The start of the 2021 college football season is still over four months away, but programs are in the midst of immensely important spring workouts. As players and coaches begin to lay the groundwork for the upcoming campaign, the sport’s fans are busy discussing a variety of topics, including which team might have the toughest schedule next year.
ESPN’s Football Power Index tried to answer that exact question by releasing the strength of schedule for each FBS program in 2021. According to FPI, the Arkansas Razorbacks have the toughest slate in the country next fall.
Sam Pitman already got off to a rough start at his gig in Fayetteville, going 3-7 in an all-SEC schedule in 2020. Now, his Razorbacks will be tested yet again, just a year later.
Here’s a look at Arkansas’ full schedule for the 2021 campaign:
- vs. Rice
- vs. Texas
- vs. Georgia Southern
- vs. Texas A&M (Arlington)
- at Georgia
- at Ole Miss
- vs. Auburn
- vs. Arkansas Pine Bluff (Little Rock)
- Bye Week
- vs. Mississippi State
- at LSU
- at Alabama
- vs. Missouri
Any SEC schedule typically spells trouble for the conference’s less-talented teams. With an early non-conference contest against Texas and crossover games against Georgia and Missouri, Arkansas won’t be able to pencil in too many wins prior to the start of the year.
The Auburn Tigers, another SEC West program, has the second hardest schedule according to ESPN’s FPI. A trio of Big 12 teams (Kansas, Texas and TCU) round out the top-five most difficult slates in the 2021 campaign.