Results for this year’s ACC Preseason Football Poll were released on Monday, with UNC picked to finish fifth out of seven teams in the conference’s Coastal Division after ending each of the last two seasons in either first or second.
Florida State was picked to win the Atlantic Division–and to become the overall league champion–by a group consisting of 167 media members, while Miami is the early favorite to take home the Coastal Division.
UNC did receive four first place votes to win the Coastal Division, however, which typically comes down to a wide-open race where anything can happen.
Louisville junior quarterback Lamar Jackson–last season’s Heisman Trophy winner–was chosen as the ACC Preseason Player of the Year.
The Tar Heels face a rebuilding season of sorts after losing starting quarterback Mitch Trubisky–who was chosen by the Chicago Bears with the No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Not only is Trubisky gone, UNC will have to replace its top two running backs, top three wide receivers and three starters on the offensive line.
This doesn’t even account for the team’s losses on defense.
Coordinator Gene Chizik–who helped put together the nation’s most improved unit during his first of two years in Chapel Hill–decided to resign and spend more time with his family.
Defensive tackle Nazair Jones chose to forego his final year of eligibility, and was taken in the third round of the NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.
Although senior cornerback MJ Stewart stayed in school to help lead the Tar Heel secondary, the team’s brightest unit on defense will miss departed seniors Des Lawrence and Dominquie Green–who each played big roles on the field and in the locker room.
Finding replacements for all the lost production–not to mention a solid option at the quarterback position–will be critical for head coach Larry Fedora and company to surpass expectations.
For the full ACC Preseason Poll and voting results, click here.
Photo via Smith Cameron Photography