The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

NCAA Championship Week – playoffs set

FSU absolutely hosed by committee
Michael Penix Jr. drops back as he looked down the field for an open receiver, Nov. 25, in Seattle, Wash.

Conference champions have all been determined after the latest week of college football and the postseason is being set with each passing day. Fans, media and players alike were all shocked by the College Football Playoff selection as the committee left out an undefeated Power Five Conference champion, an unheard-of notion.

It was and will continue to be a controversial decision, regardless of what happens to the final four teams. 

Big Ten – Michigan vs. Iowa

Thankfully, conferences are moving away from divisions and making the championship game between the two best teams in the conference. It was clear that both Ohio State and Penn State were much better than Iowa. Even Maryland had a strong case. 

In the championship, it was never close. With Jim Harbaugh back, the Wolverines won handily, 26-0, a traditional win where no stats jumped off the page. Iowa had just 155 total yards of offense and never should have been on a championship field, but it served as just a way to bolster Michigan’s resume. 

With their performance, if they had played a team like the Nittany Lions or Buckeyes, it would be hard to envision them winning so easily, especially with a far-from-promising offensive output. If the Wolverines want to get over the mountain and win the National Championship, the offense needs to step up and be able to make plays.

Big 12 – Texas vs. Oklahoma State 

Texas came out swinging in the Big 12 Championship. They dropped 21 points in the opening quarter and did not look back, putting 14 more on the board to close out the half. Halfway through, they led 35-14, even outscoring the Cowboys 14-7 the rest of the way.

Needing a dominant performance and some luck around the league to make the CFP, that is exactly what the Longhorns did. They gained 662 yards of offense while holding Oklahoma State to just 281. Running 31 more plays than their opposition, it looked like Texas was the far better team for all 60 minutes.

Quinn Ewers had 452 yards and four TDs. Keilan Robinson ran the ball four times, ran for 75 yards and scored the ball twice. Two receivers had at least six receptions and 100 yards and the Longhorns had just one punt in the win.

ACC – Florida State vs. Louisville

Win, and you are in. At least, that was the sentiment everyone believed about Florida State. Despite missing their starting QB for the rest of the season, the Seminoles survived the end of the regular season to enter the ACC Championship undefeated. 

Off the back of a dominating defensive performance, as well as 118 yards and a score from Lawrance Toafili on the ground, FSU walked out as a 13-0 ACC Champion. They held Lousiville, a top-15 team, to just 2.7 yards a carry and held them to six points. They proved they are more than a QB, more than a single player.

But the committee did not care. 

SEC – Alabama vs. Georgia 

For 29 straight games, Georgia came in and took care of business. Who else but the Crimson Tide to snap that streak? In a shocker, Alabama won 27-24 and finished their season 12-1 despite losing early in the season to Texas and many times looking like that might not be the only blemish on their record.

Jalen Milroe finished with 192 yards and two TDs and in the past several weeks, has cemented himself in Alabam’s history. After getting benched and earning his starting job back, he has gone undefeated, played much better football, had the fourth-and-goal conversion from the 31 to beat Auburn and is now an SEC Champion QB.

Georgia’s reign is over, Alabama is back on top of the SEC. 

Pac-12 – Washington vs. Oregon 

Despite already beating the Ducks earlier in the year and coming in undefeated, many believed this was where the Huskies’ run would end. Despite the noise, they went into Las Vegas and came out Pac-12 Champions, beating Oregon 34-31.

Michael Penix Jr. did not have a lights-out performance but finished with 319 yards, one TD and one interception. Bo Nix put up a fight, finishing with 239 yards, three TDs and an interception. 

But where UW shocked most was in the trenches. They dominated. Dillon Johnson had 5.4 yards per carry and the defense held Bucky Irving to just 2.2 yards per carry. 

College Football Playoff 

Just one night’s rest after the Conference championships, the CFP committee had a decision to make about which four teams were going to fight for the title. Michigan and Washington were universal locks. Everyone knew they were going to be the top two seeds. 

The final two spots had three teams with strong arguments. 

Florida State – undefeated ACC Champion. 

Alabama – SEC Champion, beat No. 1 Georgia, several top 25 wins. 

Texas – Big 12 Champion, head-to-head win over Alabama on the road. 

To many, it was FSU and one of either Texas or Alabama, with many leaning toward Texas for winning the head-to-head. But in a shocker, FSU was the one team left out, only because they were missing their starting QB.

Luckily, the playoff is expanding in 2024 so this should be less of a problem going forward, but the snubbing of FSU from the playoff was certainly a bad decision.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2023 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.