Kirby Smart says ‘no question’ Georgia is in the College Football Playoff after loss to Alabama


ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia coach Kirby Smart challenged members of the College Football Playoff selection committee to believe what they see when assessing his No. 1 Bulldogs after the end of a 29-game winning streak.

Smart also reminded the committee that in the CFP era, no team at the top of the playoff rankings has been eliminated from the playoffs by losing the conference championship game.

"When you talk about the four best teams, watch the game," Smart said after Georgia. 27-24 loss to No. 8 Alabama Saturday in the Southeastern Conference championship game. “Ask NFL talent evaluators. Go ask NFL scouts. It's about the best teams.”

Smart said he has "no question" Georgia is "one of the best four teams, 100 percent" as he hopes his team still has a chance to become the first team to win in the election era. three straight national titles,

Bulldogs quarterback Carson Beck said it won't be easy to watch the committee announce the four-team playoff field on Sunday.

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“I'm very proud of these guys and obviously coming into this game and not, you know, finishing the way we wanted to and putting the destiny of our team in someone else's hands instead of us handling it ourselves. Leave it, you know, it's tough,” Beck said. “At this point, it's out of our control. And, you know, we fought pretty hard all season long. You know, we showed that, You know, we were a really impressive team.

Beck completed 21 of 29 passes for 243 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. The junior led the Bulldogs on a quick touchdown drive on their first possession, but Georgia remained scoreless the rest of the first half.

Smart, perhaps attempting to impress the playoff committee, said star tight end Brock Bowers and wide receiver Ladd McConkey were unable to practice the past two weeks while battling ankle injuries prior to the game against Alabama.

“This team is really special in how they play and how they compete,” Smart said. "And they've been through a lot."

Smart said CFP executive director Bill Hancock "simply said, 'This is the best four teams in the playoffs.'

“So if you tell me somebody sitting in that committee room doesn't think this Georgia team is one of the best four teams, I don't know if they're in the right profession because it's a really good football team, smart. Said. “This is a really talented football team and a really balanced football team. So, you know, they have to make that decision. But these are the best four teams and that's important."

Smart acknowledged that more than four teams will have a claim to be in the playoffs.

"I think that's what makes it unique," Smart said.

“I think it's an eye test,” Smart said, referencing Georgia's wins over four AP Top 25 teams: Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee.

“I think you look at what we've done this season, getting on the road, playing some on the road, the teams we beat, teams that are in the top 20 that we were able to beat.”

The SEC is the only conference to have at least one team in each of the first nine playoffs, and the league has won six of the nine national titles. The SEC has had at least one team in the championship game in each of the past years.

"Our teams in the playoffs, look what they've done," Smart said. “I mean, you all tell me the records, SEC teams in the playoffs. This is wonderful. I know. Twice, the two of them ended up playing with each other. So we are the best teams, and do we want the best teams?”

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