Jets’ Jermaine Johnson blasts CFP for snubbing Florida State


Florida State’s exclusion from the College Football Playoff left alumnus Jermaine Johnson questioning everything he knows about the nature of competition.

The Jets defensive end sounded off Monday, one day after the Seminoles (13-0) became the first-ever undefeated Power Five conference champion to be left out of the four-team tournament, making room for one-loss Texas and one-loss Alabama to join unbeatens Michigan and Washington.

In Johnson’s eyes, the selection committee sent an “F’d up” message.

“I think it’s bad for the sport to not put those guys in the playoff, and I’m not just speaking as a salty alum,” Johnson said. “Since we’re kids, we’re taught [to] win. That’s why you prepare week-in, week-out, to win. That’s the most important thing. When you tell a group of young men that, ‘All you did is win, you didn’t lose and you still don’t get rewarded,’ what do you say after that? What else is there to chase?”

Johnson was a first-round draft pick out of Florida State in 2022 and remains close with many of the program’s players and coaches who were left stunned.

Jets pass rusher Jermaine Johnson isn't happy with Florida State being left out of the College Football Playoff.
Jets pass rusher Jermaine Johnson isn’t happy with Florida State being left out of the College Football Playoff. Bill Kostroun for the NY Post

“It almost attacks the epitome and what in essence is football: If winning doesn’t get rewarded, perfection doesn’t rewarded, I’m not quite sure what is then,” Johnson said. “It’s not good for the sport to punish a group of kids that did nothing but win, and to punish a program that did nothing but fight all that adversity and win.

“To turn around and be like, ‘We know you guys won, but in our perspective, you are not one of the four best teams,’ I mean, what makes someone the best is not losing, right? That’s essentially what makes someone the best. So, I think that’s wrong to punish a group of kids, to punish a program, to punish a whole state, a conference, families, everything. There’s a lot on the line, and those guys fight long and hard to get rewarded.”

Jermaine Johnson playing for Florida State in 2021.
Jermaine Johnson playing for Florida State in 2021. Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Johnson’s issue with the selection committee boils down to this: If the season-ending injury suffered by quarterback Jordan Travis on Nov. 18 is what ultimately cost Florida State a berth in the playoff, why were the Seminoles in the top four of the prior week’s rankings, only to be knocked out after their third-string quarterback and a dominant defense led a victory against No. 15 Louisville in the ACC Championship game?

“I think that’s messed up,” Johnson said. “I think they were hoping for Florida State to deal with it themselves and lose so that they didn’t have to make that decision. It’s not good for the sport. It’s not good for the players … It’s just not right. It’s f’d up, to be honest.”

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