So it seems like the College Football Playoff rankings don’t matter to Georgia football head coach Kirby Smart.
Many people thought that Georgia ranked No. 3 in the first CFP rankings of this season, would give Smart and his coaching staff plenty of motivation heading into Saturday’s game against the Tennessee Volunteers. Smart may use this as fuel to fire up the Dawgs internally, but externally he is laser-focused on the job at hand.
Georgia has to be mentally tough to contend with every year, and that is something Smart continues to enforce in this program. During the SEC coaches’ teleconference this week, he clearly stated that these rankings aren’t how they measure success.
Smart knows success is measured by how you play on the field.
Georgia football head coach Kirby Smart doesn’t care for the rankings.
“It doesn’t matter — it really doesn’t matter. It matters how you play,” Smart said during the SEC coaches’ teleconference on Wednesday.
This statement has become a mantra for the current national champions. You only have to listen to the head coach to understand that progress is about mental and physical toughness, hard work, discipline, and a complete focus on the task at hand. No distractions.
"“Focus on things we can control, and we can’t control anything to do with that (the rankings),” Smart said. “All we can control is how we play and that’s the ultimate goal this week — for us to play our best”."
There is no doubt that Smart has one thing and one thing only on his mind, and that is how the team performs against Tennessee this weekend.
Tennessee’s momentum has come from a win over an undisciplined Alabama team and a recent mauling of Kentucky. In both of these occasions, the pace of Tennessee’s offense caught out both defenses, which led to crippling penalties in the case of Alabama and a complete humiliation of a Wildcats team.
Georgia is a disciplined football team that will not give up 17 penalties for 135 yards. It’s also inconceivable to think of a Georgia team that will give up five scores to a wide receiver with little to no coverage. However, these are situations that Smart and his coaching staff will not allow.
Smart has turned Georgia into a focused, disciplined unit that is well-placed to consume the Vols’ offense. While Saturday’s matchup is fascinating, the fans watching must be aware that Tennessee hasn’t faced a Georgia this year rather than the other way around.
Tennessee has also played its big games at home, so coming into Sanford Stadium on Saturday will be a whole new ballgame for this Vols team. Sanford Stadium will be loud. This matchup won’t likely be Georgia’s biggest game of the season, but it will be for Tennessee.