Heels Reign: Highest Ranking Since 1997 For The Carolina Football Team

Most people tend to look at the University of North Carolina, better known as the UNC Tar Heels, as a basketball school, having won seven national championships, and producing some of the NBA’s all-time greats, such as Rasheed Wallace, Vince Carter and of course, the legendary Michael Jordan. So it is safe to say that UNC flourishes in the basketball department; however, that has not always been the case with the football program. The team has never qualified for the college football playoffs, and their most successful season came in 2001, when they defeated Auburn in the Peach Bowl. Ever since then and even before that, it has been tough sledding for the UNC football team. Fortunately for the baby blue nation, things are looking up.

Following their victory over Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels were ranked  number 5 in the country by the AP poll, the highest ranking the team has received since 1997, which was interestingly the last season Coach Mack Brown coached at UNC before he took the job with the Texas Longhorns. This 2020 season is his second since returning to Chapel Hill. “People typically go to UNC in terms of sports for the coaching staff and the rivalries, and winning games, especially against rivals, is always going to benefit the program,” said Robbie Thompson, students at Athens Drive.

The team started off on a hot foot, defeating conference rival Syracuse in a 31-6 win at Kenan Memorial Stadium in Chapel Hill, followed by a narrow victory over Boston College, after which UNC climbed from 12th to 8th in the country. They followed this up with a 56-45 shootout victory over 19th ranked Virginia Tech, allowing them to reach #5 in the country, led by star sophomore QB Sam Howell.

“And I was so proud that the offense stepped up today and did that. And now we’ve got to go back and just figure out what went wrong today on defense,” said Head Coach Mack Brown, via 247 sports.

A rough first half ended up being too much to overcome for the heels, trailing 31-7 at the half. Despite a miraculous comeback, the Tar Heels fell to the unranked Florida State Seminoles 31-28 in Tallahassee on Saturday, Oct.17. Following the loss, the team fell nine spots in the AP rankings 14th in the country. Still very much respectable, but Mack Brown and company know they need to do better.

The Heels will look to get back on track, however, they have certainly made their mark thus far, and shown that they are one of college football’s elite teams in 2020, and with a strong season, the Heels could come a long way in developing their football program.