top of page

Davison's College Football Playoff Rankings Reaction

At noon on Sunday, the College Football Playoff Committee announced the final rankings for the season, and with it, the four teams in the upcoming playoffs. Michigan and Washington were almost guaranteed to be in, but five additional teams, Texas, Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, and Georgia, were vying for the final two spots, which ended up going to Texas and Alabama.

Florida State's Quarterback Situation Took Them Out

Despite going undefeated and winning the ACC Championship over Louisville on Saturday night, Florida State missed the playoff, becoming the first undefeated Power Five champion to miss the playoff since it was created in 2014.

When Jordan Travis broke his leg against North Alabama on November 18, people thought that it could end the Seminoles’ season, but the team kept rolling, winning that game before defeating Florida and 14th-ranked Louisville to finish the season. The ACC was the weakest of the five Power Five conferences this season, but an undefeated Power Five champion had never been left out of the playoff before, no matter how weak the conference was.

By refusing to pick a conference champion with an injured quarterback, the committee broke their precedent from 2014, when they selected Ohio State as the fourth seed over Big 12 Co-Champions Baylor and TCU. The Buckeyes were down to their third-string quarterback, Cardale Jones, and they ended up winning the National Championship after upsetting the top two seeds, Alabama and Oregon.

Travis took to X after the committee announced their decision, and posted a message saying that he was “devastated” and “heartbroken,” and that “[he wished his] leg broke earlier in the season so y'all could see this team is much more than the quarterback.”

Additionally, head coach Mike Norvell said he was “disgusted and infuriated with the committees' decision” in a statement after the rankings were announced.

Head-to-Head Wins Matter

Going into Selection Sunday, many people (including myself) believed that the committee would backtrack on what they had been saying all season about how head-to-head wins matter and leave Texas out of the playoff while putting Alabama in. Texas beat Alabama on the road in Week 2 to hand the Crimson Tide their lone loss, but Alabama appears to be a much stronger team than they were in the early stages of the season.

Additionally, people wondered how the SEC Championship would be graded. Georgia went into the game with a 29-game winning streak and as the two-time defending national champions before being defeated in a close game by the Crimson Tide. The committee believed that Alabama was the better team (which is probably the correct assumption, given the result of the game), but it begged the question of whether the committee would put Georgia in over Texas, or an undefeated Power Five champion.

The Committee Selects the BEST Teams, Not the Most Deserving Ones

The most deserving teams, based on record and resume, were Michigan, Washington, Florida State, and Texas. However, the committee removed Florida State from that group and added Alabama, who is undoubtedly, at this point, a better team than the Seminoles.

It goes to show that the CFP Committee is more invested in determining the best teams, which it probably should be. Even if Florida State deserved to get in, they would likely have been destroyed by any of the other top teams they faced due to the quarterback situation.

If the Twelve-Team Playoff Started This Year, the Playoff would be Great

If the Twelve-Team Playoff were in effect this year, there would be seven or eight teams with a legitimate shot at winning the National Championship. The top four teams would get byes in the first round, and then Florida State would play 23rd-seeded Liberty, 6th-seeded Georgia would play 11th-seeded Ole Miss, 7th-seeded Ohio State would play 10th-seeded Penn State, and 8th-seeded Oregon would play 9th-seeded Missouri.

Even if the first round were to end in blowouts for the higher-seeded teams (which it easily could), the second round would be full of great games, with Michigan playing Oregon, Washington playing Ohio State, Texas playing Georgia, and Alabama playing Florida State. Any of those eight teams would have a legitimate chance at winning the National Championship, with the potential exclusion of Florida State, depending on whether backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker could return from his concussion in time for the beginning of the playoff.

Even Without the Twelve-Team Playoff, the Semifinal Games Appear to be Competitive

In the semifinal games, Michigan will face Alabama in the Rose Bowl, while Washington will play Texas in the Sugar Bowl. Michigan faces an Alabama team that has only gotten stronger as this season has gone on, while Washington plays Texas in a game that promises to be a high-scoring affair.

Three of the four teams will have to travel long distances for their semifinal games, while third-seeded Texas will need to travel to New Orleans for their matchup against second-seeded Washington. Michigan and Texas opened as favorites in the two games.

Main Image via


bottom of page