Dotted across twitter by some FSU fans after a 24-7 loss to Alabama was why play Alabama in game 1? QB Deondre Francois may have suffered a serious knee injury too. We hope it’s not so bad. Was it worth it for Florida State to play Alabama?
I think this question is bigger than just FSU/Alabama. There is a large scheduling question here, because we don’t know what the committee would do with a 1 loss champion from a power 5 conference with a second quality OOC loss or do we? Last year gave us a clue though. Penn State won the Big 10 with 1 conference loss. They also lost an OOC game to Pittsburgh. Ohio State got the nod over Penn State even though the Nittany Lions beat Ohio State. Had Penn State not played Pittsburgh they would have made the playoffs. Pittsburgh was an 8-4 team, but they also won at Clemson.
If Florida State was a 1 loss ACC Champion, they would certainly be in the playoffs. So should they be penalized for scheduling up and playing Alabama even though they lost? Watching the game, FSU went toe to toe with Alabama in an evenly matched game. The Noles special teams ultimately cost them the game with some disastrous mistakes, but there’s not any reason to think FSU isn’t a top 10 team still. What if Louisville loses to FSU, finishes 11-1 and FSU goes 10-2 and wins the ACC. Shouldn’t the Noles get in over Louisville? I would think so, but it didn’t work out that way for Penn State last season.
Marquee non-conference games are great for credibility, increased exposure, but in the end do they help or hurt your playoff chances? They answer isn’t all that clear. Florida State is going to be an interesting case study this season. What is clear is Alabama is really really good again.