Another week, another awesome moment from the Carolina football team. This team has the “it” factor that makes being a fan so enjoyable. Even in their darkest moments, they are not out of the game. Trailing by one point with 23 seconds and the ball on the 25-yard line, the Tar Heels looked dead in the water. Mitch Trubisky, Ryan Switzer and Nick Weiler had other plans however, and propelled Carolina to the most improbable of victories.
This is a truly remarkable time to be a fan of North Carolina. Every fall sport has been ranked nationally at some point this season. The football team is must see TV every week because of their never-say-die attitude. They have propelled themselves to number 16 in the top-25 rankings, and have a rare top-25 matchup in Kenan Stadium with number 25 Virginia Tech on Saturday.
October 3rd marked the official start of basketball season. Usually in Chapel Hill around this time, all talk has switched over to basketball. This season, however, is different. People are certainly excited for the reigning national runner-ups to take the hardwood, but the football team has everyone pumped up. For now, basketball season can wait.
This is not at all a knock on Carolina basketball. They should be fantastic. A presumed top-10 preseason basketball team has the look of a national title contender. Most “basketball schools” have already turned their attention to basketball. For Duke, Kentucky, and Kansas, basketball season cannot come soon enough. North Carolina fans are used to doing this too, but this year is different.
In the past two weeks, Carolina football has produced two of the more remarkable wins in recent memory. The Pittsburgh game was incredible with three 4th down conversions on the final drive that culminated with a miraculous Bug Howard one-handed catch with two seconds remaining. As extraordinary as the Pittsburgh game was, it was surpassed by the win in Doak Campbell Stadium against the 12th ranked Florida State Seminoles this past Saturday.
When Nick Weiler had his PAT blocked, every Carolina football fan just knew how the game was going to turn out. We had seen it time and time again. It is time for Carolina fans to change that belief, myself included. Larry Fedora is big time and his players are big time. They are never out of any game and have proven to us that we should always believe.
Saturday should be an awesome day in Kenan Stadium. It should be loud and remain loud throughout the game. It has been some time since there has been this kind of buzz around North Carolina football. They had high preseason expectations, and so far they have delivered. Last season the Tar Heels were fantastic, winning the Coastal division and giving Clemson a run for their money in the ACC Championship game. This year, however, the football team has something they haven’t been able to achieve for quite some time: a marquee win.
A win at Florida State is a feather in the cap of the Tar Heels. Teams very rarely walk out of Tallahassee with a win. The Tar Heels snapped a 22 home game win streak, which was the longest home winning streak in the nation. This is a win that looks great to the selection committee, and truly does give Carolina a possibility of crashing the College Football playoff should they win the rest of their games. This is obviously a big if, but the chance is there. That’s all Carolina fans have wanted for so long- a chance.
That chance is why we can wait for basketball season. We are in full football mode, and it is awesome. Basketball season will come soon enough, and it will undoubtedly have its own remarkable moments. That’s why being a Carolina fan is so great right now. We have a reasonable shot to be in the Final Four for both football and basketball. Few teams can say that in the country, and that should make Carolina fans everywhere smile.