I fully admit to being a bit of a weirdo, but one thing to do when I have time on my hands is just go through old sports records and results. Especially with the internet, it’s so easy to just go see who played in the 1965 NCAA Tournament when you’re bored at 1 AM. It had become even more common for me during the sports-less Pandemic times.
One of those searches occured on Sports-Reference.com, which has nearly everything you could ask for when it comes to college football history. On there, you can look up the historical head-to-head between basically every team imaginable, including programs that don’t even exist anymore. As I had some time on my hands recently, I thought I would bring to you five of the weirdest head-to-heads in North Carolina football history.
0-7 vs. Yale
The last time UNC played Yale in a football game was 1944. Admittedly, all of the matchups came when Ivy League teams weren’t in FCS/any other lower tier, and were also competing for national titles. Even so, that doesn’t totally explain how badly the Bulldogs owned the Tar Heels.
The first ever meeting finished in a 34-7 win for Yale in 1910. UNC then did not score another point against them until 1944 in the most recent matchup. That last one was 13-7 and was the only time UNC stayed within three scores. The cumulative score of the game was 200-13. Considering that Ivy League schools aren’t really scheduling FBS teams anymore, UNC probably will never get a chance to flip this head-to-head.
2-1 vs. Michigan
As they’ve spent the past couple decades not being in the College Football Playoff/BCS National Championship game, the main thing Michigan has been able to hang their hat on is being the winningest program ever. Their 962 wins is well clear of second place Ohio State, and it would take another couple decades of struggling for anyone to catch them. One thing we can say is that they don’t have that record because of UNC.
The two first met in a home and home played in 1965 and ‘66. Fourth ranked Michigan won the first meeting by seven in Chapel Hill. The next year back in Ann Arbor, Michigan came in at #8 while the Heels were unranked. UNC went on to win 21-7, and the loss totally dropped the Wolverines out of the rankings. The tiebreaking third game came in the 1979 Gator Bowl where UNC hung on for a two-point win.
It should be noted that the 1979 team was decent, but on the whole, UNC’s combined records in the three seasons where they played Michigan was 14-17-1. So, the legendary Michigan program couldn’t add to their record win total because they struggled against some mostly mediocre Tar Heel teams.
2-6-1 vs. Georgetown
Georgetown is another team that, like Yale, still has a program, but just one that competes in FCS and is unlikely to matchup with the Tar Heels anytime soon. Unlike Yale, they didn’t have a national championship-winning program in the early days of the sport. For whatever reason, that didn’t stop them from owning UNC.
The two teams played nine times between 1902 and 1915. Some of those Georgetown teams were undoubtedly good. However, so were many of the UNC teams, yet the Hoyas overwhelmed Carolina. On the whole, Georgetown outscored UNC by 92 points in the nine meetings, and that includes one of Carolina’s wins being by 36. The other finished by a very 1909 score of 5-0.
1-0 vs. Penn State
UNC seems to own some notable Big Ten powers. (Don’t look up what they’ve done against Ohio State.) Own might be a strong word for just one meeting, but UNC won pretty handily, shutting out the Nittany Lions 19-0.
27-4-3 vs. Davidson
This one is not on for the actual win-loss record, as it’s not shocking that UNC has dominated a current FCS program. It’s included more because the two haven’t played since 1942, and yet it’s still one of UNC’s 10 most played series. UNC and Davidson football have played more than Carolina has played multiple current ACC teams, including Florida State, who’s been in the league for almost three decades now.