Mike Norvell’s team at Florida State is built on elite transfers, but now he’ll have to rely on one of the first high school players he recruited to Tallahassee to carry his team to the College Football Playoff. Transfer quarterback Jordan Travis suffered a season-ending leg injury against North Alabama in Week 12 and on Tuesday night the Seminoles fell out of the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings.
CFP committee chairman Boo Corrigan said that the injury to Travis had “no impact” on the decision to move the Washington Huskies to No. 4 and drop FSU to No. 5 ahead of Week 13. The injury certainly will have an impact on Mike Norvell’s team, now led by redshirt junior Tate Rodemaker, but the drop in the rankings won’t.
“The number that’s in front of our name doesn’t matter a whole lot right now.” Norvell said, “It’s what we do with the opportunity. How we go out there, how we compete, how we play.”
Norvell joined the CFP rankings release on ESPN and told Joey Galloway that he has “not talked to his team about rankings at any point this year.”
The fourth-year head coach of the Seminoles has his sights set on the Florida Gators this Saturday and then the ACC Championship game against the Louisville Cardinals. Louisville checked in at No. 10 in the CFP rankings this week after a road win over Miami.
It’s not that the Seminoles aren’t focused on getting into the College Football Playoff. Norvell realizes that the committee has never left out an undefeated Power 5 conference champion, and they probably won’t even in this year’s crowded field.
“I’ve got all the confidence in the world that if we take care of our business and we do the things necessary when we need the rankings to matter we’ll be right in position to be able to compete for a national championship.”
The first-ever College Football Playoff was won by a team with a backup quarterback. Back in 2015, Ohio State lost JT Barrett to an injury, but still nabbed the fourth spot in the CFP rankings and upset Alabama and Oregon behind Cardale Jones, to win the national championship.
Maybe the final four-team CFP will be won by another backup QB. Tate Rodemaker went 13/23 passing for 217 yards and two touchdowns against North Alabama, in relief of Travis. Rodemaker has only attempted 93 passes across his four seasons in Tallahassee.
Norvell said, “Tate has all the tools and qualities that we need to be able to go play at a high level, and I’m excited for him and the opportunity he’s going to get.”