Why FSU’s Performance In the Orange Bowl Isn’t Indicative of the Team They Were In 2023

    Florida State's performance against Georgia shouldn't do much to sway the opinions of those who thought they should be in (or out of) the Playoffs.

    The Florida State Seminoles put up a woeful display of offensive attrition and defensive lapses in the 2023 Orange Bowl. It was clear from the early stages that the team of Georgia Bulldogs that marched out onto Hard Rock Stadium was leaps and bounds above Florida State.

    The performance was so bad it left fans wondering, loudly, mind you, about why FSU even made an argument to be considered for the College Football Playoffs.

    FSU’s Argument for College Football Playoff Inclusion

    The Orange Bowl saw a shell of the team that Florida State was in 2023. FSU’s 2023 season was by all accounts, a massive success. They finished 13-0, won the Atlantic Coast Conference, and defeated multiple top-25 teams in the process.

    Florida State went into Death Valley and defeated Clemson. FSU knocked off LSU and Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels to open the season.

    MORE: What Happened to Florida State QB Jordan Travis?

    The Seminoles took one of the nation’s longest active college football winning streaks into postseason play. By all accounts, they stood the test of time through a regular college football season.

    It was a special season that saw them win one of the Power Five conferences with an undefeated record. Yet, they became just the first team to finish the regular season undefeated and see themselves excluded from national championship consideration.

    They became the first Power Five team in the College Football Playoff era to win their conference as an undefeated team and get left out of the Playoffs. Florida State’s argument was simple: Despite every obstacle thrown their way, they still won every game in front of them.

    Argument Against FSU’s College Football Playoff Inclusion

    Those who argued against Florida State making the College Football Playoffs did so for one specific reason: They were a shell of the team that won those 13 games in 2023. Florida State lost starting quarterback Jordan Travis to a season-ending injury against North Alabama and their offensive prowess took a turn for the worse.

    Over the final two and a half games, Florida State hardly moved the ball on offense. They were lost without their starting quarterback, and every metric pointed to their lack of success on offense following Travis’ injury.

    Making matters even more convincing was the fact that FSU was forced to use third-string quarterback Brock Glenn in the ACC Championship, and the offense saw an even bigger decline.

    All signs pointed toward the Florida State offense failing to compete with the other potential College Football Playoff representatives.

    FSU’s Orange Bowl Performance Shouldn’t Sway Either Opinion

    Despite the difference of opinions, FSU got a berth in the Orange Bowl and took on the SEC’s Georgia in what would have been a highly anticipated matchup. However, the Florida State Seminoles team that trotted out onto the field of the Orange Bowl was so far removed from the team that went 13-0 that this performance should do nothing to sway the opinions on either side of the argument.

    FSU was not only without their star QB Travis but a whole cast of game-changing players at every level. After Florida State’s dismissal from the Playoffs, the transfer portal and NFL Draft opt-outs took hold of their roster.

    In total, FSU saw 19 marquee players unavailable for action against Georgia. The list of players not playing for Florida State was among the longest in the nation and included a who’s who of players that should hear their names called early in the 2024 NFL Draft.

    Without Travis, Florida State was without backup QB Tate Rodemaker, who hit the transfer portal and both of their top three offensive weapons: RB Trey Benson and WRs Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson. They lost starting tackle Bless Harris to the portal just as they lost valuable depth pieces at the remaining offensive positions.

    Starters sitting out on defense include NB Jarrian Jones, CB Renardo Green, LB DJ Lundy, EDGE Jared Verse, and DT Braden Fiske. Save for Lundy (who transferred to Colorado), each of those players will hear their names called in April.

    Most of the players, if not all of those who opted out would have likely been in action for Florida State had they been in contention for the National Championship through the College Football Playoffs. All of this to say, the FSU team that put forth an abysmal outing against Georgia isn’t even remotely close to the team that went 13-0.

    And for those reasons, no matter which side of the fence you were on before the Orange Bowl, you’re likely not to be swayed by FSU’s performance against Georgia at all.

    Miss any action from the top college QB Rankings during the 2023 football season? Want to track all the movement with the college football’s transfer portal? College Football Network has you covered with that and more!

    College Football Transfer Portal Tracker

    Never miss a beat with the CFN-exclusive College Football Transfer Portal Tracker, listing the student-athletes entering and exiting the transfer portal.

    Related Articles