Hines Ward: Georgia's No 2 ranking in College Football Playoff made him 'feel some type of way'

The first College Football Playoff rankings had many baffled when Ohio State was placed at No. 1 ahead of Georgia, the AP’s No. 1 seed that has won back-to-back national titles. A former Bulldog admitted the announcement of the rankings did not sit well with him. 

“Yeah, I did feel some type of way in the sense that we’ve been at the top for a very long time,” Hines Ward, the two-time Super Bowl winner with the Pittsburgh Steelers who played at Georgia from 1994-1997, told Fox News Digital. “For us not to be on top for the playoffs [rankings], listen, it is what it is.

“We’re not the flashiest team. We just go out there and kick tail, kick butt every weekend. We have a great running game, a great defense by Kirby. So we’re not going to make excuses, and it’s not really how you start, it’s how you finish. At the very end, as long as we’re there playing in the championship game and going on our quest for another championship, that’s all that matters.” 


Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart looks on during the second half of a game against the Florida Gators at EverBank Stadium on Oct. 28, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Of course, the College Football Playoff rankings change by the week as teams wind down their regular season play. However, does Georgia head into their matchup against the No. 14-ranked Missouri Tigers in Athens thinking this needs to be a statement game because Ohio State is above them?

“I think so,” Ward said. “It’s still early. 


“You still got four games remaining, then you have the SEC Championship. I think this is going to be a tough task. It’s going to be a daunting task for our Bulldogs, being that Missouri’s a good team. Ole Miss is a good team. We gotta go on the road to Tennessee, and there’s nothing worse than hearing ‘Rocky Top’ all day. That’s all they sing constantly, all day. But it’s a great college venue, super excited. Then, of course, we finish the year off at Georgia Tech.”

Hines Ward in Georgia jersey

Quarterback Hines Ward, #19 of the Georgia Bulldogs, calls the play during the game against the Florida Gators on Oct. 28, 1995 at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia. The Gators defeated the Bulldogs 52-17. (Craig Jones/Getty Images)

Ward has loved what his Bulldogs have done for the past two seasons, as they are on the verge of creating a dynasty if they can secure the rare three-peat in the national title game. He has also appreciated head coach Kirby Smart, who entered the program in 1994, Ward’s freshman year. 

He is still tapped in with his alma mater, which will be on full display this Saturday thanks to Fairfield by Marriott. He will be on hand for their “Home Field Advantage” tailgate, where he will interact with Bulldogs fans, alumni and others to kick off the partnership between Fairfield and the NCAA. 

Additionally, in the conversations he is likely to have with everyone in Athens, it will be about how confident he is that, no matter the rankings, Georgia will be playing for a national championship again. 

Hines Ward looks on field

Former NFL player and player relations executive Hines Ward watches action prior to an Alliance of American Football game between the San Diego Fleet and the San Antonio Commanders at SDCCU Stadium on Feb. 24, 2019 in San Diego. (Sean M. Haffey/AAF/Getty Images)


“If Georgia can run through that schedule the last four games, probably end up playing Alabama in the [SEC] Championship game,” he explained. “I foresee the Georgia Bulldogs being back in the playoffs, and regardless of whatever seed, it really doesn’t matter as long as they win that championship at the end of the day.”

Scott Thompson is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.

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