Georgia football: Bulldogs shrug off SEC East title, focus on Auburn
Title? What title?
The Georgia Bulldogs have barely acknowledged clinching their first Southeastern Conference division championsip title since 2012, wrapping up first place in the East with three games still to go in the regular season.
No. 2 Georgia (9-0, 6-0 SEC) will meet the West champ, either No. 1 Alabama or No. 10 Auburn mostly likely, in the Dec. 2 SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
"My mom told me," senior linebacker Reggie Carter said. "I was like, 'Oh, that's good. We've got Auburn next.'"
Georgia wrapped up the East last weekend with a victory over South Carolina, combined with Kentucky's loss to Ole Miss.
Clearly, the Bulldogs have their eyes on a bigger prize than division titles. They haven't won a national title since 1980 and their last SEC championship came 12 long years ago.
"I'm happy, but we've got Auburn next and they're a tough opponent and they're a great team and they're just the next team we've got to play against," Carter said.
And what about mom?
"I told her she can do the cheerleading," Carter said with a smile, "and leave it up to me to keep playing,"
Coach Kirby Smart breezed right over any mention of the East title when asked about it Monday, much as he did when Georgia was ranked No. 1 in the first College Football Playoff standings the previous week.
"That has not been a major concern for us," Smart said. "Our concern has always been on the next opponent, and this is really where we are now."
The Bulldogs last played in the SEC title game five years ago, losing a 32-28 thriller to Alabama at the Georgia Dome. Georgia's final play was stopped at the 5-yard line, scuttling a likely shot at playing in the BCS championship game.
The Crimson Tide went on to rout Notre Dame for the third of four national titles it has won during the Nick Saban era.