Alabama football coach Nick Saban felt a little empathy Sunday after his team clinched a coveted spot in the College Football Playoff while Florida State looked on the outside looking in.
This year’s Selection Sunday caused uproar due to Florida State’s absence. The Seminoles entered third in the standings this weekend and won the ACC title Saturday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, but fell to fifth.
Alabama, on the other hand, was No. 8 and moved up to No. 4, earning it a chance to compete for the national title.
Saban expressed sympathy for FSU and other quality schools that didn’t make the cut Sunday.
“This is just one of those years where — and there have been other years like this — where someone who could have deserved it was left behind,” Saban said Sunday, according to CBS Sports. “Undefeated Florida State certainly did everything they could to make the playoffs. Unfortunately, probably due to their quarterback being injured, we won’t have that opportunity.
Saban was referring to Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis’ season-ending injury a few weeks ago, which essentially turned things around.
The loss of Travis changed the way the College Football Playoff selection committee viewed Florida State’s season.
Now the Seminoles are the first undefeated Power Five conference winners to not have a chance at a national title under the playoff system.
In an article on X earlier today, Travis said he was “devastated” that his injury cost his team so much.
“Sorry,” he wrote. “With so much disbelief (right now), I wish my leg had broken earlier in the season so you all could see that this team is about so much more than just the quarterback. I thought results matter. 13-0 and this list matches any team in these top 4 rankings. I’m so sorry. Go Noles!
The selection committee’s decision drew a harsh response from FSU coach Mike Norvell and athletic director Michael Alford in separate statements.
Even if Saban’s empathy comes from a good place, it probably won’t quell the anger in Tallahassee right now.