North Carolina has moved up three spots in the latest College Football Rankings, coming in this week at #14. Despite the rise, UNC is still the lowest-ranked one-loss Power 5 team, and is ranked behind three two-loss teams: Stanford, Michigan, and Florida State. UNC's foe in the ACC Championship Game, Clemson, remains ranked #1.
This week's rankings also include six three-loss teams, including three who are new to the list. Unfortunately none of those three are Pittsburgh, who is 8-3 with their three losses by a combined 22 points to teams in the top 14.
ESPN's David Hale summed up UNC's (and Pitt's) situation best:
UNC has roughly the same resume as Ohio St, Fla & ND, but with an ugly loss. Pitt has better resume than Oregon or Wash St but no big win.— David Hale (@DavidHaleESPN) November 25, 2015
Clearly UNC continues to get crushed by the SCAR loss, especially with the Gamecocks losing to FCS Citadel this past weekend, but other teams with bad losses (say, Oklahoma losing to Texas, or Florida State losing to Georgia Tech) aren't penalized nearly as much. And because the committee continues to shun Pitt, Carolina is unable to claim a top-25 win.
I have pretty much come to accept what the committee feels about UNC so kvetching about it at this point will do no good. It is frustrating to see the two-loss teams above Carolina, but the committee is giving weight to Stanford's two top-25 wins over Pac-12 foes and Michigan gets to claim its top-25 win over Northwestern. But really there is no reason at all for UNC to be ranked behind Florida State.
All the Tar Heels can do at this point is win out and see where the carnage falls. They are long shots at best for the final four unless there is a whole lot of dominoes that fall into place. Of course none of this matters unless business is handled in West Raleigh on Saturday so let's keep the focus right there, shall we?