Why Did Florida State Get Left Out of the College Football Playoff?

    For the first time in the playoff era, an undefeated Power Five Champion was left out. Why did Florida State miss the College Football Playoff?

    In the final year of the four-team era of the College Football Playoff, there were far more than four teams with legitimate arguments to be in the Playoff. Michigan and Washington made the playoff as the top two seeds while undefeated Power Five champion Florida State was the first ever undefeated Power Five Conference Champion to be left out.

    So, why did the Florida State Seminoles get left out of the College Football Playoff?

    Why Did Florida State Get Left Out of the College Football Playoff?

    The Seminoles have as much of a right to be outraged as any team in the history of the College Football Playoff. Florida State lost starting quarterback Jordan Travis for the season after suffering a devastating leg injury against North Alabama in November.

    Since then, the Seminole offense has struggled. The Seminoles scored just 40 total points against Florida and Louisville and won both games in ugly fashion.

    However, the Seminoles still won those games, and they are still undefeated.

    An undefeated Power Five Conference Champion has never been left out of the College Football Playoff. There’s also precedent for putting a team in the Playoff without its starting quarterback, as the eventual National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes won with a backup quarterback.

    There are some differences, though.

    When J.T Barrett went down, backup Cardale Jones threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns in a 59-0 rout of Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship. The Buckeyes did not skip a beat in its small sample size without Barrett.

    Even before Travis went down, the Seminoles looked like a vulnerable team. The Seminoles had some luck against the teams they faced in the regular season, with seven of their own wins coming against backup quarterbacks. Even with that luck, the Seminoles looked shaky against Boston College, Clemson, Pittsburgh, and Miami. In Clemson, the Seminoles survived thanks to a missed 29-yard field goal.

    Ultimately, Florida State was deemed—in the eyes of the Playoff Committee—to have not done enough to cement themselves in the final four. Many may agree, but to the only group that matters in this decision, the Seminoles are on the outside looking in.

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