Season Two of The Fedora Era got off to an inauspicious beginning.  The 2013 edition of The Fighting Fedorians were clearly the 2nd best team on the turf of William-Brice Stadium in Columbia SC.

It was not “a rout”.   It was also not a “if only we hadn’t ______” or a “those SEC officials jobbed us” (it was an ACC crew) or “Spurrier cheated” or any of the standard fall-back excuses that a faction of every fan base always resort to in the aftermath of a convincing defeat.   The final score could have been closer.  It also could have been “a rout”.  It was 27-10 and forever will be.

FWIW…. I give that particular UNC uniform ensemble a “C-” at best.  If we never see it again, that will be fine with me.

Those of a reasonable mind uncluttered by champagne wishes and caviar dreams realized Thursday night that UNC 2013 is not on a competitive par with an upper tier SEC program.

The question to consider is:  WILL we ever be?  …. and, Is THAT all that matters to you?

TarHeelNation is still recovering from an unimaginable 3-year funk.  Whatever and whoever is/was responsible for that gosh-awful descent into an embarrassing hell…..  The Great Unpleasantness was NOT The N&O’s fault.

I am absolutely no fan of The News & Observer as all who know me will attest, but blaming them for all that’s happened is self-servingly stoopid.   Multiple internal errors of omission and commission are forever to blame.

That said (#1)….. lets examine where UNC Football is now and might be in 2-3-5 years.

I am on record on my website and on Good Sports as being solidly on-board with both Bubba Cunningham and with Larry Fedora.   Nothing that happened Thursday night….. or last season at The Wally…. or against GaTech et al will alter my confidence in these two men to develop UNC Football to the best it can be.

My concern is whether we can keep Larry Fedora for 6-8-10 years to firmly build the solid foundation for a multi-decade future of solid winning football that all Carolina alumni/fans can be proud of.

Mack had us “there” fifteen years ago.  It was a different “there” back then.

That said (#2)….. I do not believe “there” for UNC will ever consistently be the on-field equal of an upper tier SEC Football program.

Am I saying UNC will never beat USC?    No.

Cancel that Charlotte game in 2015 right now?   No.

Wake Forest caught lightning in a bottle in 2006 winning the ACC and “going to a BCS bowl”.   Whoo Hoo!   UNC has the facilities and wherewithal to have a consistently stronger program than Wake Forest.

I have incredible respect for Jim Grobe.  Larry Fedora is Jim Grobe with much better facilities and wherewithal.   So, yes, given (1) a special season with (2) minimal key injuries and (3) fortunate bounces of the oblate spheroid, Carolina CAN win the ACC and go to a National Football Playoff.

But if all the stars never align for such a special season I’m OK with that too.

Larry Fedora will continue to recruit very well.  The announcement of the commitment of the highly touted Charlotte running back is further proof of that.  Carolina Football has produced more than its share of “superstars” and top-tier NFL standouts and will continue doing so.   There will be more Gios….. more Jonathan Coopers….. Jeff Saturdays….. TJ Yates….. The Barths….. et al.

The package that is “Carolina Football” under the leadership of a quality head coach like Larry Fedora and an Athletics CEO like Bubba Cunningham should bring many many thrills to Kenan Stadium and to our program.

But, if your only measure of success is “like an upper tier SEC program game-after-game” then I am going to enjoy myself a LOT more than you will in the weeks, months, years to come.

In this column thru this season, I will share my opinions from the perspective I have outlined above.  Some of you will agree….. some will vigorously (and profanely?) disagree.

Go Heels!

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