Danny Kanell dishes on CFP, Florida State snub: ‘Not a true playoff’

Florida State being left out of the College Football Playoff is still a major topic of conversation around the sport.

The Seminoles went 13-0 during the 2023 college football season, won the ACC title, and was not selected as one of the four teams that get to compete for the national title.

The Florida State Seminoles celebrate after defeating the Louisville Cardinals in the ACC Championship at Bank of America Stadium on December 2, 2023, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

Florida State became the first undefeated Power 5 conference champion to miss out on the CFP, which set up a massive debate among those who cover and watch the sport.


Danny Kanell, who played quarterback at Florida State and now co-hosts a show on SiriusXM Radio, joined OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich” on Thursday and discussed the snub.

“I thought time would heal all wounds because I was p—ed off,” Kanell said. “When Florida State got left out, I was p—ed off. I thought ‘Bama should have been the team that was left out. I thought there should have been a debate between Texas and Alabama. It turns out, Texas was just in. They weren’t even in the discussion. It came down to Florida State and Alabama. So, I was p—ed off when I found out about it.”

Kanell told Dakich of a recent celebrity golf tournament he played in where a heckler razzed him about Florida State after a missed putt, forcing him to be reminded of the snub.

“I miss a putt and it lips out. Almost goes in. Just left out,” Kanell said. “And this heckler from the crowd goes, ‘Just like Florida State to be left out.’”


Florida State plays against Louisville

Lawrance Toafili #9 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrates with the team after scoring a touchdown against the Louisville Cardinals during the ACC Championship, Dec. 2, 2023, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

The reasoning provided by the CFP committee to give Alabama the nod over Florida State has created controversy for weeks, with the CFP citing the season-ending injury to Jordan Travis as to why the Seminoles were not one of the four best teams in the country. 

“Florida State is a different team without Jordan Travis,” CFP selection committee chair Boo Corrigan said. “One of the things we do consider is player availability, and our job is to rank the best teams, and in the final decision looking at that, it was Alabama at 4 and Florida State at 5.”

Kanell told Dakich that the committee’s criteria are designed so that they can use whatever they want to determine the four playoff teams.

“The system is so incredibly flawed. … It’s not a playoff. It’s an invitational,” Kanell said. “I’ll start with that. And I think that’s been one thing that most college football fans have learned. It’s not a true playoff. It’s an invitational. And they only give out four invitations to whoever they want to. And they have a criteria that is designed where you can really use and tweak whatever reasoning you want and justify whatever teams you want.”

Jordan Travis holds ACC title

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, a day after having surgery, holds the trophy with his teammates after the ACC Championship, Dec. 2, 2023, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


“So, if you want to go like Bill Hancock [CFP executive director] did and say, ‘Our system is designed to find the four best teams, and we don’t think Florida State without Jordan Travis is one of the four best teams,’ he can say, ‘Look, it says this right here on our criteria’ and he can leave them out. He can reference the strength of the schedule, which he did when he wrote back to Florida State, and said, ‘Look, their strength of schedule wasn’t as strong as these other teams,’” Kanell continued.

“So, yes, I’m mad. I’m irritated. I think Florida State got the shaft, but every single year one team has gotten robbed, I think. It just happened to be the last year of this four teams, that the most egregious example of a worthy team was my alma mater in Florida State getting left out.”

The CFP semifinals are to be played on New Year’s Day.

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