The Georgia Bulldogs fell to the LSU Tigers Saturday 36-16 in Baton Rouge at Tiger Stadium. Head coach Kirby Smart talks about the game and what got the Bulldogs in trouble early. (Video by Ryon Horne/AJC)

Odds no longer in their favor, Bulldogs still control playoff destiny

Kirby Smart made it clear Georgia football isn’t ready to go away, even after a 36-16 defeat at LSU that dropped the Bulldogs to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 rankings.

“The message for us is everything we want is in front of us,” Smart said. “The key for us is to move forward. We still have a good football team. We still have an opportunity to do everything we want to do.

“Every opportunity that we had before this game is still in front of us. The margin of error is just smaller. We’ve got to get better.”

» Mark Bradley: Is Georgia really that good?

The Bulldogs’ odds to win the College Football Playoff championship are sure to drop from where they were last Monday, at 7-to-1 per VegasInsider.

But odds and betting lines aren’t always accurate indicators, as last Saturday’s game in Death Valley proved.

Georgia (6-1, 4-1 SEC) was a 7-point favorite over LSU, largely based on its SEC championship season and College Football Playoff title game run of a year ago.

This season’s UGA team has yet to beat an opponent currently ranked in the Top 25.

The Bulldogs lost several key pieces and rank as the youngest team in the SEC with more than two-thirds of the roster (68 percent) as underclassmen.

Still, Georgia controls its own destiny, with showdowns against Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., on Oct. 27 (3:30 p.m., CBS; News 95.5 and AM-750 WSB) and at Kentucky on Nov. 3.

“We’re a team, and that we’re going to bounce back from this,” Smart told his team following the loss in Tiger Stadium Saturday night.

“This is very similar to last year (losing at Auburn), we probably played better leading up to our loss last year, I didn’t think we had played as well this year.”

SEC East Division co-leader and No. 11-ranked Florida (6-1, 4-1), like Georgia, has a bye this week.

But upstart Kentucky (5-1, 3-1), ranked No. 14, is in action against Vanderbilt in a 7:30 p.m. game in Lexington.

The Wildcats have opened as an 11.5-point favorite over the Commodores, according to Vegas Insider.

Vanderbilt was a hard-luck loser in Nashville to Florida, 37-27, on Saturday.

Kentucky, like Georgia, controls its own destiny having defeated the Gators, 27-16, in Week 2.

The Wildcats, whose only SEC defeat came at Texas A&M, play at Missouri on Oct. 27 leading up to their showdown with the Bulldogs.

Here is the line for all of the SEC football games this week:

Vanderbilt at Kentucky (-11.5)

Alabama at Tennessee (TBA)

Tulsa at Arkansas (TBA)

Memphis at Missouri (-7)

Auburn (-2.5) at Ole Miss

Mississippi State at LSU (-6.5)

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.