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Why Florida State’s Mike Norvell says Seminoles should be in playoff

“I don’t think there is a conversation. ... This team, they’ve earned it.”
 
FSU football coach Mike Norvell thinks the Florida State Seminoles belong in the College Football Playoff.
FSU football coach Mike Norvell thinks the Florida State Seminoles belong in the College Football Playoff. [ ERIK VERDUZCO | AP ]
Published Dec. 3, 2023|Updated Dec. 3, 2023

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Florida State football coach Mike Norvell didn’t want to lobby for a College Football Playoff bid Friday. He wanted his No. 4 Seminoles’ showing in the ACC championship game to do the talking.

After Saturday night’s 16-6 win over No. 15 Louisville, Norvell changed his tune.

“We’ve got the most Power Five wins over bowl-eligible teams in the country,” Norvell said in the opening statement of his postgame news conference. “This is a team that has been resilient in the way that they have had to overcome, and it shows up in how they play.”

Norvell was passionate about his stance, even by his fiery standards. He pounded the table at least once as university president Richard McCullough nodded in the first row of the auditorium.

So why does FSU deserve one of those four spots, even with star quarterback Jordan Travis out?

“Because this is a real team,” Norvell said. “It’s one that finds a way to win games. Whatever it needs to look like.

“There’s plenty of teams that have talent. There’s plenty of teams that you could sit there and point to a moment here or a moment there, but it’s about getting the win. It’s about making sure that you show up and you do the things necessary to achieve in each situation, and we’ve done that on the road. We’ve done it at home. We’ve done it with a backup quarterback, and now we’ve done it with a true freshman quarterback. This team continues to find ways to make it happen.”

Florida State's Patrick Payton and the rest of the Seminoles' defense starred Saturday.
Florida State's Patrick Payton and the rest of the Seminoles' defense starred Saturday. [ ERIK VERDUZCO | AP ]

Norvell pointed out that an undefeated Power Five champion (like 13-0 FSU) has never been left out in favor of a one-loss team.

“There’s a reason,” Norvell said. “Because you have to earn it on the field. I don’t care how much talent you have. I don’t care what it looks like on a game or in a moment. You’ve got to get it done, and if you have all that ability, well, go finish. That’s what this team has done. This team has showed up week in and week out, and they’ve worked for it.”

Norvell said a trip to the playoff is something “I fully expect to get.” He touted FSU’s non-conference schedule (wins over Florida and LSU, both away from home) and a win at Clemson.

“I don’t think there is a conversation …” Norvell said. “I don’t want to hear about the schedule. Actually, we schedule a tough non-conference. We put ourselves out there, and then you embrace it in how you go about your business. This team, they’ve earned it.”

We’ll find out at 12:15 p.m. whether the playoff selection committee agrees.

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