In College Football Playoff’s final year of utilizing a four-team system, it finally spit out a truly unpopular choice.
The CFP’s selection of Alabama—a 12-1 team with several close calls under its belt—over 13-0 Florida State has ruffled feathers across the country. Overnight, the Seminoles and injured quarterback Jordan Travis became a national cause célèbre ahead of their Orange Bowl date with Georgia.
The controversy attracted commentary from across the country, including perhaps America’s most famous living sports media personality: ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith.
"I bet you if Primetime Deion Sanders was that coach, they wouldn’t have gotten left out."
— First Take (@FirstTake) December 4, 2023
“I bet if Prime Time Deion Sanders was the coach, they wouldn’t have gotten left out,” Smith said. “Why do I bring him up? Because if Prime Time had an undefeated team, the sizzle he brings to the sport matters. We want to act like it doesn’t matter, but it matters because it is a business.”
Sanders’s first year at Colorado brought unprecedented attention to a program that had largely been out of the spotlight since its 1990 national championship. Although the banged-up Buffaloes faded as the season drew to a close, the legendary former Florida State defensive back was named SI’s Sportsperson of the Year for his revitalization efforts.
Seminoles coach Mike Norvell, meanwhile, was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award Tuesday.