SEC

Georgia Football Schedule 2016: Ranking Toughest Opponents


What are the toughest games on the Georgia Bulldog football schedule? Ranked from easiest to hardest, here are how important each of the Bulldogs’ games are.


How will Georgia fare this season? With a new coach, a possible new starting quarterback, and question marks now at running back, it’ll be an interesting season, but is the schedule workable? Here’s a look at their toughest games, ranked from easiest to most difficult.

12. Sept. 10 Nicholls State

With the running back injuries and a possible true freshman starting quarterback, this is the game Georgia really, really needed to start the season. The Colonels went 0-12 last season – including a 73-7 loss to Arkansas – and they won’t be appreciably better this time around.

11. Nov. 19 Louisiana-Lafayette

The Ragin’ Cajuns are good enough to win the Sun Belt title, and there can’t be a misfire here. It’s a dangerous game coming up after the end of the SEC regular season, sandwiched between Auburn and the rivalry date with Georgia Tech.

10. Oct. 15 Vanderbilt

Coming off the toughest stretch of the season – more on that in a moment – the Bulldogs shouldn’t have a problem exhaling at home against a Vandy team that still won’t have an offense. However, the team’s collective head has to be there with a week off coming up next.

9. Nov. 5 at Kentucky

It’s a wee bit of a trap game coming off the party with Florida, and it’s on the road, but the Bulldogs have won six straight against Kentucky, going back to 2009. Also, they haven’t lost in Lexington since 2006.

8. Oct. 8 at South Carolina

Georgia should be able to beat South Carolina – the Bulldogs are just better – except for one big problem: it’s at the end of a brutal stretch. It’s not just a run of three road games in four weeks, but those contests are at Missouri, at Ole Miss, Tennessee, and then in Columbia against the Gamecocks.

7. Sept. 17 at Missouri

It’s the SEC opener on the road against a team fired up to make a huge statement in a battle of new coaches. Last year’s 9-6 win was as ugly as the final score, but the 34-0 win two years ago in Columbia was even worse. The two teams have played just five times, with Georgia winning four of them.

6. Nov. 26 Georgia Tech

Go with the “throw out the record book” cliché here – the two teams have played nasty battles lately, with the last three each decided by a touchdown or less. The last thing Georgia needs is to deal with a fight before going off to the SEC title game – if that’s on the table.

5. Nov. 12 Auburn

Georgia is a miraculous 2013 tipped-pass-touchdown away from being on a five game winning streak in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. It’s the SEC regular season finale, and the East could be decided before this happens. If the Dawgs take care of the top four games on the list, a win keeps playoff hopes alive.

4. Sept. 3 North Carolina

Make the putt, Kirby. This is a good, talented Tar Heel team that should be in the hunt for the ACC Coastal title again. Regardless, Georgia should be able to get by without too much of a problem if the defense is playing at a high level and the offense doesn’t screw it up.

3. Sept. 24 at Ole Miss

Ole Miss might be the best team Georgia plays – fortunately, it’s in the other division. Win, and there’s a decent margin for error. However, the Bulldogs can lose this and it won’t be a big deal as long as they win the big two games in the division against …

2. Oct. 1 Tennessee

If the Vols come close to living up to the preseason hype, they should be the stars of the East – but they have to go to Georgia. It’s a bit of an overstatement to say the Dawgs can forget about the division title with a loss, but if they can pull it off at home, they might be just one game away from Atlanta in December if they beat …

1. Oct. 29 vs. Florida (in Jacksonville)

There are better teams on the Georgia schedule, but the Florida game is the toughest East showdown away from Athens. This might be an elimination battle in the division race, and if Georgia enters having already beaten Tennessee a few weeks earlier, it might turn out to be a coronation.