ATHENS — Georgia and Florida State head to the Orange Bowl with plenty of conviction and something to prove.

The teams will meet in the popular New Year’s 6 bowl game at 4 p.m. on Dec. 30 in Miami Gardens, Fla., looking to make a statement.

The Bulldogs can prove their championship value by taking down an unbeaten Power 5 opponent, while the Seminoles have a chance to beat a two-time defending champ that will be closer to full health at the end of the month than they were this weekend.

“I believe in this team, I believe in what they can do,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said leading up to the CFP selection show. “They showed up every single week and won. So I don’t really care what everyone else’s opinion’s are.

“Whatever the next opportunity it, I promise we’ll show up.”

The Bulldogs (12-1) and Seminoles (13-0) have resumes worthy of making the four-team CFP field any other year but were left out on selection Sunday.

When the dust settled on the controversial selection process, Michigan was ranked No. 1 and will play No. 4 Alabama in the Rose Bowl, and Washington was No. 2 and slated to play No. 3 Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

Georgia, ranked No. 6, had won 29 in a row before a narrow 27-24 SEC Championship Game loss to Alabama on Saturday.

These Bulldogs actually brought a better resume to the table than the 2021 version that made the CFP field after a 41-24 loss in the SEC title game to the Bryce Young-led version of the Tide.

Georgia became the first No. 1-ranked team in the nine-year history of the four-team CFP to fall out of the Top 4 on the final weekend.

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The Bulldogs senior class has a chance to establish itself as the winningest in school history, currently sitting on a 49-win mark (49-3) that matches the 2022 class (49-5).

The Seminoles were also on the wrong side of history on Saturday as the first undefeated Power 5 team to be excluded from the four-team CFP field.

A combination of transitive properties and schedule strength did in the Bulldogs, the loss to Alabama coupled with the Tide’s loss to No. 3 Texas earlier this season providing too much to overcome.

Florida State, meanwhile, was left out on account of the team losing star quarterback Jordan Travis to injury three weeks ago.

“I think in looking at it, that was the decision was Alabama at four, Florida State is a different team than they were through the first 11 weeks,” CFP chairman Boo Corrigan said on Sunday. “As you look at who they are as a team without Jordan Davis, without the offensive dynamic he brings to it, they are a different team.

“One of the questions we do ask, from a coaching standpoint, who do you want to play, who do you not want to play.”

It’s a sure bet Florida State will want to prove it was done wrong by beating the defending champs, something only Alabama has done (twice) over Georgia’s past 47 games and 3 1/2 seasons.