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Playoff committee 'made the right decisions' over FSU exclusion, director says

Florida State coach Mike Norvell watches on the sideline
Erik Verduzco
/
AP
Florida State coach Mike Norvell watches during the second half of the team's Atlantic Coast Conference championship NCAA college football game against Louisville, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C.

Bill Hancock says he empathizes with FSU fans, but said "fans somewhere would be disappointed" over the selection process.

College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock responded Friday to Florida lawmakers seeking “full transparency” as to why Florida State was left out of the playoff by saying committee members “are confident they made the right decisions in ranking the best four teams in the country based on the protocol.”

In a letter to U.S. Sen. Rick Scott and other Florida congressmen, Hancock said the decision to drop Florida State from fourth to fifth — behind Michigan, Washington, Texas and Alabama — was made mostly because star quarterback Jordan Travis’ season-ending leg injury “caused the committee to believe that there were indeed four teams that should rank higher than FSU.”

Hancock added that the Seminoles' strength of schedule didn't stack up to the those ranked ahead of them despite wins against LSU, Clemson, Duke, Miami and Florida.

“Everyone on the Committee understands the disappointment felt by Florida State fans,” Hancock wrote. “We recognize that no matter what decision was made, fans somewhere would be disappointed. ... The Committee members are confident they made the right decisions in ranking the best four teams in the country based on the protocol and we all look forward to great playoff games.”

Earlier this week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said she planned to launch an investigation into the committee and its actions.

Her statement came more than a week after Florida State was left out of the playoff despite finishing the regular season 13-0 and followed Scott's letter to CFP committee chairman Boo Corrigan that demanded the votes of each member on the committee as well as notes, recordings, emails, texts and written communication between the committee and a host of others, including the Southeastern Conference and TV partner ESPN.

Hancock did not include that information in his response.