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Frame The Importance of

Commercial Truck Insurance in Tallahassee, FL

  • Let's face it - truckers in America have always been the backbone of our great country. They still are in modern times. On any given day, thousands of trucks traverse our highways and local roads, delivering goods and products on time so that businesses and consumers have what they need to live life. And while commercial trucking can be an incredibly lucrative way to make a living and put food on the table, it can also be risky and expensive.
  • Whether you're the owner of a fleet, an independent trucker, or have a business that uses big rigs to transport goods, you need commercial trucking insurance to protect you and your client's investments, shield you from liability, and more.
  • That's where working with a reliable truck insurance agency comes into play. Unfortunately, for many commercial truck insurance providers, serving the needs of truckers is low on the proverbial totem pole. At Independence Insurance Agency, nothing could be further from the truth.

Service Areas

percent The Commercial Truck

Insurance Agency in Tallahassee, FL You Can Trust

Much like you pride yourself on running a successful trucking business, Independence Insurance Agency prides itself on its years of experience providing truck insurance for hardworking men and women across the country. And in our experience, insurance rates for truckers are just too high - so high, in fact, that they eat away at their bottom line, making it more difficult to run a business and make a profit. Fortunately, at Independence Insurance Agency, we provide truckers the freedom they need from astronomically high insurance rates so they can stay on the road and keep driving America forward.

As one of the most trusted commercial trucking insurance agencies in the U.S., we understand the challenges that you face daily as a trucker. We also know how important it is to protect your business. That's why we go above and beyond to find you the best-priced coverage available, whether you're an operator, own a small fleet, a large fleet, or something in between.

Commercial Truck Insurance Tallahassee, FL

We Put Truckers First Because Others Don't

 Truck Insurance Tallahassee, FL

Truckers across the country choose to work with Independence Insurance Agency because we put their needs first before anything else. As experts in transportation insurance, we proudly offer a range of quality insurance products that are both practical and affordable for them. Our industry-leading carriers provide coverage that caters to the unique challenges faced by the trucking industry, ensuring that your business is protected at all times.

At our core, we are committed to finding the best possible price for your coverage without compromising the quality of service you deserve. The truth is, we understand how essential truckers are to the United States and take pride in making their insurance experience more streamlined and affordable.

One way we do so is by simplifying the insurance process. Our transportation specialists take the time to understand your specific needs and budget to tailor a comprehensive plan that works for you. You won't ever have to worry about cookie-cutter plans or uninterested agents when you work with our commercial trucking insurance agency. We take an educational approach to ensure that the entire big rig insurance process is quick, painless, and easy to understand. If there's something you don't understand, we're happy to take the time to explain. After all, the success and safety of your business are on the line.

Looking to the future, we are committed to providing innovative new products that cater to the ever-changing needs of truck drivers. As your one-stop shop for commercial trucking insurance, we are dedicated to your success, one policy at a time.

If you're a commercial trucker looking to ensure your rig, you can rest easy knowing that Independence Insurance Agency provides:

  • Affordable Trucking Insurance Plans for Any Budget
  • Exemplary Customer Service
  • Seasoned Transportation Specialists Who Customize Plans to Your Needs
  • A+ Carriers Across the Country
  • Simple, Easy Quote and Bind Process
  • Multiple Insurance Carriers Quoted to Find You the Best Rates
  • Truck Insurance for New Ventures

Call us or send us a message today to learn more about the best 18-wheeler insurance options for your trucking business.

chart The Commercial Truck

Common Types of Big Rig Truck Insurance in Tallahassee, FL

At Independence Insurance Agency, we offer several types of insurance coverage for local, intermediate, and long-haul trucking needs. Here are just a few categories of trucking insurance coverage that our agency offers.

As the foundation of your insurance policy, liability coverage is required by law in most states in the U.S. It provides coverage for damage or injuries caused to properties or other people if your 18-wheeler is responsible for the crash. Without liability coverage, it's almost impossible to drive a truck or run a trucking business without major legal consequences.

Having physical damage coverage is an essential component that shouldn't be overlooked. This insurance is responsible for covering the expenses related to repairing or replacing your truck in situations such as accidents, theft, vandalism, and other damaging events. By having this coverage, you can rest assured that your business won't be affected significantly by unexpected incidents, and you can continue running your operations smoothly even in challenging times.

For trucking companies, the goods they transport are crucial to their operations. To protect these goods from damage, loss, or theft while in transit, cargo insurance is essential. This coverage provides much-needed peace of mind for both you and your clients, allowing you to reimburse clients for any losses sustained while protecting your reputation and brand identity.

Non-Trucking Liability Insurance is designed to cover property damage or bodily injury that may occur during personal time when the driver/truck is not under dispatch. This coverage can be applied with or without a trailer and is added to a commercial policy as an endorsement.

While Independence Insurance Agency has built a reputation of excellence in serving the needs of truckers, we also offer general liability. Also known as Truckers General Liability, this coverage insures for bodily injuries or property damage that happen due to business activities that are NOT the cause of operating a truck. It covers accidents that occur in parking lots, rest stops, also while loading or unloading. General liability can also cover losses related to theft and vandalism. Most brokers and shippers will require this coverage to work with you.

Bobtail insurance is a type of coverage that is comparable to non-trucking liability, which is designed to offer protection when driving a truck without a trailer attached. This is commonly referred to as "bobtailing." With bobtail insurance, the tractor is covered at all times, even when it is not attached to a trailer, regardless of whether or not the truck is under dispatch.

Trailer interchange insurance is a must-have if you're involved in a trailer interchange agreement. This essential coverage offers protection for trailers owned by other parties that you're using under a contractual agreement. It covers damages caused by collisions, fire, theft, and vandalism, providing assurance to all parties involved.

Curious whether our commercial truck insurance agency in cityname, state offers additional coverage? The following options can be bound in your insurance policy:

  • Business Interruption Insurance
  • Reefer Breakdown Insurance
  • Occupational Accident with Contract Liability Insurance
  • Rental Reimbursement Insurance
  • Underinsured or Uninsured Motorist Insurance
  • Towing Insurance
  • Electronics Insurance
  • Much More

Three plus 3 Safe Driving Tips to

Lower the Cost of Truck Insurance in Tallahassee, FL

Keeping your drivers safe on the road is crucial not only for their own well-being but also for the safety of other motorists and the financial stability of your business. The Department of Labor has identified the trucking industry as one of the most hazardous sectors in the U.S. In fact, trucking and logistics fleets are known for their high injury and fatality rates. By improving how safely your truckers drive, you can help reduce expenses related to claim payouts, accidents, and insurance premium hikes.

Whether you own a large fleet or you're the owner and operator of a single rig, keep these safe driving tips in mind to help lower your insurance costs.

Implement Preventative Maintenance Plans

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

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 Trucking Insurance Tallahassee, FL

Practice Defensive Driving

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
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 Commercial Liability Insurance For Truckers Tallahassee, FL

Find Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

phone Call Now
 Commercial Truck Insurance Quote Tallahassee, FL

Ensuring the safety of your drivers begins with the safety of their vehicles. Trucks and tractor-trailers that do not receive regular maintenance, such as oil and brake pad changes, are more likely to experience breakdowns while on the road. Telematics devices provide real-time insight into engine and odometer data, including fault codes.

This information enables your mechanics to create comprehensive preventative maintenance schedules based on mileage, history of previous breakdowns, days, and more. Additionally, they can receive immediate notifications for critical fault codes. By implementing routine maintenance and proactive repair schedules, you can ensure that your vehicles are in top condition, minimizing the likelihood of breakdowns, which can help reduce the cost of trucker insurance.

 Low Priced Commercial Truck Insurance Tallahassee, FL phone Call Now

This approach aims to mitigate the risk of fatal crashes and injuries by proactively identifying and responding to potentially dangerous situations and making informed decisions while driving. By adopting defensive driving techniques, drivers can reduce their likelihood of accidents, thereby minimizing the need for expensive repairs, claim payouts, and increased insurance premiums.

Some of the easiest ways for you or your drivers to practice safe driving include:

  • Be Wary of Blind Spots: Operating a reefer or tractor-trailer means driving high off of the ground, which can make visibility limited, especially in blind spots. To check your blind spot, look over your shoulder and out of your windows while changing lanes.
  • Be Ready for Emergencies on the Road: It's important for drivers to be ready for unexpected situations when driving, especially during long trips. They should be equipped to handle emergencies such as poor driving conditions or big rig breakdowns.
  • Use the Three-Second Rule: Truck drivers should try to maintain a three-second gap between their vehicle and the car in front of them. This means that the truck driver should reach a certain point on the road three seconds after the car in front of them has passed that same point.
  • Always Use Right and Left Turn Indicators: It's important for drivers to always use their turn signals when changing lanes or exiting highways, even if they don't see any other cars around. This is not only required by law, but it also reduces the chances of accidents occurring on the road.
Commercial Truck Insurance Tallahassee, FL phone Call Now

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), distracted driving is the primary reason behind truck driver accidents. Any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road or the steering wheel is considered distracted driving. Distractions can come in various forms, such as eating while driving or gazing at a billboard outside the window. However, the most frequent form of distracted driving is the use of cellphones, specifically texting while driving.

Assuming you or your driver's rigs are equipped with dual-facing cameras, try reviewing footage of an unsafe driving incident. Coach your drivers on ways to correct their unsafe behaviors or look up ways to do so yourself if you're the one operating the big rig. The bottom line is that when your drivers aren't distracted, they drive safer. And when they drive safer, the cost of 18-wheeler insurance in cityname, state can be reduced.

 Truck Insurance Tallahassee, FL phone Call Now

check light FAQs About

Independence Insurance Agency

If you're looking for a commercial trucking insurance agency for your business, chances are you have some questions - and we've got answers. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from truckers like you.

Why go with a "jack of all trades" when you can work with specialists who focus exclusively on transportation insurance? We have excellent relationships with major trucking insurance carriers and, as such, can provide the best assistance and reasonable rates.

Typically, companies will look at claims that date back three years or less.

We proudly work with more than 20 carriers to provide our clients with the most advantageous options at competitive prices, catering to the needs of owner-operators and big fleets alike.

Permit filings are typically done by insurance companies on the next business day. Federal (FMCSA) filings are completed online and updated immediately, while some states may take up to three weeks to process.

Independence Insurance Agency: Committed to the Trucking Industry

There's no question about it - you've got to protect your staff, your rig, and your trucking business with insurance. But choosing the right insurance partner isn't always easy. Thankfully, with Independence Insurance Agency by your side, you can rest easy knowing you're covered no matter where the road takes you. If you're in need of a commercial truck insurance agency in Tallahassee, FL that caters to truckers like you, pick up the phone and contact one of our transportation specialists today. That way, you can get back on the road with confidence tomorrow.

 Trucking Insurance Tallahassee, FL

Latest News in Tallahassee, FL

Connelly: How the CFP committee got it all wrong with Florida State

ReactionsLike447Funny18Wow5Interesting4Fire3The most frantic and frankly frustrating week of the college football season is over. After a week of politicking and grandstanding -- and at least a little bit of actual football -- we have our conference champions, we have our bowl bids and we have the pairings for our final four-team College Football Playoff. (And for something new and different, the CFP committee decided to get its selection horribly wrong in a way t...

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The most frantic and frankly frustrating week of the college football season is over. After a week of politicking and grandstanding -- and at least a little bit of actual football -- we have our conference champions, we have our bowl bids and we have the pairings for our final four-team College Football Playoff. (And for something new and different, the CFP committee decided to get its selection horribly wrong in a way that could damage its long-term credibility! So that's fun!)

Wrong or not, the show goes on, and the barge that is college football keeps drifting forward. But before prepping bowl picks and playoff previews, let's look back at the weekend one last time. Here are eight storylines worth revisiting from the maddening week that was.

Jump to a section: FSU's raw deal How Bama beat the Dawgs Washington's clutch factor A new day in Austin The Brian Ferentz legacy Group of 5 resilience Division III mayhem Heisman of week

Florida State got robbed, and the sport's worse for it

Florida State athletic director Michael Alford wasn't exactly speaking objectively, with no skin in the game, when he put out a statement Sunday afternoon, minutes after FSU was left out of the College Football Playoff despite a perfect 13-0 record. Like all the other coaches, ADs and conference commissioners who talked to reporters and TV cameras or published statements online, he was playing to his base and letting them know he was on their side. But hey, when you're right, you're right.

CFP Anger Index: Unpacking the outrage of Florida State's snub

ReactionsLike1.1KFunny28Wow27Fire25Interesting4Celebrate2To echo the great prognosticator Clubber Lang, we had just one obvious prediction for the final college playoff rankings of the four-team era: pain.There are five teams -- six if you count Georgia (unless you want to be added to Kirby Smart's enemies list) -- with a valid arg...

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To echo the great prognosticator Clubber Lang, we had just one obvious prediction for the final college playoff rankings of the four-team era: pain.

There are five teams -- six if you count Georgia (unless you want to be added to Kirby Smart's enemies list) -- with a valid argument for making the playoff, but for the last time, there are only four spots.

And, if we've read our stages of grief properly, the next step after pain is anger (followed closely by bourbon and basketball season). And there's a lot to be angry about.

So, as the committee retreats to its secure bunker to wait out the coming apocalypse, let's dive into our final Anger Index of the year. There's a lot of outrage to unpack.

1. Florida State Seminoles (13-0, No. 5)

In the olden days, we had a beauty contest. The top team in the nation was decided entirely by the voters.

Then we moved to a better system, one determined in part by computers that at least added some math to the abstract rationalizing while also allowing two teams to decide it on the field.

Then we moved to a four-team playoff, and the whole point was to eliminate the hypotheticals and let a champion be crowned by the actual results on the field. If you won your games, you had a chance to win a national title.

Turns out, all of that was a charade. None of it mattered. The games are pointless. What happens on the field is less important than what a committee thinks might happen in a future matchup.

It is an absolute slap in the face to every player who has ever put on a helmet, laced up cleats and marched onto the field to battle for a victory, because a bunch of folks in a conference room in Texas decided their sacrifice was not as important as the Las Vegas line on a potential playoff matchup.

It's a joke.

devastated. heartbroken. In so much disbelief rn, I wish my leg broke earlier in the season so y'all could see this team is much more than the quarterback. I thought results matter. 13-0 and this roster matches up across any team in those top 4 rankings. I am so sorry. Go Noles!

— Jordan Travis (@jordantrav13) December 3, 2023

Yes, Florida State is without starting QB Jordan Travis, meaning it would have to play with a quarterback who wasn't its opening-week starter in order to win a national title, and of course that couldn't happen. After all, only 2014 Ohio State, 2017 Alabama, 2018 Clemson and 2021 Georgia did that. What are the odds that something that's happened 44% of the time would happen again?

And sure, FSU's passing game was a mess in the ACC championship game. No argument there. Funny thing though: FSU won its title game by more than Alabama did. In fact, FSU has won its past two games by more than Alabama has. And since Travis got hurt in Week 12 against North Alabama, the Seminoles have thrown for just 8 fewer yards than Michigan has in that same stretch, but there was no debate about Michigan.

Oh, and this is probably irrelevant in the face of such a poor quarterback performance against Louisville, but there's also the small matter that the QB who started that game, Brock Glenn, wouldn't be the QB starting a playoff game (since Tate Rodemaker would be out of concussion protocol by then).

The committee cared about one stat when making this decision: FSU's 55 passing yards against Louisville.

Here are the stats it ignored: Seven sacks, 14 tackles for loss, 10 passes defended, 189 rushing yards against a stacked box, a 10-point win over a top-15 team with a QB making his first career start.

Let's be real about what happened here: The committee members couldn't leave the SEC out of the playoff. They didn't care that Alabama needed a miracle to avoid a loss to 6-6 Auburn two weeks ago. They didn't care that Georgia's own injuries -- playing with a banged-up Ladd McConkey and Brock Bowers -- likely played a large part in why the Tide won Saturday. They didn't care that the ACC has a winning record, head-to-head, against the SEC this season. They didn't care that Alabama beat 2023 Georgia, not 2021 or 2022 Georgia. They cared that Alabama and the SEC had to have a spot in the playoff by birthright. And as a result, they sent a message that what happened on the field -- the blood, tears and sacrifice that players made all season to win every game on their schedule -- was less important than getting the most compelling TV matchup.

But hey, there'll be a 12-team playoff next year, so all is forgiven, right?

2. Washington Huskies (13-0, No. 2)

Give the committee this: At least it was consistent. In snubbing Florida State, it determined the "eye test" was more important than the results, and they held true to that philosophy in ranking Washington behind Michigan in spite of the Huskies' overwhelmingly more impressive résumé.

Check the metrics:

Wins vs. Top 25 Washington: 5 Michigan: 3

Wins vs. FPI top 35: Washington: 6 Michigan: 3

ESPN Strength of Record: Washington: 1 Michigan: 2

ESPN Strength of Schedule: Washington: 11 Michigan: 33

And, of course, as the committee made clear with Florida State, no stat means more than passing yards, right? Washington: 344 per game Michigan: 219 per game

The committee, of course, is also allowed to weigh "other factors," which it did for Florida State. Apparently "having your head coach suspended twice for subverting two separate NCAA rules" does not count as an "other factor."

The end result: Washington has to travel 2,600 miles to play in the Sugar Bowl rather than giving the Pac-12 its proper send-off in the Rose Bowl.

3. Georgia Bulldogs (12-1, No. 6)

Three points.

Three.

After 29 straight wins and two consecutive national championships, a three-point loss with two of its best players battling injuries and two freshmen playing linebacker is what knocked Georgia from No. 1 in the rankings last week to No. 6 this week.

Three. Stinking. Points.

You know where three points come from? A field goal. A kicker. We're cutting the two-time defending champs out of the playoff because of a kicker? To paraphrase Allen Iverson: "We're talking about field goals? Field goals? Not a touchdown! Not a touchdown! Field goals."

Please, committee members. Go stand next to Brock Bowers. Look him in the eye and tell him a field goal is why he doesn't belong in the College Football Playoff.

We hope your committee assignment comes with a good health insurance policy.

4. Oklahoma Sooners (10-2, No. 12)

There are 12 teams with two losses or fewer. Eleven of them are playing a New Year's Six game. The other? Oklahoma.

Is that reasonable?

Well, Oklahoma has the best win of the group by far, having beaten No. 3 Texas on a neutral field.

Oklahoma trails only Oregon among two-loss teams in FPI.

Oklahoma has five wins vs. FPI Quad 1 opponents. Penn State has one.

In Oklahoma's six games vs. Quad 1 foes, its average score margin is +12. That's better than Oregon's.

Oklahoma's two losses have come by a combined eight points, both on the final drive of the game. Aside from a brief 3-0 score in the first quarter against Michigan, Penn State never led in either of its losses. Ole Miss was outgained by 314 yards in its two losses. Missouri allowed 40 points per game in its two losses.

There is no conceivable reality in which the Sooners don't belong in the New Year's Six. Fortunately, they'll be in the SEC next year, where they won't have to worry about such shoddy treatment.

5. SMU Mustangs (11-2, No. 24)

It was a terrible day for ACC teams current and future.

After all, if the committee is only interested in "best" teams, well are we really taking Liberty over the Mustangs?

Look, we're not here to argue against an undefeated team (Liberty) missing out on the big time. We're fully #TeamNoLosses. But the committee split hairs to go with the eye test at the top of the rankings, then went the other direction at the bottom of the top 25.

Boo Corrigan just said that Liberty got the G5 New Year's Six bowl berth because "Liberty just continued to win."I cannot.

— Curt Weiler (@CurtMWeiler) December 3, 2023

Liberty's strength of record is 14th. SMU's is 19th. Advantage Liberty.

But FSU was also ahead of Alabama and Texas, and that didn't matter. Instead, the committee went with "best," and by those metrics, advantage SMU.

Strength of schedule SMU: 76 Liberty: 133 (out of 133)

FPI SMU: 20 Liberty: 49

Points margin/game SMU: 23.2 Liberty: 18.1

Wins vs. FPI top 60 SMU: 2 Liberty: 0

Like an umpire in baseball, we don't ask that every ball and strike is called accurately. We just want the same calls for both sides. The committee, as usual, makes up the rules to fit its decision.

Michigan, Washington, Texas, Florida State top 4 teams in AP poll

ReactionsLike3.9KWow68Fire41Funny14Interesting7Celebrate6Michigan is No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll for the first time since it won its last national championship in 1997, while Georgia slipped to No. ...

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Michigan is No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll for the first time since it won its last national championship in 1997, while Georgia slipped to No. 6 on Sunday after its 29-game winning streak was snapped by Alabama.

Michigan received 51 first-place votes. No. 2 Washington had 11 first-place votes, and the Huskies were followed by Texas at No. 3 and Florida State at No. 4. All four are conference champions, and all but the Longhorns are unbeaten.

Alabama moved up three spots to No. 5 after beating Georgia 27-24 in the SEC title game Saturday. The Bulldogs had their string of 24 straight weeks at No. 1 snapped. It was the second-longest run in AP poll history behind USC's 33 straight from 2003 to 2005.

The poll was released shortly before the College Football Playoff rankings, with Alabama, Texas, Florida State and Georgia vying for the final two spots.

Ohio State was seventh, with Oregon, Missouri and Penn State rounding out the top 10.

Michigan is the first No. 1 team from outside the SEC since Clemson in 2020 and the first No. 1 from outside the South since Big Ten rival Ohio State held the top spot in 2015.

Washington has its best ranking since reaching No. 2 in 1997, and Texas its best ranking since it finished No. 2 in 2009.

Kirby Smart vows Georgia will 'be up' for Florida State

ReactionsLike780Funny13Wow4Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Sunday that he feels his team deserved to make the College Football Playoff, and empathized with Florida State, his team's opponent in the Capital One Orange Bowl, because the Seminoles got left out, too...

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Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Sunday that he feels his team deserved to make the College Football Playoff, and empathized with Florida State, his team's opponent in the Capital One Orange Bowl, because the Seminoles got left out, too.

During an Orange Bowl Zoom call with both coaches, Smart was asked whether his team would be facing a "hornet's nest" in a highly motivated Seminoles team, which finished 13-0 but became the first undefeated Power 5 champion to finish outside the top four.

"I empathize with anybody that goes undefeated and doesn't get in," Smart said. "I personally feel like we deserved to be in. We've got a really good football team, and we're considered No. 1 in the country all year, then fail. We have a hornet's nest around here, too, of players that are disappointed. That works both ways.

"The good news is we got each other to go play. I know they'll be up for us and we'll be up for them. You worry a lot more when you have a matchup that they might not look forward to. I have learned that."

The defending national champions went into Saturday ranked No. 1 but lost to Alabama 27-24 in the SEC championship game and dropped to No. 6 in the final ranking. Florida State beat Louisville 16-6 in the ACC championship game and dropped one spot, from No. 4 to No. 5. Meanwhile, Texas and Alabama moved up in the rankings to No. 3 and No. 4, respectively.

Smart also pointed out that Georgia has felt the sting of finishing just outside the top four more times than it would like. Georgia and Ohio State have finished ranked fifth or sixth three times each, the two only programs to finish fifth or sixth multiple times. It previously happened to Georgia in 2018 and 2019, before the Bulldogs were finally able to get in -- and win the past two national championships in the process.

"I can't imagine it being undefeated," Smart said. "But it's tough when you finish fifth or sixth because there's always a case for being in it, and we've been there."

Both coaches were asked about whether they were looking forward even more to an expanded 12-team playoff next season because of the disappointment they felt Sunday.

"You look at this Georgia team -- I'm going to say it for Coach Smart -- you go undefeated throughout the regular season, you lose in the conference championship game by one score, and that be the end of your opportunity to win a national championship, it's hard," Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. "For us, we go undefeated throughout the season. We accomplished the things that we did. You try to teach players about response. You try to teach players about consistency, things that you want to see them grow and build in.

"Knowing that next year it will be an expanded opportunity when teams compete at this level that both of our programs have been able to accomplish this year, there will still be that avenue. But it is what it is this year. We can have our disappointments. I respect the opportunity we have. Of all the games that are out there in this bowl season, there's not one that will be more exciting or probably more anticipated than having these two teams."

FSU to play Georgia in Orange Bowl; Liberty gets Group of 5 bid

ReactionsLike814Wow13Funny7Interesting2Fire1Celebrate1Florida State, the first unbeaten Power 5 conference winner to ever miss out on the College Football Playoff, will settle for a matchup with two-time defending champion ...

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Florida State, the first unbeaten Power 5 conference winner to ever miss out on the College Football Playoff, will settle for a matchup with two-time defending champion Georgia in the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 30.

Coach Mike Norvell said the No. 5 Seminoles, who finished 13-0 and won the ACC championship, will be ready for the matchup in Miami Gardens (4 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) despite being snubbed by the CFP selection committee Sunday.

"It is what it is this year," Norvell said. "We can have our disappointments. I respect the opportunity we have. Of all the games that are out there in this bowl season, there's not one that will be more exciting or probably more anticipated than having these two teams."

The Seminoles' 19 consecutive wins is the second-longest active streak in FBS.

No. 6 Georgia had won 29 straight games prior to Saturday's loss to Alabama in the SEC title game. As a result, the Bulldogs become the first No. 1 team in the penultimate CFP rankings to fall out of the top four after losing during Championship Week.

The Bulldogs have won six consecutive bowl games.

"The good news is we got each other to go play," Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. "I know they'll be up for us and we'll be up for them. You worry a lot more when you have a matchup that they might not look forward to. I have learned that."

The other drama played out Sunday was determining who would be chosen as the highest-ranked Group of 5 team, thus getting an automatic bid into the New Year's Six.

That honor went to the undefeated Liberty Flames (13-0), the first Conference USA champion to clinch a New Year's Six bid in the College Football Playoff era. The Flames finished at No. 23 in the final CFP rankings -- one spot ahead of American Athletic Conference champion SMU (11-2) -- despite playing one of the nation's weakest schedules.

Liberty, which will be making only its fifth bowl appearance ever, will take on No. 8 Oregon in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona (Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App).

The Ducks (11-2), led by Heisman Trophy candidate Bo Nix, will be making their seventh straight bowl appearance.

The remaining two New Year's Six games will feature clashes between Big Ten and SEC teams.

No. 9 Missouri, which is seeking its first bowl win in three appearances under coach Eli Drinkwitz, will take on No. 7 Ohio State at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic in Arlington, Texas (Dec. 29, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App).

The Buckeyes (11-1), who are 2-12 in bowl games against SEC opponents all-time, will be making their 11th New Year's Six appearance in a row. Ohio State has a 10-1-1 series record against Missouri, with the last meeting in 1998.

The Tigers (10-2) won at least 10 games -- their first winning record in five seasons -- for the first time since winning the Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day 2015. It will be Mizzou's first New Year's Six bowl in 10 seasons and its first appearance in the Cotton Bowl since 2014.

"It's been some tough sledding here for my first three seasons and for our senior class to get this opportunity to win 10 games, to get a New Year's Six bowl game," Drinkwitz told ESPN's bowl selection show. "It just reminds them that it's worth it: the hard work, the dedication, the long hours, the hard practices."

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta (Dec. 30, noon ET, ESPN/ESPN App) features a matchup between No. 11 Ole Miss (10-2) and No. 10 Penn State (10-2).

It will be the Rebels' second New Year's Six bowl appearance in three seasons under coach Lane Kiffin, while the Nittany Lions will be playing in their ninth bowl under coach James Franklin.

The two teams have never played each other.

"It's also pretty cool that Penn State has never played in the Peach Bowl," Franklin said Sunday. "It's unusual. In 2023 there are not too many things you can say haven't happened."

The other two games in the New Year's Six were set earlier Sunday when the CFP semifinal matchups were announced.

No. 1 Michigan will take on No. 4 Alabama in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Prudential in Pasadena, California (Jan. 1, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App), and No. 2 Washington plays No. 3 Texas in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans (Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App).

The Wolverines will be playing in their 21st Rose Bowl, more than any school except USC, but Michigan hasn't been to the archetypal bowl game since 2007.

"It's going to take all those days, all those hours, all those minutes," Harbaugh told ESPN. "We played Alabama before. Haven't beaten them. We know it's going to take our best. We're going to have to play really good, but before that, we're going to have to plan. We're going to have to practice and get in a position to execute against really good football teams."

Alabama, led by a top-notch defense and by quarterback Jalen Milroe, has been to the Rose Bowl more times than any school not in the Big Ten or the Pac-12.

"He's got it," Harbaugh said of Milroe. "He's got that 'it' factor. Surrounded by a lot of really superior athletes that are really well-coached and know what they're doing. That's a vital, critical combination."

The Sugar Bowl features a rematch of 2022 Alamo Bowl quarterbacks Quinn Ewers of Texas and Heisman Trophy candidate Michael Penix Jr. of Washington. Another storyline will be Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian facing his old school; he coached the Huskies from 2009 to 2013, going 34-29 with three bowl appearances.

"Washington still holds a special place to me," Sarkisian said. "I got my first head coaching opportunity there and had five just tremendous years in trying to rebuild that program."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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