Georgia's 2021 Opponents Ranked by Toughness

Georgia Football again has a tough schedule, but there are some real mysteries among the teams that should be the toughest on the slate.
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Spring camp has ended for all of Georgia Football's 2021 opponents. That was our last look at the team's on the schedule until fall camp begins later this year. Here's how they rank from weakest to toughest as of right now.

  • 12. Charleston Southern Buccaneers
  • 11. Vanderbilt Commodores
  • 10. Alabama-Birmingham Blazers
  • 9. Tennessee Volunteers
  • 8. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
  • 7. South Carolina Gamecocks
  • 6. Missouri Tigers

Charleston Southern is Georgia's only FCS opponent and it hasn't lost fewer than four games in a season since 2013. The Buccaneers are the easiest opponent by default. Alabama-Birmingham has been one of college football's best G5 schools since the program returned in 2017.

Tennessee is a trainwreck with a new coaching staff and athletic director who are all awaiting NCAA sanctions. Georgia Tech is far from Georgia's toughest opponent, but the Yellow Jackets are bitter rivals and you never confidently predict games like that.

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5. Kentucky Wildcats

Kentucky is considered a more difficult opponent than Tennessee for the fourth-straight year. What a time to be alive? Seriously though, how is Mark Stoops still at Kentucky? He has transformed the Wildcats into arguably the best mid-tier program in the SEC, leapfrogging bitter rivals Tennessee in the process.

Yes, a team fielding a smashmouth offense and a brick-wall defense isn't built to win championships in 2021. But thanks to Stoops and a roster that has bought into his system, Kentucky is good enough to give any team fits on any given Saturday. That rings especially true for its matchup against Georgia. 

The Wildcats defensive front might match up well against Georgia's offensive line if the Bulldogs don't grow at some positions, especially if defensive tackle Marquan McCall and linebacker Jared Casey can fill voids left in the middle of Kentucky's front.

4. Arkansas Razorbacks

Just two years ago, Arkansas was the worst football team in the SEC. New head coach Sam Pittman and his staff totally changed the perception of the program. Sure, the Razorbacks ended the season 3-7, but only one of those seven losses was a true blowout. Arkansas led Georgia at halftime, had a win stolen against Auburn, and lost to LSU and Missouri by less than a touchdown.

Don't expect the Razorbacks to start competing for SEC West Championships again this season. But they are a well-coached team with newfound confidence and a roster full of underrated talent. Leading rusher Trelon Smith and receiver Treylon Burks return and the Razorbacks have a stingy defense led by coordinator Barry Odom.

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3. Florida Gators

Florida probably should be ranked No. 2 on this list, but because the Gators didn't play a spring game, there's no way to properly judge the 2021 team right now. All we have to go on is the 2020 Florida team and the players it lost, which is a lot, especially on offense. Florida lost quarterback Kyle Trask, outstanding receivers Kadarius Toney and Kyle Pitts, as well as third-leading target Trevon Grimes.

Junior quarterback Emory Jones is a real mystery. His athleticism is obvious, any coaching staff would be happy to have and develop him, but how has Dan Mullen and co. developed him? Jones rarely attempted passes last year, half of his 32 pass attempts came in the Cotton Bowl and he exactly leave a lot to be desired. Florida's 2021 season hinges on whether or not Jones can fill the void left by Trask.

2. Auburn Tigers

Besides Clemson, Georgia's toughest opponents are hard to judge. Auburn has a new head coach in Bryan Harsin and his hiring drew mixed reactions from fans and experts. However, the Tigers return many of their offensive leaders including quarterback Bo Nix, and running back Tank Bigsby.

Ultimately, it doesn't matter how good or bad Auburn is, they're always a threat to upset Georgia. Upsets are one of the cornerstones of the "Deep South's Oldest Rivalries."

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1. Clemson Tigers

No surprise, the 2018 National Champions conclude the countdown. Thanks to Dabo Swinney and Clemson's dominance over recruiting in the ACC, the Tigers have become a powerhouse and there's no reason to think they'll begin a decline this year.

Clemson is excellent on both sides of the ball. Sophomore quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei leads the offense after playing very well in Trevor Lawrence's absence last year. The defense fields an excellent front seven that Georgia's rebuilt offensive line might not be completely ready for.

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