Florida State coach Mike Norvell came out with a fiery statement in support of his team after the No. 5 Seminoles were snubbed from the on Sunday. The Noles finished the season 13-0 as one of three undefeated power conference champions; however, the committee opted to leave FSU out of the field after the team was left starting a third-string quarterback in the ACC Championship Game.
"I am disgusted and infuriated with the committee's decision today to have what was earned on the field taken away because a small group of people decided they knew better than the results of the games," Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. "What is the point of playing games? Do you tell players it is okay to quit if someone goes down? Do you not play a senior on Senior Day for fear of injury? Where is the motivation to schedule challenging non-conference games? We are not only an undefeated P5 conference champion, but we also played two P5 non-conference games away from home and won both of them. I don't understand how we are supposed to think this is an acceptable way to evaluate a team."
Florida State became the first undefeated power conference team to be left out of the field since the CFP's inception in 2014. The Seminoles beat three top 25 teams, including a 45-24 win over LSU in the opener. Despite losing starting quarterback Jordan Travis to a devastating leg injury, Florida State still beat Florida and Louisville by a combined 19 points. Florida State has played one game within a score since Sept. 23.
Travis followed his coach's lead Sunday, taking to social media to publicly lament the Seminoles' omission. The star signal-caller went as far as expressing regret on the timing of his injury, wishing that it had occurred earlier in the season so that FSU could have shown more growth amid his absence.
"Devastated. Heartbroken. In so much disbelief right now," Travis wrote in a post. "I wish my leg broke earlier in the season so y'all could see this team is much more than the quarterback. I thought results matter. 13-0 and this roster matches up across any team in those top-four rankings. I am so sorry. Go 'Noles!"
The Seminoles' injury issues didn't end with Travis, who threw for 2,755 yards and 20 touchdowns before his injury. Backup quarterback Tate Rodemaker suffered a head injury against Florida that kept him out for the ACC Championship Game against Louisville, thrusting true freshman Brock Glenn into his first real action. FSU mustered just 219 yards of offense in a 16-6 win over the Cardinals.
If FSU made the College Football Playoff, Rodemaker would have been back in the lineup by the bowl game. He is expected to start the Orange Bowl after a month to recover. However, it was not enough for the CFP Committee to give him the benefit of the doubt.
"I'm hurting for our players who have displayed a tremendous amount of resilience and response this season," Norvell said. "What happened today goes against everything that is true and right in college football. A team that overcame tremendous adversity and found a way to win doing whatever it took on the field was cheated today. It's a sad day for college football. I'm proud of the work we have put in and the players I have the privilege to coach. We have one more opportunity to define this 2023 team in the Orange Bowl, and I believe in how our team will respond."