Yesterday, the ACC announced the slate of games that they expect to be played this season, with a tentative starting date of the second-ish week of September. That means, over the course of the next month, we’re going to see a ramping up of pre-football coverage across the internet, and we are no exception. Now that we know football is planned to start, and not even with that much of a delay, we can start getting into the details of previewing this season, and the biggest thing that leads to is position previews.
Over the month of August, starting tomorrow and going on until the end of the month, just like we have the last couple of years, we’re going to be profiling each position group the Tar Heels have, and this might be the most exciting year to do it yet, with a quarterback room, a wide receivers room, a running backs room, and a defensive backs room that can each credibly call themselves top-25, if not top-10 (especially the offensive ones) in the country. We’ve all been hoping that it’s going to be safe enough for football to be played this year so we can see the promise of last year turn into production this year, and we’ve all (rightly, I think) had way bigger expectations for this team than a 7-6 record the previous year usually deserves. This team finished on an absolute tear, running through NC State and Temple like they were high school teams, and we’re all hoping they attack this season’s opponents just as fiercely, returning two 1000-yard receivers, two 1000-yards-from-scrimmage running backs, and the maybe the best true freshman quarterback we’ve ever seen, not to mention almost an entire defense minus a couple of linemen and a 3rd linebacker. Over the next month, you’ll get to really appreciate, I think, everything that UNC fans and analysts have been hyping up since January, put into pictures and words rather than a general feeling of excitement for this team to be good.
I’m still worried about the prospect of a season, particularly with the questions of what this means for ticket sales, the possibility of a season being truncated if and when cases on campuses spike across the country, and the possibility that some players’ futures might be snuffed out thanks to long-term lung damage without their being compensated for it. But we’ve got an announcement, and that makes some of the excitement we’ve all been shelving feel just a little more tangible. Over the next month, hopefully we’ll get to amplify that for you all. I, for one, am pumped.