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ESPN analyst: Politics kept UGA out of college football playoff

ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit went on an epic rant on Tuesday making a strong case that the Georgia Bulldogs should have been included in the College Football Playoff.

It was a given that No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Notre Dame — all undefeated teams — would all hold their spots in the four-team CFB Playoff field.

The debate was over whether No. 4 Georgia (11-2) should hold its spot ahead of Big 12 champ Oklahoma (12-1) and Big Ten champ Ohio State (12-1) after the Bulldogs’ 35-28 loss to the Crimson Tide last Saturday.

- Georgia is left out of playoff | More UGA

Herbstreit made his case on the Paul Finebaum Show on the SEC Network:

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“Who had the toughest strength of schedule? Georgia. Who had the best offensive efficiency? Georgia. Best defensive efficiency? Georgia. Game control? Georgia. Eyeball test? Georgia. What’s left?”

Herbstreit concluded that the 13-member committee, chaired by Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens, had let down college football by allowing politics to affect their decision as to who the best four teams are.

“It’s the first time the committee let the politics of the conferences, the Power 5 conferences and their commissioners, and having to face them, they finally let them affect doing the right thing.”

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The committee added six new members this year:

• Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione

• Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin

• Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury.

• Paola Boivin, Professor, Arizona State, former sportswriter

• Ken Hatfield, former head coach

• Ronnie Lott, Former NFL and college player, USC

Carryover members of the committee:

• Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith

• Frank Beamer, former Virginia Tech coach, CFB Hall of Famer

• Jeff Bower, former Southern Miss coach

• Herb Deromedi, former Central Michigan coach

• Chris Howard, President, Robert Morris University

• Bobby Johnson, former Vanderbilt head coach

• Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens

Mullens acknowledged there was great debate, but there was no transparency as to who said what.

“There was a lot of debate about Oklahoma, Georgia and Ohio State,” Mullens said. “The debate was deep, details and occasionally contentious. There was division. I can report to you that different people in the room made a case for a variety of different outcomes.”

Herbstreit said he believes the committee, in their hearts, “had to know Georgia is one of the best four teams” and left the Bulldogs out, anyway.

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