Shortly after losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, Georgia coach Kirby Smart began campaigning for the Bulldogs to be in the CFP. Photo Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports Dec 2, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart walks off the field after losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia had an opportunity to lock up its spot in the College Football Playoff on Saturday. But following a loss to Alabama, the Bulldogs are playing the waiting game. Not long after the loss, Georgia coach Kirby Smart began campaigning.

During a postgame interview, Smart was asked to state his team’s case.

He referenced a recent quote from College Football Playoff executive director, Bill Hancock.

“Well, Bill Hancock said, ‘It’s not the most deserving, it’s the best four teams.’ If that ain’t [one of] the best four teams out there…I don’t believe any man or woman sitting on that committee doesn’t believe that that’s not one of the best teams — that was No. 1 coming into it.”

That is indeed something Hancock said well before Saturday’s games. And there’s something to be said for that. In the CFP era, we’ve seen a lot of completely non-competitive blowout games in the semifinals.

At the same time, if “deserving” isn’t an issue, then it’s hard to even figure out why the season needs to be played.

At the time of Smart’s comments, three of the Power Five Conference Championship Games had been played.

On Friday, Washington defeated Oregon to lock up the Pac-12 Championship and finish an undefeated season. Texas routed Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship to finish the season at 12-1. The third, of course, is Alabama’s win over Georgia. That win moved both the Crimson Tide on the Bulldogs to 12-1 on the season, with Alabama being the SEC Champion and Georgia’s only loss. Of course, the Tide’s lone loss came against Texas.

Then, of course, at the time of Smart’s comments, the remaining two Power Five Conference Championship Games, both featuring an undefeated team.

Florida State played a fairly light schedule and has quarterback Jordan Travis out for the remainder of the season. But even if we use that logic to put a one-loss Georgia team ahead of the Seminoles (presuming they win), Michigan is undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the country. There’s no way to keep the Wolverines out if they win the Big 10 Championship Game.

There is only room for four teams in the playoff. Unless Michigan and Florida State both lose, it’s essentially impossible to justify including Georgia. And if the logic that being the most deserving team doesn’t really matter holds true, then the College Football Playoff can be determined by having NFL general managers doing a mock draft in August.

[CBS Sports on Twitter/X]

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