A Michigan Wolverines fan cheers prior to a game against The Ohio State University in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Saturday, November 25, 2023. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Alabama, Michigan, Texas and Washington will vie for college football's national championship, leaving an undefeated team, Florida State, out of the title game for first time in the modern era.
Texas and Alabama both had one loss on the season, but Florida State went 13-0, including beating two teams in the SEC, considered the toughest conference in college football.
"Leaving Florida State out of the CFP (College Football Playoff) is shocking and shows that selection is based on potential and not performance and that the system is broken," FSU president Richard McCullough wrote in a social media post."
The Seminoles finished fifth in the polls despite going 13-0 and winning an ACC championship Saturday night, relying on their third string quarterback and a defense that recorded 13 sacks and held its opponents to zero or negative yards in the fourth quarter over the last two games. Starting QB Jordan Travis broke his leg earlier in the season and the second string quarterback Tate Rodemaker was out with a concussion.
This year also marks the first time the number one ranked team going into the final game of the season failed to make the four team playoff. Georgia lost to Alabama Saturday 27-24 in the SEC championship game, putting an end to Georgia's 29-game, 728-day winning streak.
That left the Bulldogs with an armchair seat as they watched Alabama get the nod to play for the title and the Bulldogs heading to a consolation game.
The CFP selection committee said Alabama was chosen over FSU for the final spot largely because of Travis' injury and the fact that Alabama finished the season with a win over top-ranked Georgina.
Michigan and Washington, both of whom won their conference championships, were considered strong favorites to be in the CFP based on the strength of their play and their schedules. This is Michigan's third consecutive year in the playoff, while Wahsington has been in only once before, losing in the 2016 semifinal.
While the Longhorns have historically had a strong program and were once perennial contenders for a national college football title, this is the first time Texas has been in the CFP. They move to the SEC next year along with Oklahoma.
Ironically, the Longhorns' (12-1) only loss this season came at the hands of the Sooners in the annual Red River Rivalry. The Longhorns beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa to give the Crimson Tide (12-1) its only loss of the season, notching perhaps the biggest win in recent history for Texas.
"I think in the back of our heads we always knew that if we were going to win the Big 12 championship, that other accolades would probably come with it. So I mean, our bull's-eye now is on a national championship for sure," Longhorn QB Quinn Evers said.
"I'm just glad to be a part of a team that is able to enjoy it that much because they know what it's like to be disregarded at 5-7."
Michigan will face Alabama in the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Prudential, while Washington will play Texas in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Both semifinal games will be played on New Year's Day.
The national title game will be played in Houston a week later.