Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized the College Football Playoff committee Tuesday and said he is asking for $1 million in the state’s budget to let Florida State sue the committee over its decision to exclude the team from the Playoff.
DeSantis spoke about the decision at a news conference related to his spending proposal, which calls for a $114.4 billion budget for Florida. DeSantis said his children are Seminoles fans and were not happy with FSU’s exclusion from the Playoff.
“My first-grader, my fifth-grader and my preschooler … they are all ‘noles and they are big-time fans and they do the tomahawk chop and they were not happy,” DeSantis said, according to the Associated Press. “We are going to set aside $1 million and let the chips fall where they may.”
It will be months before a budget is approved, with DeSantis’ recommendation only a suggestion to the Florida Legislature. The group begins its annual session in January to determine a spending plan. Once that plan is agreed upon, DeSantis will be able to veto individual items.
Florida State, which went 13-0 and won the ACC Championship Game, slipped to fifth in Sunday’s final rankings, behind Michigan (13-0), Washington (13-0), Texas (12-1) and Alabama (12-1). The Longhorns and Crimson Tide each moved ahead of FSU after winning the Big 12 and SEC championships, respectively.
FSU lost star quarterback Jordan Travis to a gruesome leg injury suffered in a game against North Alabama on Nov. 18 but went on to win two critical games with backup quarterbacks Tate Rodemaker and Brock Glenn. The committee cited Travis’ injury as a reason for dropping FSU.
“In the eyes of the committee, Florida State is a different team without Jordan Travis,” committee chairman Boo Corrigan said Sunday. “One of the things we do consider is player availability, and our job is to rank the best teams, and in the final decision looking at that, it was Alabama at four and Florida State at five.”
Others besides DeSantis have expressed outrage over the snub, with Florida State football coach Mike Norvell saying he was “disgusted and infuriated” by the committee’s decision Sunday to leave the Seminoles out of the four-team field. FSU is the first undefeated Power 5 conference champion to miss the Playoff.
“What is the point of playing games? Do you tell players it is okay to quit if someone goes down? Do you not play Senior Day for fear of injury? What is the motivation to schedule challenging non-conference games?” Norvell said.
FSU athletic director Michael Alford said the committee “failed college football” with the decision.
Florida State is slated to face Georgia in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.
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