ATLANTA — The president and CEO of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl says he hopes this weekend’s appearance for West Virginia in the Georgia Dome kickoff game won’t be the last for the Mountaineers.

“You have a great fan base, a loyal fan base, a passionate fan base,” Gary Stokan said.

“We also know that within the Big 12 Conference structure there aren’t many games—and this is certainly not to denigrate the Big 12—but there aren’t many games that people can drive to.”

Stokan is credited with creating the latest round of neutral-site kickoff games. WVU’s opponent on Saturday, No. 2-ranked Alabama, won the first Chick-fil-A Kickoff game against Clemson in 2008.

“It’s been successful and I think it will grow,” Stokan said. “We bookend the season. We start the season with kind of a bowl atmosphere and we’ll end the season with a College Football Playoff bowl game was well.”

Stokan was a guest on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline,” which originated from Park Tavern in Atlanta. Park Tavern was the host site for WVU fan events Friday, along with MetroNews “Hotline” and the MetroNews “Statewide Sportsline.”

WVU president E. Gordon Gee, who was scheduled to fly to Atlanta on Friday night, also appeared on “Talkline.”

“I believe very strongly in the role of athletics in a university,” Gee said. “I believe it plays a very important role in terms of spirit and telling our story and a variety of others things and I have high expectations. I don’t like to lose. I’m just like every other fan.”

For Saturday’s game-day events, the official WVU Mountaineer Madness Party will begin at 10 a.m. at the Georgia World Congress Center, located next to the Georgia Dome. The Mountaineers party will be adjacent to the Chick-fil-A FanFest.

Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m..

Alabama was scheduled first for this year’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff game, which was announced back in 2012.

“Nick Saban, being a West Virginia guy, said, ‘I’ve never had a chance to play West Virginia and would love to play them.’ So we went and met with West Virginia and they liked the opportunity and so here we are with Alabama-West Virginia,” Stokan said. “I think we’re in for a great contest.”

Beginning this season, the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl will join the Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, Rose and Sugar Bowls in the group of six bowls that will host the new College Football Playoff.

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Comments

  • SCOTT

    As I have said all along..."Lets Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Mountaineers!!!!!!!!

  • Nobody

    Nobody believed we could beat Georgia. Nobody believed we could beat Oklahoma. Nobody believed we could beat Clemson. Nobody believes we can beat Alabama.

    • Mountain Navy

      I knew we would beat Georgia. But Alabama no way. No defense. Bama will put a 100 points on the board.

      Holgerson is not a defensive genius.

  • Lets go Eers!

    WVU is West Virginia's team! With the exception of some non believers that reside in Huntington, everyone loves the EERS.

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Were moving into the South to take out Bama.
    "Then were coming for yoouu!!! Barak O'Bama!!!"

  • GoEers

    Big time teams get invited to play big time games on the big stage!

    Let's go mountaineers!

  • Phil M.

    This is why they play the game. Favorite, underdog, it means nothing once they kick it off.

    Play hard, play smart and leave everything you have on the field tommorow.

    Win or lose if you do that and know you gave it all you had then you can live with the result.

    Win with class and lose with class

    WVU 38 Alabama 34

    Go EERS !!!

  • Coalblooded

    Just looking forward to an exciting matchup and hope all the doubters are wrong!!! We have been the underdog for many years and battling out of the trenches seems to be out protocol!!! Let's put the smack down on bama and come home with a win!!! GO EERS!!!

  • Doubter #1

    U-G-L-Y

    May I suggest that the Ear fans start getting ready for squirrel huntin' season, say around 3:45 tomorrow afternoon?

    #bulldozed

  • wsr

    I hope that all of the doubters remember that no one picked WV to win the Orange Bowl against Clemson either!!!! LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!!!!!!!