Florida State - Undefeated and Unrespected?Added - Dec. 17, 2014 - Comments
The Florida State Seminoles were the undefeated national champions last season. They had the Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston. They came back this year and have thus far registered a 12-0 record, making them the nation's only unbeaten team and bringing their winning streak to 28. So what has made this team slip from #1 in the college playoff ranking all the way down to #4?
Maybe it's the fact that they are not running up the score on people the way they used to. Last season FSU had an average winning margin of 44 points. This year they have been playing a number of nail-biters. In fact, they have beaten no less than six opponents (Oklahoma State, Clemson, Notre Dame, Miami, Boston College, Florida) by a touchdown or less, and none of those teams is likely to be seen in a major bowl game. And they had to come back with a furious rally against Louisville, which had them down 21-0 at one point. If there is one thing the committee making the decisions for the college football playoff has demonstrated, it is that they are rather impressed by teams who gratuitously pound their opponents. That would have been the 2013 version of the Seminoles, but this one just doesn't seem to open many eyes.
It would be intellectually dishonest to deny that another issue involves Winston, who just can't seem to keep himself out of controversy, whether he is being accused of sexual assault, caught robbing a supermarket, shouting obscenities on campus, mentioned in a plot to fix games, or the latest, a shove against an official that the Atlantic Coast Conference conveniently allowed to go unpunished because they are so thirsty for a crack at another national title. The committee, which includes conservatives like Condaleeza Rice, who qualifies, we presume, because she once dated a football player (Rick Upchurch), is unquestionably turned off by that behavior (or alleged behavior, as it were), and they may be holding that against the team. Winston, who threw 40 TD passes with just ten interceptions last season, is also not having the same kind of year this time around (21 TD's, 17 interceptions), and thus isn't even in the Heisman Trophy discussion.
With this kind of mood, you figure the 'Noles had better be very impressive in their ACC title game with Georgia Tech (against whom they are a four-point favorite in the NCAA football odds) or they might be dropped a notch or two, even in victory, and that would leave them out of the four-team playoff altogether. No, that's not likely, but this committee has proven that anything can conceivably happen.