College football’s power five conferences — SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and PAC 12 — are comprised of 64 teams. Only one out of those 64 is undefeated: the Florida State Seminoles.
Though No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, FSU finds itself No. 3 in the College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings, which determine the four teams that will contend for this year’s national championship.
"That doesn’t matter to me," sophomore defensive back Jalen Ramsey said of the committee’s rankings. "Until someone beats us, we’re the No. 1 team in America. We’re still the champs. That’s how it is."
Florida State has won 27 straight games and is 11-0 this season, but trails one-loss teams Alabama and Oregon in the latest CFP rankings — which confuses Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher.
"We’re undefeated," said the fifth-year head coach. "We finish every game. Everybody else in the country has not finished at least one game. We’ve finished every one of them. Isn’t that the object?"
Former Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden is also puzzled by the Seminoles’ No. 3 position and expressed the same sentiments as his successor on his Facebook page last week:
The CFP selection committee has explained the No. 3 ranking by citing (among other things) unconvincing wins by FSU, quality losses by Alabama and Oregon and a statistic ESPN created known as "Game Control" that has Florida State ranked No. 34 in the nation.
Boston College head coach Steve Addazio gave his opinion on FSU and their current ranking situation following his team’s loss to the Seminoles on Saturday.
"Florida State is a hell of a team," Addazio said postgame. "I think we played a hell of a football game against them today is what I think. All I can tell you is this, I’m not here to speak for anybody else, I’ve been in that situation before, when all you hear is everything that you don’t do well enough, yet you’re undefeated. I don’t get all that, I don’t think I ever will.
"The object is to win football games and find a way to win and they have obviously done an unbelievably great job of doing that, that’s what I really look at. They play in a Power 5 conference, I think one of the better Power 5 conferences, and week in and week out they find a way to win. It’s a heck of a football program and a heck of a football team."
The Seminoles have played and beaten seven teams which are ranked top 40 in total defense — Clemson (1), Louisville (7), Miami (15), Boston College (17), Virginia (26), Syracuse (34) and Wake Forest (39). Unlike last season where FSU dominated opponents, this year’s Florida State team has found themselves in a number of close contests — something that has hurt their standings.
"Well, you know, we were downgraded every time we blew someone out last year, so think of the irony of that," FSU QB Jameis Winston said of the criticism last year’s team received regarding their strength of schedule. "If we win the game close, we’re bad, when we blow someone out, we’re bad.
"But the thing is we’re a team, we’re a family at Florida State. What everyone else thinks about us, that’s none of our business, as long as we love each other, as long as we trust in each other and as long as we believe in each other and keep winning football games, I think we’re still going to do what we have to do."