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Georgia Football

UGA Football coach Kirby Smart Isn't Crying

June 1, 2024

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ATHENS - UGA Football coach Kirby Smart isn’t crying over missing out on the final four-team College Football Playoff. 

"We had our opportunity on the field and that is what you can ask for,” Kirby told reporters Tuesday during the SEC’s annual spring meetings in Destin. “I don't cry over it. I think we had a good football team.”

The Bulldogs lost to Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2023 SEC Championship Game - the loss knocked Georgia out of the College Football Playoff. It appears a single loss won’t keep the Bulldogs (or most other teams) out of the CFP from here on out, however.

The CFP’s expansion to 12 teams means teams ranked as high as the Bulldogs will proceed into the playoff with a chance to win the national title still in tact. 


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“Do I think there are going to be teams in the playoffs with multiple losses? Yes,” Kirby answered. 

In fact, had a 12-team playoff been in place during Kirby’s entire tenure at UGA, the Bulldogs would have only missed one opportunity to play for it all - the 8-5 2016 season that was Kirby’s first in Athens. 

“There were probably three times where we were one of the four best teams, but we didn't earn it on the field. And so the same opportunity is going to present itself - it's just going to be (at) 13, 14 or 15. You guys are going to debate a lot about it, and I'm going to try and make my team better so they're not 13, 14 or 15.”

Georgia went on to destroy No. 5 Florida State 63-3 in the Orange Bowl. It was a chance for the Dawgs to shine on the field… an during the practices leading up to that blowout. 

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“We got to practice 15 more times,” Kirby said. “Got to play some guys. We got to play our backup quarterback. We got the chance to finish off on a win. We had a group of seniors, or juniors in some cases that got drafted that walked off that field for the last time with the winngest record in the history of Georgia football. They felt pretty good about themselves. I really appreciate the way they finished. They set a standard for our younger players that this is the culture here. We go out, and we practice really hard. We go play our games until the games are over.”

The Bulldogs open with Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers in Atlanta on August 31 at Noon. The game will be televised by ABC. The Bulldogs are listed as 13.5-point favorites to win the contest. 

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