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#pounditThursday, February 22, 2024

Kirby Smart makes his case for Georgia to make CFP

Kirby Smart on a headset

Sep 23, 2023; Athens, Georgia, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart reacts against the UAB Blazers in the first half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia took one on the chin Saturday when they lost to Alabama. But Georgia head coach Kirby Smart doesn’t think it was a knockout blow to his team’s College Football Playoff hopes just yet.

The Bulldogs lost to the Crimson Tide 27-24 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga. in the SEC Championship Game.

Georgia came into the conference title game ranked No. 1 in the country and would have been all but guaranteed a spot in the playoff with a win. Instead, the result has left Georgia potentially on the outside looking in.

Smart made his best case for Georgia to still be included in the College Football Playoff. The Bulldogs coach pointed to a recent statement from CFP director Bill Hancock about how it’s the “best” and not the “most deserving” teams that are selected to make the final four.

“Bill Hancock said it’s not the most deserving. It’s the best four teams,” Smart said during his postgame interview with CBS. “If [Georgia isn’t] one of the best four teams out there … I don’t believe any man or woman sitting on that committee doesn’t believe that’s one of the best four teams … that was No. 1 coming into it.”

Georgia remained No. 1 in the AP poll throughout the entire season. After two consecutive national titles, the Bulldogs were once again regarded as the best team in college football for most of the campaign.

Smart believes that despite the loss to Alabama, Georgia’s body of work earlier in the season should still get them into the CFP.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban virtually made the inverse argument in favor of his team to represent the SEC in the playoff.

But depending on how the final results shake out Saturday, there’s also a scenario where neither team makes it given the success of teams like Washington, Michigan, Texas, and Florida State.

The only guarantee with the College Football Playoff is that its selection committee can’t please everybody.

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