North Carolina and Wake Forest schedule non-conference series

Sam Cooper
(Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports)
(Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports)

North Carolina and Wake Forest, two ACC rivals, took an interesting approach to filling a slot in their non-conference schedules for 2019 and 2021.

Instead of looking outside the ACC, the two programs will square off in non-conference games – one at Wake Forest on September 14, 2019, and one at UNC on September 25, 2021. Because of the ACC’s scheduling arrangements, the two teams were not scheduled to play one another in those seasons. Now they will, but the game “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,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said. “We have a long history with Wake Forest that has historical value and will generate interest within our fans.”

According to a release from UNC, this home-and-home arrangement 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.”

North Carolina and Wake Forest have a rivalry that spans more than 100 years. In 105 meetings, the Tar Heels lead the series 68-35-2. The two teams played one another every year from 1944-2004 but now play on an infrequent basis due to the rotating schedule (which is set through 2024) stemming from the conference’s expansion to 14 teams (UNC and Wake are in different divisions).

This agreement also satisfies the ACC’s requirement of each program scheduling at least one power five team in its non-conference slate.

The two programs will meet in conference matchups in 2015 and 2022.

For more North Carolina news, visit TarHeelIllustrated.com.

For more Wake Forest news, visit DeaconsIllustrated.com.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!