Paul Renner, a UF grad, sides with FSU in playoff snub squabble
Paul Renner stokes controversy.

'Go Noles, you'll never hear me say that again.'

House Speaker Paul Renner is a proud graduate from the University of Florida and doesn’t often find himself sympathetic to players for their rival university, Florida State University (FSU).

But during an appearance at the Capital City Tiger Bay Club, Renner uttered the two words he probably never thought he would: “Go Noles.”

The House Speaker joined with many other Florida politicians to criticize the selection committee’s decision to leave FSU out of the national championship hunt.

FSU is the first undefeated Power 5 conference champion to be left out of the College Football Playoff. The selection committee — after ranking FSU No. 4 a week ago — instead moved both Texas and Alabama ahead of the Seminoles even though those two teams had a loss this season.

“I think the mistake that the committee made is if they came to the conclusion that they ultimately came (to) based on strength of schedule, fine. But they never should have been No. 4 in the first place,” Renner said. “When you put somebody No. 4 and all they do is win, it’s kind of hard to justify taking them out of that fourth place slot.”

For now, Renner said FSU should settle the dispute on the field when the team takes on the University of Georgia (UGA). UGA was ranked No.1 by the selection committee until the team lost its conference championship game to the University of Alabama.

UGA subsequently fell to No. 6.

“Go out and win your game. And if you win your game decisively people will say, ‘We screwed up.’ And if the opposite happens, people should say, ‘We didn’t have a lot to complain about.'”

Renner though did say he felt badly for the players.

“Go Noles, you’ll never hear me say that again.” Renner joked.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704