Mike Norvell started coaching Florida State in 2019.
On Sunday, the College Football Selection Committee released the College Football Playoff (CFP) field. Each year, the CFP consists of the top 4 FBS (NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision) teams as determined by the committee. This year, No.1 Michigan, No.2 Washington, No.3 Texas, and No.4 Alabama were the four teams selected. The committee’s decision led to a great deal of controversy as many believed it was incorrect and degrading to leave the Florida State Seminoles out of the CFP.
The Seminoles had a surprising and tremendous 2023 Season. Starting 11-0, their best win coming against top-ranked Louisiana State University (LSU), the Florida State Seminoles (FSU) seemed on pace for a historic season. However, after Heisman-caliber starting quarterback Jordan Travis suffered a season-ending leg injury against North Alabama, people were left unsure if FSU could close out the season. Despite the uncertainty, behind backup Tate Rodemaker, the Seminoles recorded an impressive win over rival Florida. A week later, this time with third string quarterback Brock Glenn, they added to their undefeated season with a win over Louisville in the NCAA Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) championship. Finishing 13-0, it was hard for most people to think FSU should be left out of the CFP.
Despite this, one of the main reasons for FSU being excluded from the CFP was that committee members believed they were a weaker team the last two weeks of the season without Travis. One of the committee's guidelines mentions “unavailability of key players.” The decision was met with much disapproval from members of the team, other athletes, and many people worldwide. Florida State head coach Mike Norvell expressed his aggravation, "I am disgusted and infuriated with the committee's decision today to have what was earned on the field taken away because a small group of people decided they knew better than the results of the games… What happened today goes against everything that is true and right in college football."
Jordan Travis also shared his thoughts on Twitter, saying, “devastated [and] heartbroken…I wish my leg broke earlier in the season so y'all could see this team is much more than the quarterback."
Boo Corrigan, chair of the CFP selection committee, explained the decision, saying, "Florida State is a different team than they were through the first 11 weeks… But as you look at who they are as a team right now without Jordan Travis, without the offensive dynamic that he brings to it, they are a different team and the committee voted Alabama four and Florida State five." The loss of Jordan Travis had too large of an impact in the eyes of the committee. "We had eight really good teams this year," Corrigan explained.
Corrigan continued, “Looking at the player availability was really important to what's going on. I think someone said there, you know, you can lose a running back, you can lose a wide receiver but a quarterback as dynamic as Jordan Travis, it changes their offense in its entirety and that was really a big factor with the committee as we went through everything."
The Seminoles will compete against No. 6 Georgia in the Orange Bowl on December 30. Although a win would not change the outcome of the committee's decision, FSU would prove to everybody that they could compete in the CFP. No. 4 Alabama will take on No. 1 Michigan in the Rose Bowl on January 1. The winner will play the winner of No. 2 Washington against No. 3 Texas in the national championship.