“This is bigger than college football,” Rick Scott wrote Executive Director Bill Hancock, citing the “implications that stretch far beyond the football fields or athletic departments of our nation’s universities” of which teams get selected for this year’s four-team playoff tourney, which excluded the Seminoles because they were ranked fifth.
Scott added that “those who feel snubbed or mistreated should not be denied the opportunity to get an explanation for the decisions that created that perception,” saying that not only did “athletes” at FSU feel that way, but also “Americans across the country who doubt the integrity of the playoff system.”
Scott’s latest letter to Hancock came after he received one defending FSU’s exclusion from the playoffs. The committee apparently concluded that the Seminoles, the unbeaten champions of the Power 5 Atlantic Coast Conference, were “not the same team” after starting quarterback Jordan Travis was injured earlier this year.
Beyond that, the committee believed that Florida State’s “strength of schedule” didn’t match the teams that made the cut above them.
Scott noted his previous letter “outlined my concerns with the Selection Committee’s decision, which will deny significant financial and economic opportunities for FSU, our student athletes, the City of Tallahassee and the State of Florida, in my first letter. I am sure that you will agree that those who feel snubbed or mistreated should not be denied the opportunity to get an explanation for the decisions that created that perception.”
In his latest communication, Scott also again demanded information from the selection committee, including internal communications about the rankings, and communications between committee members and ESPN and the Southeastern Conference.
The Senator isn’t the only Florida Republican riled up about this gridiron goof-up from the selection panel. Attorney General Ashley Moody wants more details about the selection process, including “communications relating to deliberations to or from the SEC, ACC, NCAA, ESPN, Group of Five conferences, Power Five conferences or any other person relating to the deliberations.”
Additionally, Moody’s office wants “all documents relating to public statements relating to the deliberations, including media talking points and interview notes,” and documents “relating to restrictions of the Conferences against having alternate playoff schedules” along with documents “showing compensation of members in 2023.”
“If you think about the damages, being in that College Football Playoff versus being in the Orange Bowl is a big, big difference,” DeSantis said in Iowa earlier this month.
Though Florida State fans won’t see them in the national championship, the Seminoles will face off in the Orange Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday, Dec. 30, in a matchup between the fifth- and sixth-best teams in the country according to the selection committee.