Georgia won the SEC championship in coach Kirby Smart’s second season leading the program as the Bulldogs rolled over Auburn 28-7 on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
With that conference championship, the Bulldogs also earned a spot in the College Football Playoff for the first time. Georgia earned the No. 3 seed in the playoff and will play second-seeded Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
Both teams are 12-1 entering that game, and Smart reacted to the Bulldogs’ berth into the playoff Sunday.
“It’s great to get Georgia in the CFP, the College Football Playoff, it’s awesome,” Smart said Sunday on ESPN’s selection show. “To go play against another storied program in Oklahoma, I’ve got a tremendous respect for what (Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley) has down out there.”
Georgia will play in the Rose Bowl for the second time — the first time came back in 1943 — and the Bulldogs will play the Sooners for the first time ever.
The Bulldogs claimed their first SEC championship since 2005 with their win over Auburn on Saturday. The game marked the first time Georgia had played in the conference championship game since 2012.
The other playoff semifinal will pit Clemson against Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, also on Jan. 1. The National Championship Game is set for Jan. 8.
Earlier Sunday, Georgia rose three spots to No. 3 in the final coaches poll of the regular season and the final Associated Press poll of the regular season.