Kirby Smart leaves it to team leaders to discuss No. 1 ranking

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Kirby Smart speaks about the Mississippi State-UGA game. (Photo by Steven Colquitt/UGA)

ATHENS — Kirby Smart had no intention of watching the College Football Playoff rankings show on Tuesday night, nor did he have anything to say to his players about it.

“I haven’t really talked about it, to be honest with you,” Smart said about 45 minutes before the ESPN show was to be nationally televised. “The leadership group kind of handles it and they do a good job of addressing it with the players and relay the message that needs to be taught. We don’t really get into it.”

The Bulldogs were indeed ranked No. 1 in the first CFP rankings of the season. Alabama was second, Notre Dame — which Georgia beat in Week 2 — was third, and defending national champion Clemson was fourth.

All week, Smart has maintained it doesn’t matter at this point, therefore he ignores it.

“I’m working on South Carolina; I’m not going to watch it,” Smart said. “I’m going to be here till 11 watching tape on South Carolina.”

UGA coaches and players appoint a council of team leaders at the beginning of each season. The leadership committee is made up mostly seniors and some juniors and players that either lead on the field or in the locker room.

It didn’t sound as though the players were going to have a chance to watch the show. Those that came for interviews after practice said they either had meetings or study hall to attend, which just happened to be during the broadcast window.

“Rankings don’t matter to me,” defensive end David Marshall said. “I’m just worried about the season and who we play next.” Asked if he was curious where the Dogs might be, Marshall chuckled. “Nope.”

Said sophomore Tyrique McGhee: “I’m blocking out all that stuff and staying focused on the main goal. It’s not about the race. Just staying focused and coming in ready to work is the mentality that we have.”


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