The first of the preseason polls is out today. Let's take a look at the Amway Coaches Poll.
|RANK||TEAM||RECORD||POINTS||1ST PLACE VOTES||PREV||CHANGE||HI/LOW|
It would appear people have finally received a clue of some sorts about preseason hype and UNC football. The Tar Heels received just two votes and for once will start the season with more reasonable expectations. The constant need for the national media to hype UNC football has become tiresome.
As Patrick Stevens points out, such hype has never been based in reality and stems from a faulty notion.
North Carolina is [an underachiever] because … it is good in a lot of other sports? Chapel Hill is a fantastic college town? Pretty much every other University of (Insert southern state here) has wild-eyed aspirations for its football program, so why not North Carolina?
Here's another argument: North Carolina is an underachiever only in the context that outsiders constantly expect a top-25 program. History suggests that just isn't so; the Tar Heels finished a season ranked five times before 1972, six times between 1972 and 1982 and four times since. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson, maybe 8-5 is as good as it gets (unless Mack Brown's around).
There is very much an "you are what you are historically" element in play here. Historically, UNC has never been a perennial top 25 team unless, as Stevens points out, you get a ten year ride with a coach like Mack Brown at the helm.
At least for this season, the preseason poll has figured out that the 2015 Tar Heels isn't worthy of such hype which is fine. Larry Fedora and his program need to prove they can put together a solid season on both sides of the football. They need to earn a ranking not have it handed to them by poll voters who buy into the "sleeping giant" idiocy bouncing around out there. And the bonus is UNC won't end up on any "most disappointing" lists by mid-October.
Exit question: Which top ten ranked team who will actually end up being mediocre will needlessly inflate the resume of a slightly above average team that will somehow end up in the College Football Playoff discussion before dropping 3 of their last 4 and getting run in the bowl game?