Stanford may have the most challenging schedule in the country this year.

Before we take any heat for saying that, keep in mind, we’re not saying the most difficult schedule in the nation as the challenge of navigating through the Pac-12 isn’t close to the same level as the difficulty of working through an SEC schedule.

But taking that into consideration, Stanford recently announced its 2021 football schedule and it looks pretty daunting for a number of reasons.

First of all, Stanford has signed up to exclusively play Power 5 opponents this season. There isn’t a single cupcake on the schedule for the Cardinal to face in 2021.

Stanford is the only team in the country that has signed up to exclusively play Power 5 teams this fall.

On top of that, Stanford is opening the season with three games away from home, including a trip to SEC country to take on Vanderbilt.

While most programs seize the opportunity to start the season with a likely win against an overmatched opponent to gain some momentum early in the season, Stanford will have to accomplish that on the road against tough competition.

There may be a few more difficult schedules in the SEC this season but there likely aren’t any that are as challenging each and every week of the season compared to Stanford’s.

Stanford’s 2021 football schedule

  • Sat., Sept. 4 vs. Kansas State in Arlington, Texas
  • Sat., Sept. 11 at USC
  • Sat., Sept. 18 at Vanderbilt
  • Sat., Sept. 25 vs. UCLA
  • Sat., Oct. 2 vs. Oregon
  • Friday, Oct. 8 at Arizona State
  • Sat., Oct. 16 at Washington State
  • Sat., Oct. 30 vs. Washington
  • Friday, Nov. 5 vs. Utah
  • Sat., Nov. 13 at Oregon State
  • Sat., Nov. 20 vs. Cal
  • Sat., Nov. 27 vs. Notre Dame