In July, it was reported that Florida State and West Virginia were closing in on an agreement to open the 2020 season in Atlanta. A little over five months later, it’s come to fruition.
Thursday, it was confirmed that the two football programs will square off in the 2020 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. The game will be played Sept. 5 at the still-under-construction Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The 2020 matchup of ACC and Big 12 programs will be the 16th in a Kickoff Game series that began in 2008. FSU will play in the 2017 game (vs. Alabama) to mark their first appearance, while WVU played in one of the two 2014 games (10-point loss to ‘Bama).
The Mountaineers are the only Big 12 school to ever play in the game, and no others from that conference are scheduled through 2020.
“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is an outstanding event, and we look forward to playing Florida State in the game to open the 2020 season,” said West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen in a statement. “Florida State is one of the top teams in the nation each year, and it will be a challenge for us and a great way to open the season.
“Our players and coaches like playing in neutral site games in pro venues. When we played in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in 2014, our players, coaches and fans really enjoyed playing against Alabama in a great environment and we expect the same in this game. It will be a great experience for our players to play in Atlanta’s new indoor stadium.
The football programs have met three times previously, with all three coming in the Gator Bowl, the last coming in 2010. As WVU was in the process of moving from the Big East to the Big 12 in February of 2012, it cancelled a 2012-13 home-and-home series with the Seminoles.
The final of what was a trio of FSU wins over WVU came in the last game for Bobby Bowden, the legendary head coach of the Seminoles who coached the Mountaineers for six years before leaving Morgantown for Tallahassee following the 1975 season.
Bowden’s successor at FSU, Jimbo Fisher, is a native of Clarksburg, WV.
Below is the scheduled teams that will appear in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game over the next four seasons:
2017 – Alabama vs. Florida State
2017 – Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech
2018 – Auburn vs Washington
2019 – Alabama vs Duke
2020 – Florida State vs. West Virginia
2020 – Georgia vs. Virginia