Kirby Smart Orange Bowl post-game press conference Photo Credit: Bulldog Illustrated on YouTube

The Georgia Bulldogs dominated the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl on Saturday night in a matchup that wasn’t competitive from the very start. After the game, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart offered a blunt statement about the current landscape of bowl games, in particular player opt-outs for non-CFP bowl games.

Georgia’s 63-3 victory over Florida State ended up being the largest margin of victory in any bowl game ever.

The win for Georgia was a statement for several different reasons. Firstly, it shows that the CFP Committee, which has been heavily criticized for its decision to leave Florida State out of the top four, also overlooked Georgia for a top-four spot.

It also shows how detrimental player opt-outs are for the sport of college football. A total of 29 scholarship players either left the program or outright opted out of the game.

Smart spoke to the media after the game, saying that things need to “be fixed” in the future to prevent this kind of lopsided result in bowl games moving forward.

“People need to see what happened tonight and they need to fix this,” said Smart. “It needs to be fixed. It’s very unfortunate that they are in the position they are in. They have a good football team and a good football program. Everybody can say it’s their fault and it’s their problem. Everybody can say that we had our guys and they didn’t have their guys. But college football has got to decide what they want. People have to decide what they want and what they really want to get out of it. Because it is really unfortunate for those kids on that sideline that had to play in that game that didn’t have their full arsenal. It affected the game one hundred percent.”

Smart is absolutely right in saying that Florida State’s opt-outs played a big role in their performance on the field. And it doesn’t represent the great job that the majority of the players on the team did throughout the season.

It’s unclear what the NCAA can actually do to limit player opt-outs moving forward. A large majority of the players opting out are doing so because they are moving onto the next level, meaning that they won’t be there next season to deal with any repercussions that the NCAA could dish out.

Regardless, it’s clearly a big issue and it made the Orange Bowl virtually unwatchable unless you enjoy a non-competitive blowout.

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About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.