Auburn Football: Five Potential Non-Conference Rivals

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Nov 30, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils tight end Braxton Deaver (89) with the ball as North Carolina Tar Heels cornerback Jabari Price (4) defends in the third quarter. The Blue Devils defeated the Tar Heels 27-25 at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

An ACC Team From North Carolina

Georgia has Georgia Tech, Florida has Florida State, South Carolina has Clemson and Kentucky has Louisville. All four games are annual clashes between the SEC and the ACC, and of course, all four are in-state matchups.

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The state of Alabama, of course, has no representative in the Atlantic Coast Conference, so there is no natural in-state opponent for Auburn in which to join this trend. That doesn’t mean that the Tigers shouldn’t look to play an ACC opponent regularly, however. Of course, every team on this list so far has come from the ACC. But I digress.

There are four ACC teams from the state of North Carolina that do not have a regular out of conference rival: North Carolina, NC State, Duke and Wake Forest. Because each team plays its fiercest rivals in-conference (much like Auburn) it leaves the possibilities open for some intriguing non-conference games.

Among the four, Auburn has played Wake Forest the most. The Tigers are 6-2 all-time against the Demon Deacons with the last meeting coming in 1982. Auburn split two games with NC State in the late 1970s, and has played both Duke and UNC six times apiece.

The Blue Devils could become an interesting option if head coach David Cutcliffe continues to build that program into an annual contender, but North Carolina would be a higher profile opponent. The last time the Tigers played the Tar Heels was in the 2001 Peach Bowl.