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Orgeron: 'Doesn't matter' if LSU is No. 1 in CFP

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Published in Breaking News
Saturday, 07 December 2019 20:55

ATLANTA -- Retaking the No. 1 spot in the College Football Playoff rankings wasn't a goal of LSU coach Ed Orgeron and his players after they beat No. 4 Georgia 37-10 in the SEC championship game on Saturday.

Orgeron said his team isn't concerned with whether the selection committee sees fit to have them retake the top spot from Ohio State, which leapfrogged LSU from No. 2 to No. 1 two weeks ago. The Buckeyes also finished the season 13-0 after rallying to beat No. 8 Wisconsin 34-21 in the Big Ten title game later Saturday night.

"I think we're a darn good football team," Orgeron said. "We don't know. I've told the team it doesn't matter. It don't matter where they rank us, where they tell us to go. We've got to win the next game. That's all that matters."

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who transferred from Ohio State before the start of last season, said it doesn't matter where or whom the Tigers play in the first round of the playoff.

"We'll play anybody, anywhere," he said. "I said in the postgame, you can take us to Canada, and we'll play on a gravel lot."

However, a tweet from the team's official account took a more declarative stance on the matter, calling LSU "second to none."

Beating Georgia gave LSU its fifth win over an AP Top 10 team this season, which ties a record in the AP Poll era (1936-present) for most Top-10 victories in a single season.

LSU defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko said the committee is entitled to its opinion and, "We just have to learn to play football."

"It doesn't matter at this point," he said of finishing No. 1 or 2. "We're still going to have postseason play. We as a team, regardless if we're No. 1 or No. 4, it doesn't matter who we play or where we play, if we play to the LSU standard of performance then I think we'll be fine."

The Buckeyes claimed an unprecedented third straight outright league title and enter the postseason with a 19-game winning streak. Unlike Orgeron, first-year Ohio State coach Ryan Day was already lobbying for the top spot before leaving the field.

"They came out and played unbelievable in the second half. This team is unbelievable," he said. "I think we deserve to be No. 1.''

Asked if his team has done enough to retain its hold on the top playoff seed, Day told ESPN's Michele Steele, "I don't know what else we could do. I mean to get three wins like this, playing against Wisconsin to beat them again. As we all know, that's not easy to do. They're a top-10 team, they're one of the best-coached teams we play against year in and year out. I don't know what else you want more of these kids."

Buckeyes receiver Austin Mack echoed his coach.

"We should still be No. 1, honestly, but if not, we'll be ready. ... 13-0," Mack said. "Back-to-back-to-back performances against top-15 teams. Just a tough team, very talented, and 13-0, Big Ten champs."

Mack went on to say that he would relish a potential meeting with Burrow and LSU, which likely wouldn't come until the College Football Playoff National Championship.

"Absolutely, I want to see them," he said. "It's going to be bittersweet, it's going to be great, they're a really good team. I'm pretty sure we're not going to play them in the first round, so we're going to see who we've got for the first round and go from there."

Mack also looked forward to a possible revenge game against 12-1 Oklahoma, which according to the Allstate Playoff Predictor has a 55% chance to make the CFP.

"Oklahoma got us pretty good, the whole [Baker Mayfield] flag stuff on our turf, so I would love to see them again, get a little payback for that," he said.

With LSU and Ohio State both boasting perfect records, it would be a surprise if No. 3 Clemson moved up, even though they also improved to 13-0 with a dominant 62-17 win over Virginia in the ACC title game on Saturday.

But Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence isn't overly concerned about the rankings heading into the national semifinals. Asked if he thought the defending champions are the best team in the country, he replied: "I think so, but hopefully in a couple weeks we will get the chance to prove it."

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said he has "no idea" where his team will land in the rankings "and really don't care."

"I mean, just as long as we can be somewhere in the top four, I think we deserve that. We've earned that," Swinney said.

ESPN's Adam Rittenberg and David Hale and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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