Coach Kirby Smart uses CFP history to motivate his top-ranked Bulldogs

Georgia photo by Mackenzie Miles / Georgia left guard Justin Shaffer lifts up running back James Cook following a Cook touchdown during last Saturday's 34-7 win over Florida in Jacksonville.

Thirty minutes before ESPN's initial Tuesday night revealing of the College Football Playoff rankings for the 2021 season, Georgia coach Kirby Smart had a question for media members on his post-practice Zoom call.

"They've had this night seven times," Smart said. "How many of those seven actually won the national championship? Anybody got an answer?"

Only last season's Alabama Crimson Tide managed to win the national title after being No. 1 in the CFP's first installment. Alabama and Clemson alternated the four playoff titles from 2015-18, with one program claiming the crown after the other had been ranked No. 1 in the initial standings.

Ohio State was No. 1 in the first CFP rankings of the 2019 season, but LSU would go on to capture the championship.