Kirby Smart: ‘No difference’ for Georgia in wake of No. 4 College Football Playoff ranking
ATHENS — Georgia jumped Alabama in the College Football Playoff Rankings on Tuesday night, but nothing has changed in the Bulldogs’ locker room.
Tailback D’Andre Swift said four weeks ago Georgia would treat the remainder of the season as playoffs.
Coach Kirby Smart echoed that mindset on the SEC Coaches teleconference on Wednesday.
“There’s no difference in this game and the last three, four or five since the South Carolina game,” Smart said, asked by DawgNation if he would mention the potential CFP ramifications of the Auburn game to his players.
“I don’t know that the ramifications have changed,” Smart said. “We’ve got an opportunity to win the East. That’s really our next step is to worry about Auburn and take care of business for this game.”
The No. 4-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1 SEC) play No. 12 Auburn (7-2, 4-2) at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Georgia’s only loss this season came at home on Oct. 12 against an unranked South Carolina team by a 20-17 count in overtime.
Alabama, which is ranked No. 5 in the current CFP rankings, fell at home to No. 1-ranked LSU last Saturday, 46-41.
The CFP Committee said it valued the Bulldogs two wins over Top 20 teams over the Tide’s schedule. Alabama doesn’t have any wins over current Top 25 teams and only one win over an SEC team with a winning record (Texas A&M -3).
“The difference for Georgia being at four was the fact that they have two wins against top-20 teams being Florida and Notre Dame,” CFP Committee Chairman Rob Mullens said on the Tuesday night national teleconference.
“You’re looking at the full resume, so you’re discussing everything. You’re discussing all the wins and the loss, and again, it’s an art, not a science, and that’s why you have 13 members, and everybody shares their perspective on those losses and those wins, and at the end, you put it to a vote.”
The committee noted after the first set of rankings last week that in addition to having a strong defense, the Bulldogs featured and experienced quarterback in Jake Fromm and a talented runner in Swift.
“They are the only FBS team to not give up a rushing touchdown, which is a pretty strong statement,” Mullens said on Nov. 5. “They have an experienced quarterback, and elite running back.”
It was Swift who threw down the gauntlet after the 20-17 loss to South Carolina, speaking passionately about the Bulldogs’ need to pull together and play up to their potential.
“I’m going to address the team today and just tell everybody we need to stick together, we need to be more of a family now than any time, and let them know one loss doesn’t define our season,” Swift said the Monday after the shocking loss to the Gamecocks.
“We need to keep going and treat every game like a playoff game, that’s really what it is,” he said. “We should be one of the best teams in the country on offense, in every aspect, and I think we need to do a better job of playing fast in practice and hopefully see that trickle down to Saturday. We haven’t played a complete game offensively, at all.”
The same could be said as the team heads to Auburn with the season likely on the line.
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