Sounds about right though I could see them slipping to 3rd if things get dicey or winning the division if everything goes right. Not exactly earth shattering analysis on my part, I know.
Behold the unwavering wisdom of the ACC media courtesy of ACC Now:
|1. Clemson (59)||1. Virginia Tech (58)|
|2. Wake Forest (5)||2. North Carolina (4)|
|3. Florida State (1)||3. Miami (1)|
|4. Boston College||4. Georgia Tech (1)|
|5. Maryland||5. Virginia (1)|
|6. N.C. State||6. Duke|
The relative success of this season basically rides on two weeks in September. Virginia Tech comes to Kenan on Sept. 20th and Heels travel to Miami the following week. An 0-2 record means a 3rd place finish at best so winning one of those games is extremely important in that "starting out 1-3 with losses to Rutgers, VT and Miami is probably not the best thing for a young team" sort of way. Also UNC is very much in need of figuring out how to win road games against schools not named NCSU and Duke. I think we will see that, hopefully more than once and in the name of Dick Crum, hopefully in Charlottesville.
The upside for the Heels based on these predicted standings is the fact UNC faces the bottom three teams from the Atlantic. Not having to deal with Clemson, Wake Forest and Florida State is a serious break. This coupled with the general weakness of the Coastal is why the media was willing to stick the Heels in 2nd and some esteemed members of the media such as Joe Ovies at 850 are calling for UNC fans to book their hotels in Jacksonville for the ACC Championship.
I am little too scarred from six years of The Coach Who Shall Not Be Named to be that high on this team. I do think the Heels will do well, somewhere in the 7-5 range and grab 2nd in the Coastal. I also happen to think if those two weeks in September can a pair of wins, UNC can get to the title game. However, I am more content to be cautiously optimistic about such things and given where we have been, finishing 2nd is fine for now.
It also should be pointed out that should UNC get an impressive season rolling here there will be many, most of them clad in some sort of red colored shirt, to cry that the Heels are playing against a weak division in an effort to minimize the accomplishment. And that's fine since it is certainly the perogative of a rival to dinigrate the team they despise. The hue and cry from ABCers will not stop me from laughing my rear end off should the Heels end up playing for the title in Jacksonville while Tom O'Brien is kicking back in his office at Carter-Finley listening to "Dancing Queen"