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Why Georgia fans don’t have to worry about the College Football Playoff rankings
On Tuesday night, the first batch of College Football Playoff rankings came out. Your Georgia Bulldogs were ranked No. 6, behind No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 5 Michigan.
Having said all that, none of it should matter to Georgia fans. Thou shouldn’t spend a minute arguing about game control or strength of schedule. Don’t bend your mind into a pretzel thinking about whether or not a one-loss Michigan should be ranked over Georgia. Because it does not and will not matter.
Georgia doesn’t need to impress the playoff committee or make some elaborate pitch. All Georgia needs to do is win. It needs to beat No. 9 Kentucky on Saturday. It needs to beat Auburn next week. Then UMass and Georgia Tech. And then either Alabama or LSU in the SEC Championship game.
If Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs are 12-1 and hoisting the SEC Championship Trophy on the evening of Dec. 1, the day before Selection Sunday for the College Football Playoff, it won’t have to try and make an appearance on Scott Van Pelt’s ESPN show at midnight to pitch why they more deserving than Notre Dame or Ohio State.
If Georgia is 12-1 on Dec. 2, it will have wins over three teams that are currently ranked in the top-15. It will have won a conference that has seven—in other words half of the SEC— teams in the rankings. It’s lone loss, while disappointing, came against a team that is ranked No. 3 in the country right now.
Smart was asked about the College Football Playoff rankings before they came out. The thought of those rankings was so far out of Smart’s mind that he hadn’t even talked to the team about where Georgia might land.
“I’m not curious at all, because we all know the end is what matters,” Smart said on Tuesday night. “Bottom line is pretty much every team that’s in there, if they win, they are in, because a lot of them are going to play each other… I should have talked to our team about that, I didn’t bring it up to them, so who knows what they’ll be thinking tonight,”
Last season Georgia was ranked No. 1 in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. It was great at the time, right up until Georgia got gobsmacked by Auburn. From that point on Georgia had no business worrying about where it was in the rankings. If the Bulldogs didn’t win, they weren’t going to be playing in the Rose Bowl or the National Championship game. In that sense, the Auburn loss was freeing. Georgia just had to win.
It now has to do that again in 2018. And while it’s a different cast of characters, the Bulldogs are going to have the ability to win their way into the College Football Playoff.
Greg McElroy highlights Isaac Nauta as a potential X-factor
There’s a sizable portion of Georgia fans who would like to see tight end Isaac Nauta get the ball more. The junior tight end is a matchup nightmare, as he’s listed at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds and runs like a gazelle. And ESPN analyst Greg McElroy thinks he could be a major problem on Saturday for Kentucky.
McElroy wondered on his SEC Network show, Thinking Out Loud, who for Kentucky is going to be able to cover Nauta?
“The guy I’m curious about is Nauta. Who are they going to cover Nauta with,” McElroy said. “Every quarterback loves their tight end, and Nauta has been playing his best football as of late.”
Nauta had a big game against Florida, as he led the Bulldogs in receiving with 5 catches for 73 yards. Most of his damage came on Georgia’s final drive of the first half, as he caught four consecutive Jake Fromm passes to set them up for a chip-shot field goal. Nauta has emerged as a reliable weapon for Georgia, as he’s amassed at least 40 yards receiving in each of the last three games.
McElroy added that he does favor Georgia in the game against the Wildcats, albeit not as much as others. As of Tuesday night, Georgia is a 9.5-point favorite according to Vegasinsiders.com.
Tune in to Before the Hedges on Wednesday
If you were on Twitter on Wednesday night, you probably saw what DawgNation recruiting reporter Jeff Sentell was doing. He was at the College Football Hall of Fame as a number of Atlanta area recruits were presented their jerseys for the Army All-American game.
The Metro Atlanta area has nine selections in the @19AllAmerican game. Miami has two. The Los Angeles Metro area has five. Says quite a bit about the talent in the ATL. The jersey presentation for those nine takes place at the @cfbhall tonight. pic.twitter.com/mkS4dcC1TU
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) October 30, 2018
Among those being honored were three 5-star recruits from the state of Georgia: receiver Dominick Blaylock (committed to UGA), receiver Jadon Haselwood (recently de-committed from UGA, but still considering the Bulldogs), and defensive end Chris Hinton (committed to Michigan, but recently visited UGA). If you think that Sentell didn’t get some major recruiting nuggets from that trio, well you don’t know Sentell very well.
And if you want to hear just some of the things Sentell learned, you’ll want to tune into Before The Hedges on Wednesday at 3 p.m. on DawgNation’s Facebook, Youtube and Twitter pages. In addition to hearing about Georgia’s major targets, you’ll also get to ask questions to both Sentell and DawgNation Daily host Brandon Adams.
And of course, we’ll talk about the major recruiting news from last week regarding the de-commitment of 5-star running back John Emery Jr. and where Georgia might turn next at running back for the 2019 class.
You’ll get all the recruiting news you could ever ask to receive. So we hope to see you on Before The Hedges on Wednesday.
Best stories from around DawgNation
- Georgia football sophomore WR Jeremiah Holloman providing much-needed boost
- Why Kentucky may come to regret giving Georgia some billboard material
- By the Numbers: UGA still right in middle of Playoff race
- 5-star WR target Jadon Haselwood has changed up his UGA official visit plan
- Georgia football podcast: Hype already building for UGA’s trip to Kentucky
- What the national media had to say about Georgia after beating Florida
- WATCH: The legend of Georgia’s Rodrigo ‘Rec Specs’ Blankenship was born in Kentucky
Dawgs on Twitter
Would love to see Alabama have this 3 game stretch that Georgia is currently in…
@ #3 LSU
@ #11 Florida (Jacksonville)
@ #9 Kentucky pic.twitter.com/Vt4XVnm8wZ
— blakejmorgan (@blakejmorgann) October 31, 2018
Oh god I haven't prepared myself to talk with my child about a Top 10 Kentucky football team.
— Vineyard Dawg (@vineyarddawg) October 30, 2018
— Jacub Easun (@skinnyqb10_pls) October 29, 2018
Our Favorite Dawg. https://t.co/cPYobFZFCA
— Tom Crean (@TomCrean) October 30, 2018
Good Dog of the Day
My goodness. Please don’t send in ghosts. They are very frightening. We only rate dogs. Thank you… 12/10 pic.twitter.com/FPVHjtyPge
— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) October 29, 2018