Florida State’s 37-35 victory over #11 Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game on Saturday night left the inaugural College Football Playoff Selection Committee with no choice but to put it in the first-ever Top 4.
As FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher said post-game, “I don’t have a message to them [the Selection Committee]. There ain’t no decision to be made. The decision just got made.”
The quote proved prophetic as the Seminoles moved up to #3 and will play in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California for the second consecutive year. This time they’ll be taking on the Pac-12 Champion 12-1 #2 Oregon Ducks in the Playoff Semifinal. Florida State remained second in both human polls, behind only Alabama, but ahead of Oregon.
TCU, the big winner last week who inexplicably jumped Florida State to claim the third spot, tumbled all the way to sixth after drubbing Iowa State 55-3.
The up-for-grabs fourth and final spot went to Ohio State, who won the Big Ten Championship by annihilating Wisconsin 59-0. The Buckeyes will play #1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in Atlanta. Both games will be played on January 1st, and the winners will meet in Dallas on January 12th for the national title.
Baylor jumped TCU for the honor of being the first team out at #5. The Big XII’s lack of a clear champion, Baylor’s weak out of conference schedule, and the manner in which Ohio State won the Big Ten were cited by Playoff Committee spokesman Jeff Long as contributing factors to the decision to leave the Big XII on the outside looking in.
Many wondered what direction the Committee would go as awarding Baylor the fourth spot would seem like rewarding a bad out-of-conference schedule, awarding TCU would ignore head-to-head results, and awarding Ohio State the spot would be ignoring their bad loss to Virginia Tech to open the season.
Florida State has now won 29 games in a row and 46 of their last 49, three-peating as ACC champions.