North Carolina, Wake Forest schedule nonconference series for 2019, 2021

North Carolina will host Wake Forest in ACC play in 2015. (USATSI)
North Carolina will host Wake Forest in ACC play in 2015. (USATSI)

Faced with playing only one game against each other over the ensuing decade following the 2015 season, Tobacco Road rivals North Carolina and Wake Forest have agreed on a unique solution to their 14-team conference problem.

The Tar Heels and the Demon Deacons announced Monday they will face each other in a home-and-home nonconference series in 2019 and 2021, with the initial game hosted by Wake in Winston-Salem and the follow-up by UNC in Chapel Hill. The result of the games will not count in the ACC standings.

The nonconference-series-between-conference-opponents is believed to be the first of its kind among Power 5 football programs, though similar series are not uncommon in other college sports, most notably baseball.

The two schools first met in 1888 and have played 104 times since. But with the ACC expanding to 14 teams and the Tar Heels' permanent cross-division rivalry slot already occupied by NC State, UNC and Wake were previously scheduled to play in the upcoming 2015 season ... and not again until 2022.

"Because of the ACC schedule, we do not have the opportunity to play North Carolina as regularly as we have in the past," Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman said. "These are two teams that played the very first college football game in this state over 125 years ago. We felt it made perfect sense to continue this rivalry and allow fans of both schools to enjoy playing a traditional opponent."

North Carolina leads the all-time series 68-35-2. 

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