Changing landscape in college football could lead to UVA against West Virginia in season opener

If the ACC or SEC move to a 'Conference-Only Plus-One' schedule, Georgia and Florida State choosing to play out-of-conference rivals could lead to a switch for UVA in the season opener.

Changing landscape in college football could lead to UVA against West Virginia in season opener
UVA sophomore quarterback Brennan Armstrong (Source: wvir)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team is still scheduled, at this time, to take on Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff in Atlanta on September 7th.

The game has been on the books since 2017.

When they were picked to play the Bulldogs, the Cavaliers were coming off a two-win season, but CEO & President of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Gary Stokan saw a team on the rise.

”I think Bronco Mendenhall, after watching him at BYU, was going to be very successful there,” says Stokan, “and I think that’s proven to be correct. He’s turned the program around. They’re headed on the way that George Welsh had the program at Virginia.”

Both UVA and UGA played in their conference championship games last season, and the Dawgs are projected to be a Top Five team.

Stokan says, “I think we’d be in for a great match-up. Hopefully we get a chance to put on the match-up. It would help both teams. Whomever wins that game would build a resume to help them get in the (College Football Playoff) at the end of the season.”

There are three games scheduled for the kickoff this year, with Florida State vs. West Virginia and North Carolina vs. Auburn also on the docket.

The unsettled nature of college football due to the pandemic could cause problems, like a ‘Conference-Only’ schedule.

One option is conference Plus One, allowing teams to play an out-of-conference rival.

But that means Georgia would bow out of this game, so they could play Georgia Tech later.

“In that case, what we projected to the conference is to match up West Virginia vs. Virginia on Monday night in our Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game,” says Stokan, “and keep Auburn/North Carolina, because their rivals are in their conference. That would give us two games, instead of three, but that would be a win as well.”

Stokan says they’ll sell out as many tickets as they’re allowed, but the safety of everyone involved is the most important factor.

“There’s all kinds of protocols and scenarios that we’ve modeled, and are ready to go,” says Stokan, “we just hope we have the opportunity to put them in place and play the games.”

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