Georgia lost to Alabama 35-28 in the 2018 SEC Championship game. With Alabama winning, it essentially clinches a spot in the college football playoff. Where does that leave Georgia?
Despite having two losses, the Bulldogs made quite the argument for themselves Saturday night. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart made his case during his post-game press conference as to why Georgia needs to be in the College football playoff.
“Well, it boils down to one thing. Do you want the four best teams in or not? It’s that simple,” Kirby stated. “They [Alabama] sat at home last year and got to go in the game while everybody else is beating each other up, and they had a good football team. Give that coach across the sideline a vote who he doesn’t want to play. He’ll start with us. I promise you. You don’t want to play us. It’s not our decision. It’s their decision. But you’re going to put the four best football teams in.”
Smart continued onto say that he knew what they had and knew they had a talented football team.
“We’ve got a really physical football team. We most definitely have one of the best four teams in the country,” Smart said. “The system is what it is. What happens, happens. These kids out here today, they battled tooth and nail with what is one of the best teams in the country. We did enough to win the game, and we didn’t finish it.
An emotional Jonathan Ledbetter voiced full support for Smart’s opinion.
“I support my coach. We worked hard. We’re here. We showed up, and we played,” Ledbetter said. “They beat us in the end. You can’t say we didn’t go out there and fight. You can’t say we didn’t put it all on the line. You can’t say we’re not one of the best teams in college football. Just watch the tape. If they watch it, they should put it in.”
It wasn’t just Smart that made it a point to say Georgia deserves to be in the hunt still. Alabama’s head coach, Nick Saban pointed out during his opening statements that the Bulldogs are one of the four best.
“I think the other thing is people have to give Georgia a lot of credit. They really played us better than anybody’s played us all year. We played in a game here where we won 32-28 when we played Notre Dame in a National Championship Game, and Georgia was the best team. They were– they deserve to be in the Championship Game,” Saban commented. “Based on the team that we’ve played this year, I think this team deserves to be in the playoff as well. I sure as hell don’t want to play them again, but that’s the best compliment I can give you or give them.”
Saban got the question again later in his press conference, and he elaborated more on his opinion.
“Yes, I think based on what I’ve seen, they’re one of the four best teams in the country. And I also said I don’t want to play them again, which is the ultimate compliment, I think, that I can give them,” Saban noted. “The players play hard. They’re well coached. They’ve got a good system. Look, we’ve got a good football team, and they gave us a lot of problems out there today. If that’s any measure, if you lose by seven points to the No. 1 team, you shouldn’t slip too far.”
Will Georgia be considered as one of the top four teams in the country? Find out Sunday when the committee announces its final four teams.