ATLANTA — University of Georgia's perfect season and quest to repeat as College Football Playoff champions is one step closer.
On Sunday, top-seeded UGA (13-0) learned they will play No. 4 Ohio State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl semifinal game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 in Atlanta -- a place they are oh so familiar with.
On Saturday night, the Bulldogs beat LSU at the Benz to win the SEC Championship game for the first time since 2017. They also played at the stadium just 75 miles from Athens in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game to start the season -- beating Oregon 49-3.
In the other semifinal game, No. 2 Michigan will play No. 3 TCU in the VRBO Fiesta Bowl in Arizona at 4 p.m. on Dec. 31.
The winners of the two semifinal games will face off on Jan. 9 at SoFi Stadium in the CFP Championship in Inglewood, California.
The only time Georgia and Ohio State have played was in the 1992 Citrus Bowl, a Bulldogs victory.
Georgia is making their 3rd playoff appearance, while this is the fifth for the Buckeyes. The last time they were the fourth seed, though, was 2014, when they won their last national title.
Georgia is focused on becoming the first repeat national champion since Alabama in 2011-12, having won all but one game this season by double-digit margins.
“I've tried not to play attention to any of it," Smart said of all the chaos. “It didn't matter to me. That's so far away.”
Winning back-to-back championships is not very common. Alabama has done it three times — 1964 and 1965, 1978 and 1979, and 2011 and 2012. Others include USC (2003-04); Nebraska (1970-71 and in 1994-95); Oklahoma (1955-56 and in 1974-75); Notre Dame (1946-47); Army (1944-45); and Minnesota (1940-41).
Georgia, Michigan, TCU and Ohio State were the top four in the final Associated Press college football poll of the regular season.
The Bulldogs are No. 1 for the ninth straight week and 12th time this season in the AP Top 25 presented by Regions Bank. Georgia received 62 first-place votes and Michigan received the other one in the poll released Sunday.
Tickets for the College Football Playoff semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is sold out, according to its website.