Auburn and UNC Finalizing Deal to Play in 2020
USA TODAY Sports
According to Brandon Marcello of Auburn Undercover, Auburn and North Carolina are close to finalizing a deal to play a neutral-site game in 2020. The game would be part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, and would be played during the second week of the season in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
If finalized, Auburn will have scheduled a Power 5 nonconference team for each season until 2024. North Carolina would be added to a list of opponents that includes Washington, Oregon, Penn State and Cal.
The last time the Tigers played the Tar Heels, Auburn lost 16–10 in the 2001 Peach Bowl.
Adding North Carolina would be welcome news for Auburn fans as it will further diversify the Tigers’ future out-of-conference schedule after years of stale matchups featuring Clemson—a team that Auburn has played a total of six times in the last ten years. The bad news, however, is that the long-awaited game between Auburn and Notre Dame that was discussed before the season will need to be put on hold for at least eight years.
Since the game would occur during week 2 of the season, Auburn would most likely need to move its November 21st opponent, Alabama A&M, to the first week of the season.
On an interesting note, the Tigers currently have UMass scheduled for the November 14th date in 2020 —a weekend typically held aside for the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry. Does that mean the Auburn-Georgia game will eventually be moved to an earlier point of the season? If so, that would heavily benefit Auburn during even years as the Tigers would avoid the three-week stretch that includes road games at Georgia and Alabama.
Auburn’s Future Out-Of-Conference Schedules:
Sept. 1: Washington (Atlanta)
Sept. 8: Alabama State
Sept. 29: Southern Miss
Nov. 17: Liberty
Aug. 31: Oregon (Arlington, TX)
Sept. 7: Tulane
Nov. 23: Samford
Sept. 12: North Carolina (Atlanta) *not yet finalized*
Sept. 26: Southern Miss
Nov. 14: UMass
Nov. 21: Alabama A&M *possible date change to week 1*
Sept. 18: @ Penn State
Sept. 25: Georgia State
Nov. 20: Alabama State
Sept. 17: Penn State
Sept. 24: Western Kentucky
Nov. 19: Mercer
Sept. 9: @ Cal
Sept. 7: Cal