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UNC Announces Non-Conference Football Series With....Wake Forest?

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, you read that correctly. UNC and Wake Forest have agreed to play what will be non-conference games against each other in 2019 and 2021.

Here is the release from UNC

Atlantic Coast Conference members North Carolina and Wake Forest have agreed to a home-and-home non-conference football series in 2019 and 2021.  Carolina will play in Winston-Salem on September 14, 2019, and will then play host to the Demon Deacons on September 25, 2021.

This is the first time two members of a Power Five conference have agreed to play each other in a football series originally scheduled as non-conference games.  The results will not factor into the ACC standings.

“This is a unique opportunity to play a regional rival in years that fall outside the normal conference rotation,” said UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham.  “We have a long history with Wake Forest that has historical value and will generate interest within our fans.”

Although the two schools no longer meet on an annual basis, the Carolina-Wake Forest rivalry is the third-oldest rivalry in the ACC with 105 previous meetings.  Carolina leads the series, 68-35-2.  The two institutions met on the gridiron every year from 1944-2004, but have met just four times since.  In the most recent meeting, Wake Forest held on for a narrow 28-27 victory in 2012.

Carolina and Wake Forest are slated to play conference games in 2015 in Kenan Stadium and 2022 in Winston-Salem.

Based on the current rotation, UNC and Wake Forest are set to play in the upcoming season but not again until 2022. Seven years is a long time for two teams that are geographical rivals with a fair amount of history to not play each other. In light of the increased pressure on Power 5 conference teams to play other Power 5 teams this games makes a ton of sense. Traditional ACC fans have long lamented the fact that UNC doesn't play Wake Forest enough so this agreement makes an effort to restore at least some of that tradition.

The question now is whether NC State and Duke will follow with a non-conference series of their own.