking to join their league rather than stay with the Big 12. SEC commissioner Greg Sankey managed to work out an agreement and will soon expand to 16 teams next season.
Non-SEC teams formed the so-called “Alliance” in order to protect against SEC aggression, yet within one year, the Big Ten began raiding the Pac-12 for USC and UCLA starting in 2024; eventually they took Oregon and Washington as well before Big 12 and ACC schools picked off any remaining members.
The ACC was played for fools. Playoff expansion was delayed until everyone found their bearings; once an agreed-upon expansion plan had been approved, it was too late to start this season; instead, it will begin in 2024 with automatic bids for top conference champions (Florida State being one such champion).
That left the Seminoles — and everyone else involved — exposed to an unfortunate scenario that eventually materialized.
They won all their games, but it still wasn’t enough.
They scheduled LSU and Florida, an ambitious non-conference schedules but were ultimately left frustrated as neither victory was good enough to push them over the finish line.
They watched as the ACC finished with a winning record against SEC opponents; it simply wasn’t good enough.
They survived an injury to one of their key players, but that wasn’t enough.
Florida State has been seriously misled.
Not by some committee out to get someone, but by its own leadership booth in 2021 and over a decade prior that focused too heavily on politics and business rather than on making sure an incident like this didn’t occur.
It’s hard to get mad at College Football players who chase NIL money from other schools when those schools and conferences are doing the same thing: chasing the money.
Chasing the money has ruined College sports; if you are paying attention to college sports, that should not surprise you, should it?
The point about greed destroying sports will shine brightly when Florida State plays Georgia in a bowl game, and neither team will resemble what they are, as both teams will be missing players who don’t want to risk injury and a drop in draft stock. After seeing what happened this weekend, do you blame them?
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