ATHENS ― Georgia head coach Kirby Smart didn’t give a long answer when asked whether he would pay attention to the release of the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night.
“No, not really,” Smart said. “It’s just a matter of how we finish.”
When the first playoff rankings are released on Halloween night, it’s expected that Georgia will be near the top, if not occupying the top spot.
Georgia (8-0) is No. 2 in both the Associated Press media poll and the Amway Coaches poll. Alabama is No. 1 in each poll.
But Georgia could get the top nod on Tuesday night because of its win at Notre Dame, currently in the top 10 of both major polls.
Smart referred to the rankings as a “distraction” when asked how he addressed it with his team, and how from his experience Alabama dealt with it when Smart worked under Nick Saban.
“You talk about rat poison a lot, things like that,” Smart said, grinning. “But we don’t really have to address if you confront it from the beginning. So the rankings that have been coming out to this point, the AP, the same thing, it’s just a distraction. It’s just a matter of who can manage it best and which team’s mature enough to handle it. Because it has zero outcome on performance on Saturday. It’s only a distractive measure that we have to contend with.”
The first playoff rankings will be unveiled in an ESPN that begins broadcasting at 7 p.m. ET. That begins a weekly updated ranking from the playoff committee, which will ultimately pick and rank the four playoff teams the first Sunday in December, the day after the SEC and other championship games.
Georgia is one of five unbeaten teams left at the FBS level, along with Alabama, Wisconsin, Miami and Central Florida.