Entering the Summer portion of the 2021 offseason, the upcoming schedules are surely on the minds of fanatics nationwide. The Georgia Bulldogs are playing in what might be America’s toughest CFB conference, the SEC. To put the icing on the cake, an out-of-conference stretch consisting of ACC powers Clemson and in-state rival Georgia Tech is no comforting sight.
It is not all bad as even as cutthroat as the SEC is it has its weak points. With the usual bottom-dwellers Vanderbilt and Arkansas making their annual appearance on the Bulldogs Fall slate. With UGA having been as esteemed a program as they have been for almost five years now. What awaits them is certainly winnable, regardless of whether or not it has a national title at its grand finale.
The long and short of it is the Dawgs schedule has its good, bad, and ugly. With their opening game being just over three months away, no challenger should be overlooked.
The Good: Games that Should be Easy Victories
As unfair as it may sound, some teams merely fail to have the same level of talent on the field. For Georgia in 2021, those weaklings would be UAB, Vanderbilt, Arkansas, and Charleston Southern. The reasoning behind these selections should be rather obvious. UAB, and Charleston Southern, are just nowhere to hear the validity required to take on a behemoth like UGA. Meanwhile, Vanderbilt and Arkansas are easily the weakest squads in the SEC, with the weaker of the two is the one on the road.
If the Dawgs somehow lose any of these games, regardless of how narrow the margin of defeat may be, 2021 should already be ruled as a throwaway season. The games left to address are in no way expected to be easier trials.
The Bad: Grueling Affairs and Potential “Trap Games”
Unless one is discussing Alabama, the exclusion of upset preparation is very rare amongst the college football landscape. For this season, the Bulldogs should highlight South Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, and Georgia Tech as possible “trap games.” These types of matchups traditionally involve two rivals. The Dawg may find themselves placed at an unfitting part of a schedule, such as between two bigger meetings. Lastly, the underdog in these scenarios are likely not great, yet they have the physicality and football IQ to compete. This increases their chances of being overlooked and can subsequently result in the “trapping” of their foe.
All four of the aforementioned opponents check at least one of the boxes listed. They all can surely be identified as rivals. All but Georgia Tech actually competes in UGA’s division. Also, Missouri and Tennessee are set to follow up a brutal battle between the Bulldogs and the fierce Florida Gators.
Georgia on paper looks as if they should handle all of these mediocre-at-best schools quite trivially. However, that has never stopped an unfavored hopeful from stealing a win in the past; So 2021 should be no different.
The Ugly: Games At Risk of Derailing a Season
Last but certainly not least, the ugly part of a team’s schedule is the one that involves anything from close-calling thrillers to guaranteed losses. For this year’s Dawgs, the ones who will deliver on those threats are Clemson, Auburn, Kentucky, and Florida.
The majority of these programs bring in recruits that can go toe-to-toe with virtually anyone else in the country. The only outlier in that regard appears to be Kentucky. However, head coach Mark Stoops has successfully prevented such a dilemma from defining the worth of his Wildcats in recent history.
What truly makes these meetings such deathmatches is their placement on the schedule, as it is arguably worse than that of the trap games. Clemson will be UGA’s opening game of the season. While the other three are scheduled one after the other with nothing more than a bye week to help soften the schedule. Georgia’s chances of winning all four of these games are practically nonexistent.
Summary: How Will the Bulldogs Do?
Assuming that the Dawgs will ultimately win every game that they are expected to; Being one of the top teams in the Southeastern Conference for 2021 should not be a monumental task for them to complete. What will prevent them from getting over the hump? The toughest games of the season were just covered. If Georgia were to split those four games, they would still head into the postseason with a stout 10-2 record. They would even possess a strong chance to appear in the SEC title game once again. To simplify, the upcoming schedule should treat UGA well. Yet they will likely leave a handful of games with less than desired outcomes.