Florida State’s 59-20 blowout loss to Oregon in the College Football Playoff semifinal shows that it belonged in the Top 4 as much as Bill Gates at an Apple convention—and that an undefeated regular season, even for a Power Five program, shouldn’t mean an automatic playoff berth.
It also proves that, get this, everyone was right when they said TCU deserved to get in. It just so happened that it should have been over the defending national champs and winners of 29 straight—not Ohio State, the team that lost to Virginia Tech in Week 2.
What’s more surprising? the fact that Oregon only scored 18 in the first half, or that people are surprised by this score? #OREvsFSU
— Tyler Waddell (@Tyler_Waddell) January 2, 2015
You see, it shouldn’t have been a surprise to watch Florida State implode in the second half after being down 18-13 through the first 30 minutes of action. The Seminoles had been in this situation nine times before—an alarming stat in itself—so it’d be easy to say that they were a second-half team, but instead of coming back and winning dramatically like they were “supposed to,” they folded and gave up because they realized their opponent wasn’t anything like they’ve seen all year.
With more than 10 minutes to play, ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit provided the eulogy: “Florida State has quit.”
Florida State wasn’t ready; it hadn’t been battle tested. And it by no means had the resume to feel comfortable matching up with Oregon heading into the game.
The ‘Noles won 13 games by an average of 11.8 points per game before their embarrassing playoff debut, including 25- and 40-point wins against The Citadel and Wake Forest.
But that “they just win” mantra and “
game control we didn’t lose” stat can finally be tossed aside, because obviously neither played as a factor versus the Ducks.
Leading up to January, FSU’s best win was a 37-35 squeaker in the ACC Championship Game over a Georgia Tech squad that had struggled with Wofford, Tulane, and Georgia Southern, while losing to both Duke (at home) and North Carolina.
If you put them all together, its opponents average out to rank No. 48, per CBS Sports’ current 1-128 FBS rankings. Excluding The Citadel, they have a 82-69 record, but that’s not what should have been a giant red flag; it’s the fact that Florida State struggled against the inferior and never put together a quality performance.
You also have to include the fact that last season, Jameis Winston played like a Heisman Trophy winner. This season, he played like an average sophomore quarterback that turned the ball over far too often and made some big plays here and there to get his team out of holes that he put it in time and time again throughout the year.
Jameis Winston: “Just be real with yourself right now. We beat ourself.” — John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) January 2, 2015
Jameis Winston, “everyone in this room, let’s be real. This game could have gone either way.” — Matt Prehm (@Prehmmr247) January 2, 2015
Let’s be real. Be real with yourself, FSU fans. Everyone reading this, be real.
Florida State wasn’t Top-4 quality.