♦ Georgia faces Texas for first time since 1984 in Sugar Bowl
The College Football Playoff selection committee has spoken: Georgia is not among the four playoff teams and won’t have a chance to play for the national title.
Kirby Smart disagrees. But the Georgia coach said he and his team aren’t going to pout about the opportunity to play Texas in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.
“Look, I’m not crying over spilled milk,” Smart said. “We had our opportunities in WKH $ODEDPD JDPH DQG GLG QRW ¿QLVK DQG did not take advantage of them. I certainly think we’re one of the four best teams in the country, but I also know we’re not in the playoffs and we’ll have an opportunity to do that next year.”
Georgia was oh-so-close to knocking off top-ranked Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game and earning D VSRW LQ WKH &)3¶V IRXU WHDP ¿HOG
Instead, the Bulldogs will settle for an intriguing matchup against the LongKRUQV LQ 1HZ 2UOHDQV ,W¶V WKH ¿UVW WLPH the powerhouse programs have played since squaring off in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2, 1984.
No. 6 Georgia (11-2, 7-1 SEC, No. 5 CFP) is led by D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holy¿HOG DQ LPSUHVVLYH WDQGHP RI UXQQLQJ backs who have combined for nearly 2,000 yards on the ground this season. The Bull- dogs’ only losses were to LSU during the regular season, and the 35-28 loss to the Tide on Saturday.
Smart said he expects his players will bounce back from the emotional loss.
“These kids recover faster than you think they do,” Smart said. “Obviously, there’s disappointment in last night’s result. But there’s also the opportunity to move forward with a young team on a national stage with our fans who follow us to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game.”
No. 14 Texas (9-4, 7-2, No. 15 CFP) enjoyed a breakout regular season and KDV D FKDQFH WR ZLQ JDPHV IRU WKH ¿UVW time since 2009. The Longhorns lost to Oklahoma on Saturday in the Big 12 championship game.