Following decisions from the Pac-12 and Big 10 to move to conference-only schedules for fall sports, the North Carolina football team’s week two match-up with Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff was thrown into question with speculation that the ACC could follow suit. Summer Sports Editor Zachary Crain caught up with Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO Gary Stokan to discuss conference plus-one schedules, the Kickoff game’s potential impact and more. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
The Daily Tar Heel: One of the big things right now is the possibility of conference-only scheduling. Can you explain some of the scenarios you could see happening if the ACC or SEC goes conference-only?
Gary Stokan: Hopefully the ACC and SEC don’t follow the Pac-12 and the Big 10 and go conference-only. If they did, we would lose our North Carolina-Auburn game, Georgia-Virginia game and Florida State-West Virginia games. If they went to conference plus-one, then we could play West Virginia vs. Virginia and North Carolina vs. Auburn. If they went conference plus-two, then we could play all three Chick-fil-A Kickoff games as scheduled.
DTH: Can you explain the idea of conference plus-one and conference plus-two schedules?
GS: Sure, the conference plus-one would be the eight conference games that they currently have scheduled and then the one Power Five game that they have scheduled, so in North Carolina’s case it would be Auburn, in N.C. State’s case it would be Mississippi State, Texas plays LSU and Tennessee plays Oklahoma. Notre Dame would need the most help because the rivalry games would take place with Florida-Florida State, Kentucky-Louisville, Georgia-Georgia Tech and South Carolina-Clemson. Notre Dame would lose three games, so what I’ve suggested is the ACC puts Syracuse who lost a game, Miami who lost Michigan State and Alabama who lost USC on the Notre Dame schedule. So that would make up those three games with Clemson, Louisville and Georgia Tech who they lost to the rivalry games. It’s basically the ACC would play all their conference games plus-one Power Five game.