Playoff Expansion Will Reward Georgia's Schedule Philosophy

Playoff expansion makes strength of schedule a bigger deal and fortunately Georgia isn't shy about playing elite competition.

The College Football Playoff's expansion to 12 teams is all but guaranteed. The playoff management committee will meet this week to discuss the proposed plan to triple the current playoff field.

Expanding the playoff bracket opens the door for more one-loss, two-loss and potentially three-loss teams to compete for a national championship. That makes strength of schedule much more important. A team with a couple of Power-5 non-conference opponents on its slate will have a better argument for inclusion over a team without such opponents.

Georgia Football is one program well ahead of the curve in this regard. Currently, the Bulldogs have at least one out of conference game scheduled against Power-5 opponents for each season through 2033. Most of those opponents aren't middle-of-the-road teams either. Georgia has games with Clemson, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Texas on the horizon.

Future non-conference opponents

*Georgia plays Georgia Tech every year

  • 2021: Clemson (Charlotte)
  • 2022: Oregon (Atlanta)
  • 2023: Oklahoma
  • 2024: Clemson (Atlanta)
  • 2025: UCLA
  • 2026: UCLA and Lousiville
  • 2027: Florida State and Louisville
  • 2028: Texas and Florida State
  • 2029: Texas and Clemson
  • 2030: Clemson and Ohio State
  • 2031: Ohio State and Oklahoma
  • 2032: Clemson
  • 2033: Clemson

Ahead of the curve

For example, if Georgia loses once in the regular season and then again in the SEC Championship Game, but has an 11-2 record with a victory over any of the teams above, how could the committee leave Georgia out of a 12-team playoff? The answer is they wouldn't. 

What about two regular-season losses and a 10-2 record with a win against an Ohio State or a Clemson? Georgia still most likely gets into the playoffs.

Many teams have already followed suit. In fact, Florida will play a Power-5-only schedule in 2031 (including Notre Dame). As more teams look to bolster their schedules in the near future, Georgia can be expected to announce even more marquee Power-5 matchups for 2032 and beyond.

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