In this day and age of college football, when teams are getting scrutinized more than ever before for non-conference scheduling, especially when it comes to making the College Football Playoff, Tuesday’s announcement that Clemson will play Georgia in 2021 makes a lot of sense.
And, though Georgia and SEC fans will never admit it, it makes just as much sense for the Bulldogs as it does for the Tigers.
There is no doubt Clemson needed an upgrade with its non-conference schedule. Prior to Tuesday, Clemson was scheduled to play SC State, Wyoming, UConn and South Carolina in its non-ACC part of the 2021 schedule.
Though a good and proud FCS program, SC State is still an FCS school and Clemson will continue to get blistered for playing FCS teams despite the fact it is always plays a South Carolina school and it helps funding other schools in the Palmetto State.
Wyoming was 8-5 in 2019 and usually has a pretty good program, but it’s a Group of 5 school and it does nothing for building a resume that Clemson hopes will stand up when the Tigers are in the College Football Playoff discussion.
UConn is a bad Group of 5 team. The Huskies were just 2-10 last year. Then there is South Carolina. The Gamecocks had a down year in 2019, going just 4-8 overall.
Prior to Georgia being added to the schedule, Clemson’s 2021 opponents had a combined 70-79 record (.470). With the ACC down in 2019, the Tigers needed to get a game where the media and the fan base would have something to get excited about.
There is no doubt Clemson needed Georgia on its schedule.
But don’t get all high and mighty Georgia, you need Clemson, too.
Prior to playing the Tigers, Georgia was playing UAB, Charleston Southern, San Jose State and of course rival Georgia Tech as part of its out of conference slate. UAB had a good year in 2019, positing a 9-5 record, but they’re an average to below average Group of 5 team at best in most years.
Charleston Southern is an average FCS school at best and San Jose State is another Group of 5 team that historically has been average. Also, Georgia’s SEC schedule takes a hit in 2021. There is no LSU, Texas A&M or Alabama on the schedule, and it doesn’t even get one of the Mississippi schools. Instead, it has Arkansas, who was 2-10 in 2019.
Georgia’s opponents’ combined win-loss record in 2019, prior to Clemson being added, was 74-76 (.493).
With Clemson and Georgia now playing in 2021, the Tigers’ opponents had a combined mark of 74-76 (.493) in 2019, while Georgia’s were 83-70 (.542). So, as the numbers show, Georgia needed Clemson every bit as much as Clemson needed Georgia, if not more so.
Clemson’s 2021 schedule
Date Opp. 2019 record
- 4 vs. Georgia (at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte), 12-2
- 11 vs. SC State, 8-3
- 13 vs. UConn, 2-10
- 27 at South Carolina, 4-8
- TBA Boston College, 6-7
- TBA Florida State, 6-7
- TBA Georgia Tech, 3-9
- TBA Wake Forest, 8-5
- TBA at Louisville, 8-5
- TBA at NC State, 4-8
- TBA at Pitt, 8-5
- TBA at Syracuse, 5-7
Georgia’s 2021 schedule
Date Opp. 2019 record
- 4 vs. Clemson (at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte), 14-1
- 11 vs. UAB, 9-5
- 30 vs. Florida (TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville), 11-2
- 20 vs. Charleston Southern, 6-6
- 27 at Georgia Tech, 3-9
- TBA Arkansas, 2-10
- TBA Kentucky, 8-5
- TBA Missouri, 6-6
- TBA South Carolina, 4-8
- TBA at Auburn, 9-4
- TBA at Tennessee, 8-5
- TBA at Vanderbilt, 3-9
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