Florida State AD Michael Alford Pinpoints Moment He Realized 'Noles Would Be Snubbed From CFP

An unnamed player from Florida State's roster told Alford after the ACC Championship that the team would be left out of the playoffs.
Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA

Over 170 days ago, the College Football world watched on as Florida State Head Coach Mike Norvell stared blankly at the screen while the players in the room around him reacted in a mix of rage and frustration to the news that the Seminoles would not be playing for a national championship. The snub came as a surprise to the undefeated, conference champion ‘Noles, who were confident that they had done enough in the ACCCG to impress the committee. Nearly 6 months later, many are still coming to terms with the unprecedented decision, including Florida State University Athletic Director Michael Alford, who commented on the playoff snub during a recent appearance on the “Dusty and Danny in the Morning” show on Sirius XM.

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When asked about the moment he realized the ‘Noles were going to get left out of the 2023 College Football Playoff, Alford mentions that doubts began to ruminate within the locker room shortly after the conclusion of the ACC Championship Game. “[I’m] walking to the bus out of the locker room with some player that will remain nameless, I’ve got my hat on, I’m ready,” states Alford, “but the conversation between the two of them, and I was just a part of, was one of them saying, ‘We’re not going.’ And the other one saying, ‘What are you talking about?’ And this player, who is no longer with us, going, ‘follow the money. We’re not going to be in. Alabama won, we’re not going.” Alford admitted to blowing the comment off at the time, maintaining that an undefeated, power 5 conference champion had never been left out before and believing that the Seminoles would not be the first. 

It wasn’t until the morning of Selection Sunday when the Florida State AD began to see the signs of potential trouble brewing. "When we went to the selection show, and when I get there and look up and see who’s covering us and see that Marty Smith is in Tuscaloosa, that hit me,” recounted Alford. “We’re not in.” Eventually, he knew his suspicions were confirmed when he saw Texas, who had defeated Alabama earlier in the season, had secured the #3 spot. 

Alford, believing there may have been hints of a narrative pushing an FSU snub in the works even before the election show, went on to make mention of his experience watching the television broadcast of the ACC Championship Game. “I went back and watched that show and listened to the narrative in the broadcast booth, and that alarmed me. I didn’t watch that until afterwards, and I was like, ‘wow, there were some alarming conversations going on during the game.’” 

Since suffering the playoff snub in December, the Florida State athletic program has been increasingly critical of their relationships with the ACC and ESPN, as well. Of course, at the moment, all three parties are engaged in their fair share of lawsuits with one another; a situation that AD Alford goes on to discuss throughout the remainder of the radio show. When asked if he believes Florida State’s relationship with the ACC can be salvaged, Alford states, “We’re going to continue to run out every ground ball…But, times have changed and you can’t look back. You’ve got to look forward and you’ve got to anticipate what changes are coming, and you’ve got to prepare yourself and your institution to be able to adapt quickly and be prepared on the forefront of those changes.” 

For FSU AD Michael Alford’s full interview Danny Kannell and Dusty Dvoracek, click here.

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Dillon Riera


Dillon Riera joined the team in 2022 and contributes in a Content and Writing capacity at NoleGameday.com. Riera graduated from Florida State University in 2021 with a Master's in Sport Management. Connect with Dillon on Twitter @13d_riera.