Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop-shop for football news and views in Georgia. Check in with us every morning of the week for everything you need to know about football, recruiting, basketball and more in Georgia.
Potential extension of college football qualifiers won’t change Georgia football’s end goals
The next stage in the potential expansion of the college football playoffs is expected to begin on Tuesday, as the recent 12-team proposal will be presented to the board. The group, which is meeting in Dallas, will begin soliciting input from student-athletes, coaches and others in the process over the coming weeks and months to discuss the ins and outs of the expansion.
Related: 3 reasons why 12-team college football qualifiers are changing for the better
It seems at this point that a 12-team college football qualifier will more than likely become a reality. It won’t arrive until at least 2023 and whether or not there are 12 participants left, or if the Power 5 conference champions automatically qualify are some of the points that will need to be worked out before the expansion is ratified. .
Georgia would undoubtedly benefit from a 12-team format to enter the pitch. Georgia have reportedly qualified for the college football playoffs in each of the past four seasons using the proposed guidelines. Only Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma can say the same.
The Bulldogs would have three more college football playoff appearances than their current selection in the 2017 season. Penn State is the only school that would have added more potential appearances as the Nittany Lions would also have made the playoff four. times since its inception in 2014.
Making the playoffs is certainly an accomplishment worth celebrating, even though it spans 12 teams. The current pressure created by achieving a four-team playoff is part of the reason why a 12-team format seems likely.
For Georgia however, making the playoffs isn’t a stated goal at the start of every season. Whether the playoffs expand to 12 teams or remain at four, that won’t change as long as Kirby Smart is in charge of the program.
Yes, to win the national title you have to make the college football qualifiers. But in order to accomplish this last task, you must first check other items.
For any SEC team, winning the SEC is one of those prerequisites. In all seven editions of college football playoffs, the SEC winner has advanced to the playoffs. Conversely, only four of the 28 playoff teams qualified for the last four without winning a conference.
If the Bulldogs are to get there, they have to win the SEC East first. During Smart’s tenure in Georgia, the winner of the annual Georgia-Florida battle continued to represent the division in Atlanta.
That’s why Smart is more likely to cite division or conference victory as tangible goals for the Bulldogs.
But even these aren’t likely to be stressed out by Smart during the summer months.
âYou have to be careful when doing things about this,â Smart explained in March. âI realize the level of excellence that has been created here and the expectations. We never shy away from these expectations, but it will not achieve the end goal. “
Related: Winners and losers of the proposed extension of the college football qualifiers
More than anyone, Smart understands Georgia’s expectations. He replaced Mark Richt after a 10-game winning season was no longer deemed sufficient. Smart knows as early as possible that he will have to meet the expectations of the championship, not the playoffs.
At some point, just making the playoffs will no longer be celebrated as it is now. When teams like Clemson, Alabama, and Ohio State start qualifying for the playoffs each season, reaching that point won’t be enough. If a team is at full Andy Dalton and continually loses in their first playoff game, some coaches will end up losing their jobs due to playoff failures.
That’s part of why Smart has a different definition of what Georgia’s end goal should be compared to that of the fan base that roots it.
âThe end goal is to have a net gain in positives and you’re constantly trying to move people out of here, who could be on the negative side and then the positive side to bring in more guys,â Smart said. “By doing this, the end goal is that you get more results, that you can win championships.”
âWe never fear that this is our goal, but it’s not something we have to talk about every day. “
Think how exhausting it must be in the midst of summer practice to hear every day about winning a championship that won’t be played for almost seven months.