The Associated Press released its preseason rankings Sunday with the Tar Heels coming in at No. 23, just as they did in the USA Today Coaches poll.
UNC is coming off a 7-6 season in which it won five of its last six regular season games—falling to Duke in the regular season finale—and defeated Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. In head coach Larry Fedora’s third season, the smart, fast, and physical plan he’s been preaching since day one has given onlookers a positive outlook.
Preseason workouts and scrimmages have pointed to a small but quick defense, and the offense still has a bit of a question mark to it with permanent positions to be filled. However, answers will start to roll in in just 12-days time when Carolina hosts Liberty with a 6:00 p.m. kickoff in Kenan Stadium.
Only two other ACC teams made it into the Top 25: defending national champion Florida State was nearly a unanimous pick for the top spot with star quarterback, sophomore Jameis Winston returning as the playcaller. Alabama, Oregon, and Oklahoma all received a first-place vote. Clemson came in at No. 16—also in the same position as the coaches poll. And, although it’s not a football member in the ACC, keeping an eye on Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish came in at No. 17.
Four other ACC teams are just outside the top 25 receiving votes (in order): Duke, Louisville, Virginia, and Miami.
Pregame coverage of UNC and Liberty two Saturdays from now on WCHL begins, as it always does, three hours before kickoff with Countdown to Kickoff followed by The Good Sports with Art C and BobLee.