ATHENS — Kirby Smart does not care that the Bulldogs likely already have a College Football Playoff berth locked up. Nor is he concerned about possible seeding ramifications that come with the result of Saturday’s game against LSU.
“It’s the next game. For us it’s been about the next one all year,” Smart said. “The great teams worry about the next one more than the last one. That’s what we’re trying to be, is a team that worries more about the next one than the last one.”
Following the win over Georgia Tech, there is some thought out there that Michigan could jump Georgia in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings that drop on Tuesday. The Wolverines picked up a dominant win over previously No. 2 ranked Ohio State.
TCU will likely remain the No. 3 team, while USC has a chance to move from No. 6 to No. 4 following its win over Notre Dame.
All four of those teams are playing in conference championship games this weekend and each is favored. But while Michigan plays an unranked Purdue team, Georgia will play a ranked LSU. TCU plays a Kansas State team that gave it troubles earlier this season, while the Trojans play a team that beat them in Utah.
Beyond the top four, there is intrigue in terms of where Ohio State, Alabama and Tennessee rank. Those teams will be lingering in the No. 5, 6 and 7 spots. Alabama and Tennessee both have multiple losses, while Ohio State got blown out at home this past weekend. Tennessee also has a head-to-head win over Alabama, but the Volunteers are without star quarterback Hendon Hooker after he suffered a season-ending injury.
This will be the penultimate set of rankings, as Sunday’s reveal is the one that actually determines the top four teams in the College Football Playoff. This year’s semifinal games will be played in Atlanta and Phoenix. Should Georgia win this weekend and lock up the No. 1 spot, it would almost certainly elect to play in Atlanta.
The Bulldogs have already won once in Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season, blasting Oregon 49-3 back in the opening game of the season. For Georgia to get a possible third game in the stadium, the Bulldogs will have to take care of business this Saturday against the LSU Tigers.
“We’re worried about winning the SEC championship,” Smart said. “That’s the most important thing on our agenda, is to have an opportunity to do something that rarely gets done.”
Tuesday’s playoff rankings will drop at around 7:15 p.m. ET on ESPN. Saturday’s game against LSU is set for a 4 p.m. ET start and CBS will broadcast the game.
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