Georgia football discussed by ESPN after the 16-6 win over Kentucky

Georgia is 11-0, No. 1 in the AP Top 25, No. 1 in the Coaches Poll, No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings, and coming off a 16-6 road win over Kentucky. ESPN touched on the Bulldogs this week, including its latest predictions for the College Football Playoff. Georgia, Ohio State, and TCU got all 12 votes, with Michigan getting 11 votes, and USC getting one vote. Georgia was the No. 1 seed on all 12 ballots.

In the latest bowl projections, Kyle Bonagura and Mark Schlabach now both project Georgia to the CFP Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against USC. Both have Georgia taking on Ohio State in the CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T.

Bonagura: Without accounting for possible upsets over the next couple of weeks, the top three teams are straightforward: Georgia, the Ohio State/Michigan winner and TCU.

Schlabach: None of the top CFP contenders looked great Saturday. Georgia won 16-6 at Kentucky and had just 116 passing yards. Ohio State won 43-30 at Maryland, which had 402 yards of offense. Michigan kicked three field goals in the fourth quarter and held off Illinois 19-17 on Jake Moody’s 35-yarder with nine seconds left. TCU came from behind, again, and knocked off Baylor 29-28 on the road on Griffin Kell’s 40-yard field goal as time expired. And USC edged rival UCLA 48-45 on the road to reach the Pac-12 championship game.

None of the top contenders were particularly dominant, but at this time of the year, it’s about surviving and not style points. I’ll stick with my top four of Georgia, Ohio State, TCU and USC. I’m picking the Buckeyes to defeat the Wolverines at home Saturday.

Bill Connelly’s updated SP+ rankings have Georgia still at No. 1. He discussed the CFP hierarchy here:

With those knowns in mind, here’s a hypothetical hierarchy of teams and the résumés that might exist two weeks from now:

1. 13-0 Georgia (SEC champion)
2. 13-0 Big Ten champion (Ohio State or Michigan)
3. 13-0 TCU (Big 12 champion)

This is very straight-forward. It’s also where the straight-forwardness ends. Here’s my best guess for what comes next.

4. Georgia 12-1 (SEC runner-up)
5. Ohio State 12-1 (Big Ten runner-up)
6. LSU 11-2 (SEC champ)
7. Michigan 12-1 (Big Ten runner-up)
8. Ohio State 11-1
9. USC 12-1 (Pac-12 champ)
10. Clemson 12-1 (ACC champ)
11. Michigan 11-1
12. TCU 12-1 (Big 12 runner-up)

One has to figure that, barring a loss to Georgia Tech this weekend — which I’m going to boldly proclaim as “unlikely” — Georgia is in no matter what. 

In the AP Top 25 reaction, ESPN said of Georgia:

The SEC part of the regular season is over for Georgia, as the Dawgs return home to face in-state rival Georgia Tech on Saturday. Georgia will be a huge favorite in the game and will look to be much more polished on offense, particularly when it comes to finishing drives, than it was in the 16-6 win over Kentucky. A win over Georgia Tech would likely lock up a spot in the College Football Playoff for Georgia even if it were to lose to LSU on Dec. 3 in the SEC championship game. –Chris Low

Georgia remains No. 1 in the ESPN Power Rankings after Week 12.

Kentucky’s defense came to play and made this one a lot closer than most expected, but the heavily favored Dawgs were able to grind it out for a 16-6 win on the road. Georgia struggled to score touchdowns in the red zone and had to settle for three short field goals. Kenny McIntosh was the main cog in Georgia’s offense with 143 rushing yards, including a 9-yard touchdown. A couple of different times in the game, Georgiahad problems converting on short-yardage situations. Nonetheless, the Dawgs won their 26th straight regular-season game and completed an unbeaten 8-0 season in the SEC for a second straight year. Only two other schools have done that in the past 40 years — Alabama (2008-09) and Florida (1995-96). –Chris Low

The Dawgs are now preparing to host Georgia Tech on Saturday, Nov. 26. Kickoff is set for Noon ET and the game will be televised by ESPN.

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