1. Georgia’s motivation level didn’t matter
The hot take that is going to catch some criticism from every SEC fan is that the motivating factor didn’t play a role for the Dawgs in this Sugar Bowl letdown. Georgia was the first team on the outside looking in for the four-team College Football Playoff field. There was a sizable outcry from Georgia fans and players alike after the Cotton Bowl Semifinal too.
Once the Clemson Tigers dominated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in one of the College Football Playoff Semifinal games by a four-possession margin, the nationwide ripping of the Selection Committee began. The victory for the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl Semifinal didn’t cause as much outrage as Clemson-Notre Dame did.
All that Texas football was left with amid this back and forth between Georgia and the national media and Selection Committee was the ability to prove a point on New Years Day in an intriguing New Year’s Six Bowl matchup. Georgia had a ton of underlying circumstances that seemed to distract the locker room heading into the Sugar Bowl. Injuries and key absences for the Dawgs didn’t help its cause on the field either.
For now, the idea of putting a team like Georgia in the College Football Playoff field just because it passed the “eye test’ needs to be put in the dirt. Both Oklahoma and Ohio State were more deserving teams for the final spot in the Playoff than the Dawgs. And, whether its motivation to play in the Sugar Bowl played a role in the outcome, it shouldn’t be an issue for any team looking to cap its season respectably.