Why Kirby Smart thinks Georgia should still be selected for College Football Playoff

ATLANTA — As one would expect, Kirby Smart pivoted quickly to make his case Saturday night on why Georgia football should be in the College Football Playoff.

It came after the No. 1 Bulldogs’ 27-24 loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game and before two other pivotal conference championship games — the ACC and Big Ten — even kicked off.

He quoted the CFP executive director from earlier this week.

“Bill Hancock said, it’s not the most deserving,” Smart said in his postgame press conference in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “He said simply it’s the best four teams. So you’re going to tell me somebody sitting in that committee room doesn’t think that Georgia team (is) one of the best four teams? I don’t know if they’re in the right profession. It’s a really good football team. It’s a really talented football team, it’s a really balanced football team. So they have to make the decision, but it’s the best four teams. That’s critical."

Georgia is now 12-1 heading into Selection Sunday after the two-time reigning national champions saw an SEC record 29-game winning streak snapped by the Crimson Tide, which also is 12-1 and has the best win of any playoff contender, but an early-season loss to Texas.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart walks off the field after the Bulldogs lost the SEC championship game.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart walks off the field after the Bulldogs lost the SEC championship game.

No. 2 Michigan (12-0) entered the Big Ten championship game as heavy favorites against Iowa and won 26-0. So, the Wolverines are in.

No. 3 Washington is considered a lock after going 13-0 and winning the Pac-12 title over Oregon on Friday night.

No. 4 Florida State carried a 12-0 record into the ACC championship game against Louisville on Saturday night but has quarterback injury issues.

Seventh-ranked Texas improved to 12-1 and is the Big 12 champion after routing Oklahoma State on Saturday.,

The four-team playoff field will be announced at 12:15 p.m. ET Sunday on ESPN.

“To go through an SEC schedule, 12 games and to win each and every one, it’s not something easy to do,” quarterback Carson Beck said. “Super proud of the guys. To not finish the way we wanted to and kind of leave the destiny in someone else’s hands rather than us handling it ourselves, that’s hard.

"We fought hard throughout the season and showed we were a really dominant team.”

Smart said the “eye test,” shows Georgia belongs in the field.

“If you look at what we’ve done this season, to go on the road and play some of the teams we beat (Auburn, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt in true road games) and the teams that in the top 20 we were able to beat (Missouri and Ole Miss),” Smart said.

He added “when you talk about the four best teams, watch the game. Go ask NFL talent evaluators, go ask NFL scouts, it’s about the best teams. I have no question we’re one of the four best teams, 100%.”

This article originally appeared on Athens Banner-Herald: Kirby Smart still thinks Georgia should make College Football Playoff