With the college football season a little less than a month away, Thursday saw the release of the preseason coaches poll. Not shockingly, Alabama was voted #1, with other non-surprises Ohio State, Florida State, USC, and Clemson making up the top five.
Also not surprising was North Carolina not making the top 25. They didn’t finish top 25 last year and then lost a lot of talent. The Tar Heels probably shouldn’t and don’t make the top 25. They do, however, appear in the others receiving votes.
UNC received eight votes, meaning either someone ranked them 18th, or two or more coaches voted them some combination of 19th-25th.
You would think even the most optimistic UNC football fan wouldn’t put the Tar Heels in the top 25 right now. They lost nearly all of their skill position talent on the offensive side of the ball. Someone did, though.
Larry Fedora is one of the voters this year, so it wouldn’t be totally shocking if he showed some faith in his team and put them in his top 25.
Other possible candidates include other ACC coaches. Jimbo Fisher is a voter. He and several other coaches made the claim at ACC Media Day that the conference was the best in the country. Several ACC coaches could have voted for the Tar Heels to try and continue building up the reputation of the league.
Old Dominion coach Bobby Wilder also has a vote. With the Tar Heels and Monarchs set to play this year, it could be that he gave them votes to build them up and/or he just thinks they’re good.
Or it could be that the coaches poll isn’t taken that seriously. This is the same poll that Steve Spurrier used to vote Duke 25th in every year. Recently, that hasn’t been that crazy a thing to do, but it would have been for many of the years Spurrier did it. UNC has been solid for a couple years now, some of the coaches could just be thinking back to the past couple seasons and just went with the Tar Heels.
Also a possibility is that the coaches know more than we do, and North Carolina will be better than most people expect.
Three of UNC’s opponents were voted into the top 25 as Louisville, Miami, and Virginia Tech appear at 17, 18, and 22 respectively.
Of course it should be noted that the coaches poll doesn’t even matter anymore with the College Football Playoff rankings existing. That’s probably a good thing, considering that someone gave Maryland a vote.