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Georgia football plays a tough 2019 schedule.

The 5 most important games on Georgia football’s 2019 schedule

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The 5 most important games on Georgia’s 2019 football schedule

Georgia football figures to play one of the tougher 2019 schedules in all of college football. To go along with the usual rigors of an SEC schedule the Bulldogs also have a huge home against a Notre Dame team that took part in last season’s College Football Playoff.

Every game is important for Georgia this season, but some are more so than others. Below we’ve ranked the top-5 games on Georgia’s schedule in terms of importance to both the 2019 season and what it could possibly mean for future seasons. We should also note that these are only games currently on Georgia’s schedule, so a hypothetical SEC championship game is not on here. Because as talented as Georgia’s 2019 team is expected to be, it’s no guarantee the Bulldogs make it back to Atlanta.

Related: Game times, TV Networks announced for Georgia’s first three games

5. Texas A&M, Nov. 23, Athens, Ga.

This game comes following a brutal three-game stretch that sees Georgia play Florida, Missouri and Auburn. It’s the Bulldogs’ final SEC game of the 2019 campaign, and the SEC East title could still be on the line going into this game.

Texas A&M is one of the more fascinating teams in college football this year.  It has a lot of intriguing talent — led by quarterback Kellen Mond — but the Aggies also play a brutal schedule as they play the Bulldogs, Alabama and Clemson this season. This game could be used to cross compare the Bulldogs to the Crimson Tide and the Tigers.

This game will also be the final home game of the 2019 season. That means it will be senior day for the likes of JR Reed and Charlie Woerner. But this could also be the final game in Sanford Stadium for some talented juniors like D’Andre Swift, Andrew Thomas and even possibly Jake Fromm. That alone should make this an extra special Saturday in Athens.

Related: ESPN, NFL draft expert expect Jake Fromm to be one of the top players in 2020 NFL Draft

4. At Tennessee, Oct. 5, Knoxville, Tenn.

Kirby Smart really got the ball rolling in his second season with a road win over Notre Dame. That was the first tangible sign he was building something special with Georgia. It ultimately led to a College Football Playoff appearance in 2017 and fast-tracked Georgia to joining college football’s elite.

I’m not saying a Tennessee win over Georgia would be a sign of things to come for the Volunteers, but it would definitely offer some serious validation to what Jeremy Pruitt is building in Knoxville. Most knowledgable Georgia fans would probably argue that Tennessee is the biggest long-term threat to Georgia, and a home win over the Bulldogs would certainly indicate that.

The last time Georgia went to Knoxville, it came away with a 41-0 win in a game where Jake Fromm had fewer than 100 yards passing. It won’t be quite that easy this time around, as Georgia won’t be able to waltz through Tennessee now that Butch Jones isn’t around.

Related: ESPN labels the game Georgia football fans need to beware of for 2019 season

3. At Auburn, Nov. 16 Auburn, Ala.

For all that Smart has done so far in Athens, he is still yet to play a competitive road game against an SEC West team. In each of his three seasons as head coach, Georgia has lost by at least 20-points when visiting an SEC West foe.

This season the Bulldogs visit Auburn. It comes during the aforementioned tough November stretch. The Tigers once again figure to have a strong defense with defensive tackle Derrick Brown returning for his senior season. And whatever questions there might be about the quarterback position, Auburn should have those answered by what will be its 10th game of the season.

This game will offer Smart an opportunity to show that he’s grown as a coach. Beating Auburn on the road would be another milestone for him to cross off his list. And given Gus Malzahn’s ever-constant hot seat, a loss at home to Georgia could really turn up the pressure on the Auburn coach.

2. Notre Dame, Sept. 21, Athens, Ga.

This game has been potentially earmarked as an 8 p.m. kickoff by CBS. You can imagine College GameDay will strongly consider visiting Athens for this possible top-5 matchup. ESPN has already called this game the best non-conference matchup of the 2019 season.

Regardless of whether or not you think this will be a close game for Georgia — the advanced stats suggest it might not be — it will absolutely be a chance for Georgia to make a statement early in the 2019 season.

Notre Dame will be plenty motivated coming into this game, especially after a what several Georgia players tweeted during last season’s College Football Playoff. If the Bulldogs truly want to prove they’re on the same level as Clemson and Alabama, beating Notre Dame would go a long way to justifying those comparisons.

1. Vs. Florida, Nov. 2, Jacksonville, Fla.

This game will likely pit the top two teams in the SEC East against each other, and decide who represents the division in the SEC championship game. But that is not why this is the most important game on Georgia’s 2019 schedule.

These two schools and fan bases have been lobbing shots at each other all offseason long. Whether it be Dan Mullen using the Florida spring game to troll Georgia’s championship drought, or seemingly every Georgia commitment in the past month naming Florida as a finalist to only end up picking the Bulldogs, it is clear that these two teams utterly despise each other.

When the Bulldogs won this game last season, they showed off some rare video of Smart really celebrating the win. If the Bulldogs beat Florida and Mullen for a third straight season, you can imagine a similar celebration will take place in Jacksonville.

If not, it is going to be an incredibly long offseason for Georgia in 2020.

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