This could prove to be quite the perception boost for at least one team.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), only the Georgia Bulldogs rank among the top in both the metric and the metric’s strength of schedule. Georgia currently ranks as No. 17 in FPI, and as the team with the sixth most difficult remaining schedule.
Georgia has a home game up next against hotshot Mississippi State, and they have tough road games later in the season at Tennessee, at Vanderbilt, at Auburn, and at Georgia Tech. There is also the annual neutral site game in Jacksonville against the Florida Gators that Georgia has to worry about.
Of course, the schedule could get much tougher; if the Bulldogs manage to make it through all of that relatively unscathed, they could end up with a matchup against current No. 1 Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
If Kirby Smart can walk away with at least 10 wins this year against that, it should be seen as a big win the Georgia administration in Smart’s second year as a head coach.
Georgia is the only Top 30 FPI team to rank with a Top 10 remaining schedule. The next closest team is UCLA (FPI rank 25, SOS rank 12), who is 2-1 on the season after a loss to Memphis.
3-0 Utah (AP rank 23, FPI rank 54) currently ranks as the team with the most difficult remaining schedule, according to ESPN. Utah has road games against No. 5 USC, No. 7 Washington, and No. 24 Oregon still to go on the schedule. Tough home bouts against Stanford, Washington State, and Colorado remain as well.