Where there's controversy, there is sure to be conspiracy. So with the College Football Playoff snubbing undefeated Florida State in favor of Alabama, there was always goiing to be some big conspiracy coming out from the theorists that populate social media.
Like clockwork, one came about.
Blue Blood Bias on X/Twitter focused on screenshot of ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit prior to the final CFP rankings being revealed on the network exclusively. We are told as viewers that no one knows the College Football Playoff rankings or field until its revealed live. However, Herbstreit had a collection of four helmets positioned behind him.
And where a Florida State helmet had previously been in prior weeks in the bottom right slot, an Alabama helmet took its place. As fate would have it, that was the way the Top 4 eventually shook out, leading Blue Blood Bias to assert the conspiracy that Herbstreit already knew FSU would get snubbed.
College Football Playoff conspiracy says Herbstreit knew Florida State would be snubbed
Now time to debunk this.
Yes, Herbstreit did switch the helmets, something we aren't denying. But the ESPN analyst also stated on the broadcast that he believed Alabama would be in over Florida State. Even after that's what happened, he also noted that he thought the Selection Committee made the right decision with their Top 4.
So this isn't some grand conspiracy about helmets and knowledge. Instead, Herbstreit was putting the helmets in the order of what he believed should've been the Top 4 in the College Football Playoff. He just so happened to be correctly predicting the field as well in doing so.
That, of course, doesn't lessen the sting for Seminoles fans. However, Herbie doesn't deserve any of that vitriol. Just because he agreed with the committee doesn't mean that he was part of leaving Florida State out of the field after their perfect season.