I am beginning to think if Bunting manages to survive the most disappointed individual in the room will not be UNC fans but Caulton Tudor.
Tudor fired off his second column advocating Bunting's ouster. Of course it is not like this is a debatable position after Saturday's debacle but Tudor joins Andrew Jones in actually calling for Bunting's resignation.
Bunting has tried his best, but it just hasn't worked. His background as an NFL defensive assistant didn't work in his favor from the start. He had to make big adjustments to hiring staffs, recruiting players and communicating with nonprofessionals. When he seemed to make progress in one area, something went wrong in another.
The 2006 season, Bunting thought, finally would be the turning point. No more than a five- or six-win season was widely expected, but there was reason to believe UNC would play opponents evenly inside and outside the ACC. With six games to go, they still don't have a win over a Division I-A foe, and their last four losses have been by a total of 117 points.
The football expectations at Carolina aren't unrealistic, and there's no question that the fans and the school have been patient. Bunting has been given every chance to get the program going. Where it has gone is back to three years ago.
Unless a miracle occurs in the next six games, there's no valid argument for staying the course.
At the Wilmington Star, Andrew Jones followed up his article by interviewing Brad Dopke of CollegeSportsReport.com who spelled out Bunting's end.
Is John Bunting done at UNC?
Yes, even John Bunting knows the end is very near. It's one thing to rebuild from scratch when you first arrive on campus, but he's been at Chapel Hill more than a few years for that to be happening. Even he knows it’s not good to watch Rutgers and South Florida pass by UNC.
If Bunting is gone, when and how do you think this will unfold?
He's a class guy who I see doing what is best for the school. UNC has been good to him and he's done a great job running a super clean program. I'm thinking if the losses keep mounting, he'll announce his retirement effective at the end of the season, probably before the N.C. State game. He's an honest guy and will want to give his team every chance to right the ship before then, but that will prove most difficult.
Is there a difference in the attractiveness in the UNC job now as opposed to the last time it opened in Dec., 2000?
Not really. UNC is one of the most highly regarded institutions of higher learning in the country. You're talking about perhaps the best public university in the country. Who wouldn't want to coach there? There is so much untapped potential and a spot where a highly successful coach could become a legend if that potential is seen through to its extent.
I honestly think this is the tipping point. UNC goes to UVa for a Thursday night game and there is nothing worse than having Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit use you as a punching bag for three hours on national telelvision. And if UNC plays poorly at Charlottesville, which is pretty much a gaurantee at this point, then Thursday night will be nothing more than Fowler and Herbstreit talking about what a sad point the UNC program has reached. And since basketball has started practice with exceptional hype surrounding it, the collective consciousness of Tar Heel Nation will effectively begin to shift elsewhere.