Charles Barkley criticizes CFP officials’ decision to leave out Florida State


The conversation over whether Florida State should be in the College Football Playoff reached Charles Barkley over the weekend and he backed the Seminoles’ bid.

Florida State finished the season undefeated and won the ACC Championship but to the eyes of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, it wasn’t enough – especially without quarterback Jordan Travis, who was lost for the rest of the year due to an injury.

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Charles Barkley is introduced to the new Phoenix Suns Ring of Honor during the Utah Jazz game at Footprint Center on Oct. 28, 2023, in Phoenix, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Barkley, who appeared on ESPN for the USC-Auburn men’s college basketball game over the weekend, didn’t understand why Florida State was penalized.

“Here’s my problem with the whole thing as a player, they penalize because they lost their starters,” he said, via On3 Sports. “I said, ‘Well, wait a minute, you showed total disrespect to the backups.’ That was my whole problem. Hey, you know how much I love coach Saban and Alabama. I mean, I don’t like Alabama, I like coach Saban. Winning with backups should have gave you brownie points, not penalize you.

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Jordan Travis holds ACC title

Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis a day after having surgery holds the football trophy with his teammates during the ACC Football Championship against the Louisville Cardinals on Dec. 2, 2023, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“If we’re gonna play sports now where it only matters if you’re using your starters, I don’t want to be in that world. They won three games with a backup and another backup. To be honest with you, I’m really looking forward to the playoffs now that I went on my rant. I have zero idea who’s going to win those two games because we got four elite teams and I’m gonna be watching.”

College Football Playoff officials were pressed by Florida lawmakers to give reasons why Florida State didn’t make the Playoff.

Executive director Boo Corrigan wrote a letter to Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., over his concerns. He pointed to two reasons why Florida State wasn’t included.

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“The protocol requires the Committee to take into consideration the unavailability of key players that may affect a team’s performance in the post-season. Simply put, Florida State is not the same team without its star quarterback. This caused the Committee to believe that there were indeed four teams that should rank higher than FSU.

Trey Benson scores a touchdown

Trey Benson of the Florida State Seminoles scores a touchdown against the Miami Hurricanes at Doak Campbell Stadium on Nov. 11, 2023, in Tallahassee. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

“FSU’s strength of schedule was not as strong as the four teams that were ranked ahead of them. As I’m sure you are aware, strength of schedule is a key metric the Committee takes into consideration. If being undefeated without regard to a team’s strength of schedule was part of our protocol, other universities with undefeated records would have routinely been considered for the Playoff. There have been eight, counting Florida State, undefeated teams that did not make the Playoff. While this is the first year from a so-called (Power 5) Conference, strength of schedule remains a crucial factor.”

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Florida State will play Georgia in the Orange Bowl instead.

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