Skip to content

Smart addresses expanded CFP, expects 'dominance' from Georgia

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Georgia has suffered as many losses as it's won national titles over the last three seasons, but Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart isn't satisfied entering his ninth season with the team.

"I want more than relevance. I want dominance, and we've been more dominant in the last three years," Smart recently told ESPN's Chris Low. "What I don't want are the ebbs and flows or the one-hit wonders you see out there. I don't want any player to leave Georgia without a championship."

He added: "I was brought here to win championships, but the thing I'm proudest of has been the consistency. I look back on Year 1 (when Georgia went 8-5) as a failure and not the standard, but every year after that, we've been right there. Nobody else over that span can say they've finished in the top seven at the very end for seven straight years. You can't find it, not even at Alabama. We missed the damn playoff three times by being No. 5 or No. 6, so those are missed at-bats we would have had in this 12-team playoff. We've been relevant every year but that first one."

Georgia won back-to-back national titles in 2021 and 2022 but failed to make the playoff after suffering its only loss of the season to Alabama in the SEC title game last year. The Bulldogs are 94-16 under Smart, who took over as head coach in 2016.

As Smart and the Bulldogs try to return to the playoffs and remain one of the country's most dominant teams, they'll have to adapt to the College Football Playoff expanding to 12 teams in 2024.

The 48-year-old has an issue with the new playoff format, though.

"The idea of the SEC championship loser, who just fought their ass off to be the second-place team in the best conference in the world, having to turn around and play maybe two weeks later with no bye," Smart said. "If you go through our conference undefeated like we did last year and lose to a team in the SEC championship game, you're going to lose your bye and go play as a 5-seed somewhere? That's crazy."

But Smart said he does think the expanded CFP field will offer a lot of meaningful games to fans.

"It keeps your hopes alive with one loss, maybe two," he added. "A lot of coaches have complained that once they lost a game, their kids just said that they were done. There won't be as much of that. Everybody's fighting for the same thing, and that's the beauty of making those last three or four weeks really, really eventful. I know some people say, 'It devalues the late-season games because you'll know you're in.' Well, there will be more people in the hunt now. So there will be a lot of meaningful games. That team with two losses late in the year that has played a tough schedule is going to be fighting and scratching to earn that 12th spot."

The College Football Playoff is expected to expand to 14 teams beginning in 2026.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox