North Carolina football was picked to finish in fifth place in the Coastal Division of the ACC, according to a poll of media members taken at the ACC Kickoff in Charlotte last week. The Heels were picked behind Miami, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Pitt within the division, finishing just ahead of Duke and Virginia.
Carolina did receive four first place votes from members of the media, equaling their Durham rivals’ first place vote total as well. Pitt received 673 votes for fourth place to UNC’s 606, so it was at least pretty close.
While not indicative of future results in any way, it does show that the uncertainty around the program heading into the 2017 season is fairly high. That’s understandable, considering the huge loss of talent the Heels’ roster experienced after last season. Brandon Harris is an unproven commodity within the ACC after losing his job at LSU, and a number of young players will be depended on to carry the offense that is so heavily relied upon in Larry Fedora’s game plan.
If everyone plays to their expectations the Heels could easily out-perform this prediction. Their home slate is an exciting one, and playing well at home could potentially help them steal a win or two that no one saw coming. Turning Kenan Stadium into a place other teams don’t want to play would go a long way toward achieving that goal.
As expected, Florida State and Miami are the favorites to meet in the ACC Championship game that returns to Charlotte this year. The Seminoles beat out Clemson on the Atlantic side of the poll in points with Florida State having an easy edge in first place votes with 121 to the Tigers’ 37.
The same was true of Miami beating out Virginia Tech on the Coastal side with 1065 points to the Hokies’ 932. The Hurricanes easily won the first place vote battle with 103 to VT’s 40.
Here are the poll’s complete predicted standings:
- Florida State
- NC State
- Wake Forest
- Boston College
- Virginia Tech
- Georgia Tech
- North Carolina