Whenever postseason invitations are determined by subjective standards that frequently come across as vague and often amoving target, there is bound to be fervorous discourse over who belongs. 2023 not only was no different, it took the conversation of how college football teams “are” versus “should be” selected for the CFP to another level. For weeks we have heard time and time again, “The selection committee’s job is to select the four best teams in the country!” Well, Bama fans, you know well by now you are in luck.
At number one and two, there is little to thumb one’s nose at as Michigan and Washington secured the top two spots following #1 Georgia’s woeful performance in Atlanta against the Crimson Tide. Most then assumed Texas had done enough to secure a top four ranking with a critical victory in Tuscaloosa in week 2 and an impressive showing in the Big 12 title game. Despite a close loss to rival Oklahoma in October, their omission would have made little sense considering they check all the boxes of what the men in the high castle claim to look for behind their mysterious curtain. A select few, mainly Georgia fans, contested they were ‘a top four team’, but with a loss in their home state to another bubble team and not winning the SEC championship it is of little surprise they ended up all the way down at sixth. Yeah, the margin of error from number one to number six was a single three-point loss. MADNESS!
Now, before we dive further into the two schools that were jockeying for the final spot – Alabama or Florida State, Florida State or Alabama – it’s important we establish the grounds for how the selection committee “allegedly” makes their decisions. Per the CFP official website, “The selection committee will select the teams using a process that distinguishes among otherwise comparable teams by considering:
- Conference Championships won
- Strength of schedule
- Head-to-head competition
- Comparative outcome of common opponents (without incenting margin of victory)
- Other relevant factors such as unavailability of key players and coaches that may have affected a team’s performance during the season or likely will affect its postseason performance
Five bullet points and I am already exhausted. Statements one through three, I’m for it. Beyond that let’s be honest with ourselves … they’re telling us they are going to do whatever the hell they want.
The reality is Florida State did everything the committee could ask. They scheduled LSU and beat the bricks off them. They ran the table going 13-0, beat Clemson, and beat #14 Louisville at a neutral site to win their conference championship. Their transgression? Star quarterback Jordan Travis broke his leg against lowly North Alabama with two games remaining. This was enough for the committee to invoke bullet point #5 and anoint the Tide as the fourth and final team into the last 4-team playoff field before expansion to 12 squads in 2024.
Look, say what we will about our thoughts and feelings towards Alabama, they’re a damn good football team. They are ALWAYS a damn good football team. That isn’t news. What is news is the fact that Florida State went 13-0, had a Strength of Record higher than Alabama, and were snubbed because the committee decided they will select who they believe are the four “best” teams in college football, not the four “most deserving” teams in college football. Is Alabama a better football team than FSU? There is no question about that since Jordan Travis is out of the equation. However, allowing elitist overlords to ignore the results on the field and condemn a team because one kid got hurt is simply shameful.
CFP Semifinal Schedule
No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 4 Alabama – Rose Bowl Presented by Prudential – Monday, January 1, 4 p.m. CST.
No. 2 Washington vs. No. 3 Texas – Allstate Sugar Bowl – Monday, January 1, 7:45 p.m. CST.