People like Kirk Herbstreit have already labeled FSU football fans conspiracy theorists after the Nole fans bombarded ESPN talking heads when they got snubbed by the College Football Playoff Committee. The committee gave their absurd reasoning behind the decision, but we all know the reason was they wanted an SEC team in the College Football Playoff. That shouldn't have been possible after Georgia lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship, but had already lost a game earlier in the season to Texas. However, Alabama and Nick Saban have a strong history, and Nick Saban's retirement Wednesday began to fuel speculation that was one of the reasons the folks wanted Alabama to make the College Football Playoff. If there were whispers he would retire, what would be better than to give Nick Saban one more chance to add to his legacy in his final season? I wouldn't put it past folks at ESPN and the College Football Committee. More than FSU fans believe it's plausible too:
I'm not sure I buy it, I think it was mostly to get an SEC team in the College Football Playoff. If Georgia had beaten Alabama, I doubt they would have put Texas in front of FSU and then put Alabama in front of the Noles as well, because they had beaten Alabama. However, it would have been a storybook ending for the most accomplished head football coach in college history. I can't give Saban the argument totally for the best because Bobby Bowden built FSU from absolutely nothing when Alabama already had a storied heritage, and Saban only revived it. Plus, the College Football Playoff implementation made it somewhat easier to capture championships compared to when FSU was on their elite run from the late 80s through 2000. Nevertheless, Saban's retirement will set off a domino effect in the industry, and it'll be interesting to see how things look when the dust settles.