‘Holy s-, this is actually going to draw to do

  • Heather Dinich, ESPN

    • Senior Citizen WriterDec 4, 2023, 12:26 PM ET Close College football press reporter
    • Joined ESPN.com in 2007
    • Graduate of Indiana University

GRAPEVINE, Texas– It was between 1:30 and 2 a.m. CT on Sunday after the conference championship games when the 13 members of the College Football Playoff choice committee lastly left their conference room. They had actually been sequestered for hours as they figured out the leading four groups in the country.They understood what

they might possibly wind up with– and it didn’t feel good.As tough as it was for them to eliminate their emotions from the procedure, the sinking sensation about excluding an undefeated Power 5 conference champ was tempered by the belief that they did what they were entrusted to do– vote for the four best teams.

“All of us had the psychological tie, like, ‘Holy s–, this is truly going to suck to do this,'” one committee member informed ESPN. “We talked about that over and over, and we just kept returning [to] are they sufficient with what they have to win a national championship, and it just kept coming back [to] we didn’t think they could.”

There wasn’t any conversation about the SEC being left out since the committee maintains that it discusses groups, not conferences. There wasn’t any serious factor to consider to consist of Alabama without Texas due to the fact that there was a lot respect in the room for the Longhorns’ Week 2 win in Tuscaloosa. There also wasn’t adequate support in the space to consider Georgia “unequivocally” among the 4 best teams in the nation– the requirement for groups that do not win their conference title.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated Rather,

the crux of

the debate into the wee hours of Sunday morning fixated how to examine Florida State, which beat Louisville with its third-string quarterback after both Jordan Travis and his backup, Tate Rodemaker, were sidelined by injuries. While the Seminoles’ defense impressed the committee– and had all year– there were significant concerns about FSU’s offense.Undefeated Michigan

had won the Huge Ten. Unbeaten Washington won the Pac-12. Alabama knocked off the choice committee’s No. 1 group, Georgia, to win the SEC, and one-loss Texas, which quickly won the Big 12, had actually knocked off the SEC champ in September.And now Florida State had found a way to win– again.It was the final layer of problem in what was currently the most difficult, controversial choice any CFP committee has needed to make in a decade of the four-team playoff. Never before has an unbeaten Power 5 conference champion been omitted from the CFP– but never ever previously have 7 Power 5 groups completed the regular season with one or fewer losses.”We have actually never ever had a year with eight groups at the top as excellent as these are, and the 5 conference champions 1 through 5, we have actually never ever had it come out that way, “CFP executive director Expense Hancock said.”My sensation is it most likely was the most difficult.” Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis leaves the field after suffering a season-ending injury. AP Photo/Colin Hackley FOR 2 1/2 DAYS on conference championship game weekend, the CFP’s selection committee hid in plain sight.While families clad in Christmas-themed clothing infiltrated the sprawling Gaylord Texan resort for its yearly ice

sculpture exhibit, the most powerful individuals in college football went nearly unnoticed, conserve for one cardboard indication bearing the CFP logo design that some fans paused to take a look at as they left the elevator and headed to their spaces.”Is Bama in ?! “one man asked a guard sitting on a stool outside the meeting rooms Saturday night after the Tide’s SEC championship win versus No. 1 Georgia.The guard just shrugged.As it turned out, one-loss Bama was in– at the expense of undefeated ACC champ Florida State. It was an unmatched decision that stimulated outrage throughout the sport. FSU coach Mike Norvell stated he was”disgusted and exasperated.”ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said, “It’s abstruse.”Travis, the Seminoles’injured quarterback, said he wanted he had broken his leg previously in the season so the committee might have seen that the group was still great without him.The committee is unfaltering in its belief it got the decision right. “At the end of the day, everybody had the same goal in mind– do we have the four best teams?”a committee member stated.”And we all felt pretty good that we do. “It wasn’t up until the ACC championship

game began to unfold, however, that the members’opinions started to truly take shape. The group grew concerned as it viewed the Noles battle to get an initially down in the first half. There

is an area in the committee’s protocol that specifically refers to the “unavailability of essential players … that might have impacted a team’s performance throughout the season or likely will impact its postseason performance. “That permitted the committee to do something it deliberately prevents every other week: look ahead.”Individuals truly wanted to talk about it, “a committee member stated.” We don’t really have that discussion while we’re viewing games. However we’ve got to speak about the elephant in the room. What simply taken place? We discussed 13-0

. We talked about the groups they beat. And they were a conference champ. All of that. It took a while.” Hancock hardly ever, if ever, shares voting results with individuals in the room, though sometimes he’ll point out if they were close or not. The votes are cast privately on each committee member’s laptop computer. The committee members simply hover their mouse over a team and click to vote. If a committee member is recused from voting for a particular team, it’s shaded in gray on his/her laptop computer, making it impossible to click on.They vote on the teams in small batches and continue through the procedure of voting and discussing in groups till the whole list of 25 is assembled. So it’s not as if they begin discussing Texas and Alabama and vote around them to make it fit.” Individuals might not believe it, but we do not state,’Oh gosh,

if we vote in this manner, the SEC is going to be overlooked,”one source stated. “That never turned up. Ever. We actually take a look at groups, put them up against each other, and say,’Who did they beat? Who did they not beat? Who have they beaten on the road? What’s their strength of schedule?’Look at the matrix and all the information.” The only time the committee members understand the vote is when it’s a tie, due to the fact that they need to vote once again. There was a sense within the room Saturday night, however, that the more they voted, the closer the group concerned agreeing that Florida State need to be No. 5. Boo Corrigan, the chair of the

committee and the athletic director at NC State, said the group voted 6 to 8 times on the leading 4, and there was “never ever a minute of rushing it.”One source stated the discussions were “tense”at times. Another stated it “never ever got heated, never got awful,”however it was “way more complicated and method more painful than some people might believe.”The committee met again at 8:30 a.m. CT on Sunday morning and began discussions and voting again.Because the selection committee is made up of people from different backgrounds– previous coaches, players, sitting athletic directors and a former sports press reporter– there are various perspectives in the room.Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart is one of them, and he had the unique experience of having actually seen Alabama, Georgia and Louisville, FSU’s title game opponent,

in-person because his Wildcats faced them, too. He was given opportunities to share his ideas on each of those groups with the group. Corrigan stated the coaches had discussions about:”Who do they wish to play? Who do they not want to play?” “They

have actually got a considerable voice in the room,”he said.In the end, though, the distinction in between Alabama and Florida State boiled down to the committee’s written procedure, particularly the emphasis on strength of schedule– which provided Alabama the edge– and the section that permitted committee members to predict what Florida State might look like in a semifinal without their star quarterback.Not having Heisman hopeful starter Travis”

modifications their offense in its totality, “Corrigan

said, “and that was actually a huge element with the committee as we went through everything. “So was the Longhorns ‘double-digit win at Alabama in Week 2. The committee had corresponded in honoring the head-to-head outcome all season and felt it was essential to be consistent with that on Selection Day– despite the fact that they thought Alabama had actually improved because

that September loss. “That’s something you just can’t neglect,” someone stated.” At the end of the day, they scheduled them, they played them at their house, they won and they beat them– which was big.”It wasn’t simply the committee’s choice to omit Florida State that drew criticism Sunday afternoon.The group rewarded undefeated No. 23 Liberty with a New Year’s 6 bowl bid instead of two-loss No. 24 SMU, which beat a ranked team in its AAC title game. In addition to voting numerous times at the top of the ranking,

the committee likewise voted repeatedly at the bottom, which pushed the early morning conference to its cutoff time of 11 a.m. CT. The results kept flipping between Liberty and SMU, however ultimately, the group deemed Liberty

better.American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco was fuming.”For a years, that committee utilized an unjust strength of

schedule argument versus our excellent unbeaten UCF, Cincinnati and Houston groups, which played genuinely difficult schedules with P5 challengers,”he told ESPN,” and then they use a clear double standard to this circumstance. “One previous selection committee member was shocked and stated the disparities in this year’s ranking were”glaring.”” This may need a total reset before next year, “the previous committee member stated.

“If Liberty is a Group of 5 playoff group over others, that’s a problem.

No Power 5 challengers on the schedule, and the record of groups they’ve beaten is weak. “NOT CONSIDERING THAT 2014, the inaugural season of the CFP, has the committee generated anything near to this much debate. That year, the committee dropped TCU from No. 3 to No. 6 in the final rankings in big part due to the fact that the Huge 12 at the time didn’t have a conference championship game.Now, in the final season of a four-team system, an entirely different group of 13 committee members snubbed an unbeaten group that won its conference title. The backlash, according to several sources, has actually been considerable, including some from associates, pals and peers, in addition to vitriol from Florida State fans.This would have been the best season for the new 12-team playoff format to start. Next year, the CFP will include the five highest-ranked conference champions and the next seven highest-ranked teams, assuming the proposed brand-new format is rubber-stamped by the presidents and chancellors at their annual meeting before the championship game in Houston. That guarantees a spot for each power-conference champ and a Group of 5 conference champ. As excited as fans may be for the more inclusive system, Hancock cautioned that it will not solve the problem of a skilled group being neglected.” People look for excellence, and there will be some teams that don’t quite make it in 12 who are going to be asking some major questions,” said Hancock, who will retire after this season.”I laugh since the simple response is to state, ‘Yeah, I wish we had 12.’ However that’s not going to be the panacea that some of us may think it may be. It’s going to be excellent, don’t get me incorrect, but it won’t be ideal. “

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