ATHENS — Kirby Smart didn’t prepare his Georgia football players for the release of the College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday night.
But, Smart said, “the older ones heard it all last year.”
Indeed, the Bulldogs went through the process last season, as they were ranked No. 1 in the initial 2017 College Football Playoff rankings.
This year it’s Alabama on the pole position, followed by No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 5 Michigan and then the Bulldogs are at No. 6.
Smart, himself, said he had little interest at this stage of the process.
“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.”
Smart was so wrapped up preparing for the decisive game for the SEC East Division title — at No. 9 Kentucky at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday — that he forgot the CFB rankings were coming out.
“It doesn’t matter, it really has no effect at all,” Smart said. “What matters is how you play, if you want to impress those guys, go play well.”
Still, Smart would have liked to have prepared his freshman players– the No. 1-ranked signing class — for the social media blitz accompanying Tuesday night’s release of the rankings.
“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,” Smart said with a chuckle.
Smart said he’d have told his players to “be wary of the postings and the hype, and all the stuff that’s involved with it, it’s really just a distraction …. I know all of them will see it and pay attention to it and be on their phones looking at it.”
Georgia was coming off a win over Florida when last year’s ratings came out, too, and it held the No. 1 spot the following week by beating South Carolina before falling at Auburn.
“If you get caught up in it (the rankings),” Smart said, “you’ll fall pretty quick.”
Redshirt junior linebacker Tae Crowder is following his head coach’s directions from 2017.
“We try to just stay away from it, we don’t really pay attention to the rankings, I don’t try to get in to all that,” Crowder said. “We keep up, but we try not to watch it or just stay away from it. We just don’t want to get into all that.”
Initial College Football Playoff rankings
1. Alabama (8-0)
2. Clemson (8-0)
3. LSU (7-1)
4. Notre Dame (8-0)
5. Michigan (7-1)
6. Georgia (7-1)
7. Oklahoma (7-1)
8. Washington State (7-1)
9. Kentucky (7-1)
10. Ohio State (7-1)
11. Florida (6-2)
12 UCF (7-0)
13. West Virginia (6-1)
14. Penn State (6-2)
16 Iowa (6-2)
17 Texas (6-2)
18 Miss State (5-3)
19. Syracuse (6-2)
20. Texas A&M (5-3)
21. North Carolina State (5-2)
22. Boston College (6-2)
23. Fresno State (7-1)
24. Iowa State (4-3)
25. Virginia (6-2)
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