Dawgs disappointed not to be ranked

UGA VI

ATHENS – Georgia coach Mark Richt wanted to be in the Top 25 after Saturday's victory over Georgia Tech.

He isn't.

"I think we're a Top 25 team, but I'm not shocked we haven't been voted that way," Richt said. "We're a four-loss team also. I do think we've put on a good show the last couple weeks, and I think we're deserving, but it's a season-long decision and we've definitely had some games that hurt us no doubt."

The next question is if Georgia's administration will get its wish. The next game for the 8-4 Bulldogs will be a bowl game, but which one hasn't been determined.

Georgia officials hope it's the Dec. 30 Chick-fil-A Bowl, formerly the Peach Bowl, and, as always, it's a matter of money. The Chick-fil-A Bowl pays each participating team $2.8 million, more than either the Liberty Bowl or the Music City Bowl, the other possibilities for the Dogs.

As long as the Southeastern Conference gets two teams into BCS bowl games, a good bet with LSU ranked fifth in the most recent BCS rankings, Georgia will be in good shape for a Chick-fil-A Bowl that would likely be choosing between the Bulldogs, Kentucky (7-5) and South Carolina (7-5).

If LSU doesn't get a bid to a BCS game, that probably will push a 9-3 Tennessee team into the Chick-fil-A mix and make the Bulldogs a little nervous.

Chick-fil-A Bowl officials will meet tonight to begin their selection process in earnest, said Rod Hovater, who scouted Saturday's 15-12 win over No. 23 Georgia Tech.

"An 8-4 Georgia team is attractive after beating Auburn and Georgia Tech," he said.

After Saturday's win, Georgia's players were more concerned about having salvaged a once-dismal season than their holiday plans.

"I don't know enough about the bowl picture to know which ones we're in line for, but any one we get I think we'll be thankful for," senior punter Gordon Ely-Kelso said. "We've had kind of a down year."

The Chick-fil-A Bowl will pit an SEC team against an ACC team, and No. 14 Virginia Tech appears the most likely ACC candidate for the game.

"It doesn't matter, as long as I know I have another game to play," senior safety Tra Battle said.

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