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Florida State got screwed. And the committee got it right.

How can these two statements both be true?

Because. . . the system is broken.

College football has always been intent on deciding things with voting and systems and committees.

That made sense when we were talking about a ``mythological’’ national championship. With dozens of teams playing a small number of games, the only way to determine a champion was for experts to pick.

That’s no longer necessary. It would be very practical to let conference champions play for the national championship.

But no. College football people cling to their roots. Media and coaches’ polls. Computer polls. Strength of schedule. Margin of victory. Best teams. Most deserving teams.

It’s all a bunch of baloney.

Just line ‘em up and play.

Next year’s jump from four teams to 12 teams will sort of address that, by including the conference champions. But it also will open far too many cans of worms.

For one, the regular season—which has been so delightfully crucial—now will be tossed in the dumpster. Ohio State-Michigan, Georgia-Alabama, Oregon-Washington. . . games that decided everything. . . now will go from do-or-die to darn-our-seed-changed.

And meanwhile, the regular season already has taken a giant hit. Florida State, an unbeaten Power 5 conference champion. doesn’t receive a playoff berth? That’s a pretty loud statement about how much the regular season matters.

I understand why Florida State, despite a 13-0 record, got left out. Without its quarterback, it was winning ugly. If you’re forced to subjectively choose the four best teams, the sputtering Seminoles not only get bumped by Texas and Alabama. Georgia and Ohio State are ranked ahead of FSU. Maybe even some others.

Also, Texas and Alabama were joined at the hip by Texas’ September win at Alabama. Terrific win. I don’t put as much stock in it as some people because it was in September, a lifetime ago in the development of a college football team, especially a new quarterback.

But it also meant the committee could not pick the Crimson Tide without taking the Longhorns, the team that beat the Crimson Tide. And it was not going to leave out the SEC champion.

Which was a good decision. As much as I love to see the conference of ``It just means more’’ squirm, whoever emerges from the SEC absolutely deserves a spot in a four-team playoff.

I wish the committee had had the courage to at least stick to its principles. If it was doing a true ranking of the best teams, did it honestly think Florida State was better than Georgia?

` Actually, that question might be answered on the field. The Noles and the Dawgs will meet in a potentially delicious Orange Bowl. I say ``potentially’’ because we don’t know how many players will opt out, to avoid risking injury before they enter the NFL. Which they certainly are entitled to do in the new cash-grabbing world of college football.

Beyond gutting the regular season to chase television dollars, the 12-team will create a whole new vintage of whines. Obviously the 13th team will scream and stomp its foot. Others will gripe about not getting a bye. When teams with byes lose, they’ll moan that the long layoff hurt their chances.

I am also looking forward to the first time Georgia/Alabama/LSU has to play in the snow with a windchill of 12 degrees in Ann Arbor or Columbus.

This is all so avoidable. The eight-team playoff is not perfect. But it comes closest to addressing all the issues. Conference champions are in. Games are played in good weather on New Year’s Day—when people want to watch. No byes. Two or three at-large spots to fill out the bracket and allow for the most deserving runners-up.

Here’s how it might look this year:

No. 1 Michigan (Big Ten) vs. No. 8 Liberty (Group of 5) in the Fiesta Bowl.

No. 2 Washington (Pac-12) vs. No. 7 Ohio State (at-large) in the Rose Bowl.

No. 3 Texas (Big 12) vs. No. 6 Georgia (at-large) in the Cotton Bowl.

No. 4 Alabama (SEC) vs. 5 Florida State (ACC) in the Sugar Bowl.

Winners advance to semi-finals in Miami and Atlanta. National championship in Houston.

While it’s true that Michigan-Ohio State and Alabama-Georgia don’t end up being elimination games, no one knows that at the time. Maybe Oregon nudges ahead of one or the other. And the seeding implications are major.

I say all of this knowing that the eight-team playoff ship has sailed.

To which I say, Innocence Lost. By jumping from four to 12, College Football is crossing over from Broken System to Exploding System. And skipping Best Compromise System.