Opinion: Ranking the toughest non-conference schedule among Power 5 college football teams in 2021

Ranking the 64 Power 5 teams’ non-conference schedules in 2021: 

1. Stanford: Kansas State, at Vanderbilt, Notre Dame. Wow. No mid-majors. That’s revolutionary in 2021.  

2. Georgia Tech: Northern Illinois, Kennesaw State, at Notre Dame, Georgia. Excellent schedule. Northern Illinois is down from its Orange Bowl days of 2012, but still. The Fighting Irish and Bulldogs are as good of a 1-2 scheduling punch as you’ll find.  

3. Georgia: Clemson in Charlotte, Alabama-Birmingham, Charleston Southern, at Georgia Tech. Outstanding schedule. A national power. An in-state arch-rival. Even the mid-major UAB is decent.  

4. Virginia: William & Mary, Illinois, at Brigham Young, Notre Dame. Wonderful schedule by the Cavaliers. When a Big Ten opponent is your third-best game, you’ve got a schedule.  

5. Florida State: Notre Dame, Jacksonville State, Massachusetts, at Florida. Seminoles’ typically play two powerhouses and two rumdums. This is no exception. And that’s no criticism. ‘Twould every school scheduled like this.

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