Former President Donald Trump blamed his 2024 Republican presidential primary rival, Gov. Ron DeSantis, for Florida State football’s controversial exclusion from the College Football Playoff.
In a post on his Truth Social account, Trump implied that DeSantis did a poor job lobbying the College Football Playoff Committee to include the undefeated Seminoles.
“Florida State was treated very badly by the ‘Committee.’ They become the first Power Five team to be left out of the College Football Playoffs. Really bad lobbying effort … Lets blame DeSanctimonious!!!” read Trump’s post.
Florida State finished their football season undefeated but were left out of the final playoff in favor of one-loss Alabama and one-loss Texas after their starting quarterback was injured several weeks ago. Florida State’s exclusion was an unprecedented move by the committee that generated a furious response from fans and administrators alike.
Florida State president Richard McCullough blasted the committee’s decision in a press release posted on X:
“Leaving Florida State out of the CFB is shocking and shows that selection is based on potential and not performance and that the system is broken.”
The former president’s tongue-in-cheek assertion that DeSantis should have lobbied for Florida State’s inclusion reflects a complicated college football landscape that frequently involves politics.
Earlier this year, former President George W. Bush lobbied the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) to extend an invitation to Southern Methodist University. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who previously served a stint on the College Football Playoff Committee, also lobbied for her alma mater, Stanford, to receive an invite from the ACC, according to FanNation.
When the Big 12 Conference was formed from the remnant of the Southwestern Conference in the 1990s, Texas Gov. Ann Richards was seen as largely responsible for Baylor University’s inclusion in the conference even as SMU, TCU, and Houston were left out.
Despite the controversy, Texans have plenty to look forward to as the Texas Longhorns benefitted from Florida State’s exclusion. Texas will play Washington in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day to decide who will appear in the national championship game being hosted in Houston.