Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
After hosting Georgia, Tennessee goes through the roughest part of the schedule. The next week, Tennessee will host LSU, who will likely still be a top 10 team.
After that, Tennessee travels to Alabama, who starts out this year as the second-ranked team in the country.
Following that, Tennessee hosts defending SEC East champion South Carolina. They start the season ranked No. 12.
That's a tough series of games. If Tennessee wins more than one of those, it'll be a miracle. However, if Tennessee goes into this stretch having already topped Georgia, then Tennessee will suddenly be a more confident, more threatening team.
All four of Tennessee's weak out of conference games will have already been played, so that's four wins. If Tennessee beats both Georgia and Florida, then Tennessee comes into this tough series as an undefeated team. If Tennessee beats one but not the other, then Tennessee still comes in 5-1.
If you're gonna have a loss against all those teams, it'd be best to have that loss be as far away as possible. An early loss would be better for Tennessee's confidence than a more recent one.
A win against Georgia puts Tennessee squarely at 5-1 before facing LSU at home. That makes an upset way more likely and a great season all but guaranteed. And that's why Georgia is Tennessee's most important opponent next year.