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Georgia reaches rare 12-win mark after just missing chance to play for national championship

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    Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray (11) throws as guard Dallas Lee (64) blocks during the first half of the Capital One Bowl NCAA college football game against Nebraska, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, in Orlando, Fla. Georgia won 45-31. (AP Photo/The World-Herald, Matt Miller) MAGS OUT; ALL NEBRASKA LOCAL BROADCAST TV OUTThe Associated Press

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    Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones tips his hat to fans as he leaves the field after defeating Nebraska 45-31 in the Capital One Bowl NCAA football game, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)The Associated Press

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    Georgia players including safety Corey Moore (39) and Curtis Wyatt (9) celebrate their 45-31 victory over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl NCAA football game, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.(AP Photo/John Raoux)The Associated Press

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    Georgia head coach Mark Richt, center, is doused by his players including free safety Marc Deas (23) during the final seconds of the Capital One Bowl NCAA football game against Nebraska, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, in Orlando, Fla. Georgia won the game 45-31.(AP Photo/John Raoux)The Associated Press

Georgia players are still talking about how close they came to playing in Monday night's national championship game.

Sure, Tuesday's 45-31 Capital One Bowl win over Nebraska was nice, but it wasn't for the national title. The Bulldogs are still feeling the aftershocks from their 32-28 loss in the Southeastern Conference championship game to Alabama last month that ended with Georgia on the Crimson Tide's 5-yard line.

Coach Mark Richt says the Bulldogs wanted to prove to themselves in the bowl game that they are one of the nation's top teams.

Georgia (12-2) became only the third team in school history to reach 12 wins. Aaron Murray, who threw five TD passes against Nebraska, Jarvis Jones and other juniors must decide if they will enter the NFL draft.