The Florida State Seminoles.

There. I wrote it. Capt. Jason Long, one of my Monday Nite Madness co-hosts, gave me so much undeserved, unnecessary commentary about my column last week. I took my alma mater (University of South Carolina) to task in print for their hideous performance in their most disappointing season in the Steve Spurrier era, along with offering up premature praises for the Dolphins and Steelers. Jason’s beef? I never mentioned Florida State.


That just kinda puts the F right back in WTF.

Those three letters summarize what the honchos behind the NCAA Football Playoffs are probably thinking right now as well. While I long advocated a playoff system that would eliminate the BS – I mean the BCS, I thought an eight-team format would be a cool way to keep the bowls that also incorporates a real competition for the championship. Unfortunately, they didn’t call me for advice, so now we have a four-team playoff. The committee tasked with selecting the Final Four potentially has a hot mess on their hands – a real cluster foxtrot, so to speak.

Several teams control their destiny – all they have to do is win out, and they’re in, Florida State being one of them. Mississippi State, the only other undefeated team in the playoff chase, has its hands full with this weekend’s game against the Crimson Tide of Alabama – not to mention a possible SEC Championship game. FSU’s biggest test comes against the Miami Hurricanes, with oddsmakers giving the Seminoles an almost unthinkable single-point advantage in their prime-time Sun Life Stadium contest.

Add in to the playoff hunt these teams somewhat likely to end the season with an 11-1 record: Oregon, Ohio State, Baylor, Arizona State, and the Horned Frogs of TCU. Still, it is college football, and things can change at the drop of a dime (or a drop of a football on the one-yard line). With a loss, do the Seminoles survive as a playoff contender? Does Mississippi State? And which of the single-loss teams get arbitrarily cast out of the hunt? And will the SEC teams battle themselves right out of the playoffs?

To the NCAA Playoff Committee, I have but three words: good effin’ luck! To Jason Long, I hope you’re happy now. And to football fans, I’ll see you Mondays at Sparky’s Landing in Key Colony Beach each Monday, 7 p.m., for Monday Nite Madness (WFFG-AM 1300).

  • • • • •

Come out and celebrate the City of Marathon’s 15th Birthday, Saturday, Nov. 22 from noon until 5 p.m. at the Marathon Community Park! It’s hard to believe that our Middle Keys City is a decade and a half old already! From that election on Nov. 2, 1999, to the first City Council in February 2000, to our new Council sworn in this past Wednesday, our island City has come a long way. I am honored to have been a part of it all. And there’s going to be a big party! We’ll have loads of family fun and games, contests and prizes, live music, and refreshments – and it’s all free! Come out and celebrate our community!

John Bartus is a singer/songwriter, former Mayor of Marathon, as well as a Chamber Board member and president of the Rotary Club of Marathon. Catch John Thursdays at Sparky’s Landing, and Saturdays at the Key Colony Inn.

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