‘No rational person or college football fan can look at this situation and not question the result’
College Football Playoff is facing an antitrust investigation from Florida officials after it excluded Florida State University’s undefeated football team from the post-season tournament.
The decision came after star quarterback Jordan Travis “suffered a season-ending leg injury in mid-November,” according to Politico.
The CFP committee selected four teams for the playoffs, including the University of Texas-Austin and the University of Alabama, who both had a loss this season. The other teams are undefeated University of Washington and undefeated University of Michigan. The two playoff games on New Year’s Day will determine who faces off for the national championship.
“My Office is launching an investigation to examine if the Committee was involved in any anticompetitive conduct. As it stands, the Committee’s decision reeks of partiality, so we are demanding answers—not only for FSU, but for all schools, teams and fans of college football,” Attorney General Ashley Moody stated in a news release.
“In Florida, merit matters. If it’s attention they were looking for, the Committee certainly has our attention now,” Moody stated.
She said in the accompanying video she does not expect to change the decision but wants to effect change for the future.
Moody referenced her allegiance to FSU’s rival, the University of Florida, in her statement on the investigation. “I’m a lifelong Gator, but I’m also the Florida Attorney General, and I know injustice when I see it. No rational person or college football fan can look at this situation and not question the result,” the state’s top law enforcement officer stated. “The NCAA, conferences, and the College Football Playoff Committee are subject to antitrust laws.”
The state university will be harmed by its exclusion from the national championship competition.
“Since the beginning of the Bowl Championship Series in 1998, the Seminoles are the first undefeated power-five team in 25 seasons to be denied the opportunity to play in the national championship game or playoff over teams with a loss,” her office stated in its news release. “It is estimated that FSU’s omission into the CFP will cost the school and the ACC millions of dollars.”
The attorney general’s office demanded documents relating to the vote, discussions, and recusals. U.S. Senator Rick Scott has also demanded information on the decision.
College Football Playoff Executive Director Bill Hancock said he will respond to the inquiry but had not received information on it yet.
“We will carefully review this demand for information, but it sure seems to be an overly aggressive reaction to a college football ranking in which some fans somewhere were bound to be disappointed,” Hancock said, as reported by ESPN on Tuesday.
“Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was requesting $1 million to be set aside for Florida State to sue the committee if it chooses,” ESPN also reported.