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Georgia football suffered a loss at LSU, but the Bulldogs still have hopes of winning a national championship this season. Malik Herring is pictured at LSU before the game.

Georgia football odds for title diminish with loss, but Bulldogs control destiny

ATHENS, Ga. — Kirby Smart made it clear Georgia football isn’t ready to go away, even after a 36-16 defeat at LSU that dropped the Bulldogs to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 rankings.

“The message for us is everything we want is in front of us,” Smart said. “The key for us is to move forward. We still have a good football team. We still have an opportunity to do everything we want to do.

“Every opportunity that we had before this game is still in front of us. The margin of error is just smaller. We’ve got to get better.”

The Bulldogs’ odds to win the College Football Playoff championship are sure to drop from where they were last Monday, at 7-to-1 per VegasInsider.

But odds and betting lines aren’t always accurate indicators, as last Saturday’s game in Death Valley proved.

Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) was a 7-point favorite over LSU, largely based on the respect the team earned during its SEC championship season and College Football Playoff title game run of a year ago.

This season’s UGA team has not beat an opponent that’s currently ranked in the Top 25

The Bulldogs lost several key pieces and rank as the youngest team in the SEC with more than two-thirds of the roster (68 percent) freshmen or sophomores.

Still, Georgia controls its own destiny, with showdowns against Florida in Jacksonville on Oct. 27 and at Kentucky on Nov. 3.

“We’re a team, and that we’re going to bounce back from this,” Smart told his team following the loss in Tiger Stadium Saturday night.

“This is very similar to last year (losing at Auburn), we probably played better leading up to our loss last year, I didn’t think we had played as well this year.”

SEC East Division co-leader and No. 11-ranked Florida (6-1, 4-1), like Georgia, has a bye this week.

But upstart Kentucky (5-1, 3-1), ranked No. 14, is in action against Vanderbilt in a 7:30 p.m. game in Lexington.

The Wildcats have opened as an 11 1/2-point favorite over the Commodores, according to VegasInsider.com.

Vanderbilt was a hard-luck loser in Nashville on Saturday to Florida, 37-27.

Kentucky, like Georgia, controls its own destiny having defeat the Gators 27-16 in Week 2.

The Wildcats, whose only SEC defeat came at Texas A&M, play at Missouri on Oct. 27 leading up to their showdown with the Bulldogs.

Here is the line for all of the SEC football games this week:

Vanderbilt at Kentucky (-11 1/2)

Alabama at Tennessee (TBA)

Tulsa at Arkansas (TBA)

Memphis at Missouri (-7)

Auburn (-2 1/2) at Ole Miss

Mississippi State at LSU (-6 1/2)