2022 Orange Bowl Georgia vs. Florida State Photo Credit: Orange Bowl

This year’s Orange Bowl has already been nicknamed the “Snub Bowl.” It features the Florida State Seminoles and Georgia Bulldogs, two schools controversially overlooked by the College Football Playoff.

Thursday’s scheduled news conference featuring Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and Florida State counterpart Mike Norvell offered an opportunity to build some excitement for the game. Until Wednesday, when bowl organizers suddenly announced Smart and Norvell would not be appearing.

That news fueled all sorts of wild speculation on social media. And that included the inevitable question: “Is Florida State boycotting the bowl?”

Noles247 reporter Brendan Sonnone shot down those “tin-foil hat” theories. He said both Norvell and Smart were unavailable for the news conference portion of this wider VIP event. That means the news conference is canceled, but there will still be a VIP party featuring members of both athletic departments.

“Take the tin-foil hats off. Nothing insidious,” Sonnone posted on X/Twitter. “The Orange Bowl has a VIP event each year, and part of it is a press conference. The scheduled time, during a hectic time of year on the trail, wasn’t conducive to either school’s head coach…and my understanding is the OB just passed on the PC portion of the event. Both programs are going to have representatives at the event in place of the coaches.”

Smart’s and Norvell’s absence does prevent an awkward situation, where reporters almost certainly would have focused on the two teams’ CFP snubs rather than the upcoming game. Florida State became the first team in CFP history to go undefeated and win a Power Five championship, and not make the playoff.

Smart had made an impassioned plea that the Bulldogs belonged in the four-team field. The back-to-back defending national champions had won 29 straight games and were ranked No 1 prior to their loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship.

The Capital One Orange Bowl is set for Dec. 30 at 4 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.

[Tim Reynolds, AP; Photo Credit: Orange Bowl]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.