May 21, 2024

Florida State is set to go head-to-head with No. 6 Georgia in the 2023 Orange Bowl on December 30, but the excitement is tinged with bitterness for many fans of the program. The College Football Playoff Committee’s historic snub of FSU has caused widespread outrage and bewilderment.

Despite a flawless 13-0 season, culminating in a triumphant 16-6 victory over Louisville in the ACC Championship Game, the Seminoles’ jubilation was abruptly cut short upon learning of their exclusion the following day. Head Coach Mike Norvell addressed the media after Tuesday’s practice in preparation for the Orange Bowl, shedding light on how the team is grappling with the disappointment.

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Norvell acknowledged the challenges, stating, “It’s been challenging. I mean, for all the things that, you know, how the season ended, you basically got 12 hours to celebrate what was an unbelievable accomplishment for this team.” He emphasized the emotional toll of navigating through feelings of disappointment, hurt, frustration, and anger, not only for the 18 to 22-year-old players but also for the 42-year-old coach.

Despite their stellar performance, winning in various facets of the game and clinching the ACC title, the team was understandably upset. Norvell emphasized that the decision was beyond their control, and they remain focused on continuous improvement.

“At the end of the day, you control the things you control. We did everything that we needed to do to win 13 games this season. Now we get an opportunity to go get better. It can’t just be good when it sounds good,” Norvell commented. “But for a group of young men that are having to work through that, it’s probably been the most challenging couple of weeks of coaching I’ve ever had, but it is our reality. So, you work through it and go push and get better.”

Being excluded from what could have been a monumental achievement in college football is undoubtedly infuriating. Norvell acknowledged that he will always harbor feelings about the situation but expressed pride in the team’s overall season.

“I will always have the feelings of what happened. But at the end of the day, I wasn’t in that room, and it wasn’t my choice. So, my beliefs of what it is, I mean, that’s that. But, ultimately, I’m really proud…I’m so proud of what and who this team is and what they represented for 13 weeks of the season.”

For more insights into how the team is navigating this situation and preparing for the game against Georgia, you can refer to Norvell’s full interview below.

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