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Rick Scott, Jimmy Patronis demand transparency in College Football Playoff voting after Florida State snub

Seminoles find bipartisan support among Florida politicians
Rick Scott and Jimmy Patronis during 2018 rally
Posted at 5:11 PM, Dec 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-04 17:36:48-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida lawmakers are posturing for a legal battle with the College Football Playoff selection committee, demanding that its members disclose the voting process that led to Florida State being left out of the four-team postseason tournament.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., on Monday wrote a letter to College Football Playoff selection committee Chairman Boo Coorigan demanding "total transparency … how this decision was reached and what factors may have been at play in reaching this outcome."

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis also demanded on social media that the 13 members of the selection committee voluntarily disclose their votes.

"I'm in conversations with legislators on additional action," Patronis warned. "Playoff committee members should take steps to preserve all documents."

In Scott's letter, the former Florida governor questioned the committee's decision to exclude the Seminoles (13-0) from the playoff despite their undefeated record.

Florida State is the first undefeated Power Five conference champion to be excluded from the playoff since it began during the 2014 season.

"The Committee's decision to remove FSU from playoff contention is also difficult to understand given the Committee's actions in prior years when ranking other undefeated, Power Five conference champions among the top four teams in the nation. While I understand that the Committee considered the tragic, season-ending injury to FSU quarterback Jordan Travis, I am confused as to why this was not a factor in the previous week's rankings. One week ago, the Committee chose to rank FSU as the 4th best team in the nation, moving them up from fifth place following the road-game win in Gainesville against the University of Florida Gators. As you know, the win occurred after Mr. Travis's injury. It's difficult to understand how FSU's next win, over the 14th ranked University of Louisville Cardinals, would reflect poorly on the team and result in a ranking drop and exclusion from the College Football Playoffs (sic)."

Scott then demanded the "listing step" and "ranking step" votes, as well as all emails, text messages and written communication between the College Football Playoff selection committee members.

The issue is a bipartisan one as well. U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., and Florida House Minority Speaker Fentrice Driskell are among those who have been vocal in their opposition to the committee's decision.

Driskell said it was an "insult" that FSU was left out of the College Football Playoff and would support whatever legal action might come of it.

Even former President Donald Trump scrutinized the outcome, saying on Truth Social that Florida State was "treated very badly."