We are now less than two weeks away from North Carolina football kicking off their 2022 season against Florida A&M. While we probably could’ve guessed this fact, UNC for sure won’t have a little number next to their name on the ACC Network scorebug when that game kicks off, as they’ve gone unranked in the preaseason AP Top 25 poll.
On the heels of going unranked in the initial Coaches Poll last week, UNC also fell short in the AP’s preseason rankings, but did receive a couple votes. Two separate voters had the Tar Heels in their top 25s, with one ranking them #20 and another at #23.
That’s was good for nine rankings points, which currently puts Carolina 225 points behind current #25 BYU.
The AP Poll famously does not technically matter in College Football Playoff matters, but the preseason rankings can still be telling. While there will be some teams that take big falls (hello 2021 UNC) or ones that come out of nowhere to finish the season ranked, the preseason rankings can often do a decent job of prognosticating the season ahead.
Five opponents on UNC’s schedule for this season will go into the new season ranked. Notre Dame (#5), NC State (#13), Miami (#16), Pitt (#17), and Wake Forest (#22) are all on the horizon for the Heels at some point this season. Meanwhile, they’re also set to play Appalachian State, who are in the “others receiving votes” section along with Carolina.
The lack of UNC in either set of preseason rankings confirms what a lot of us are probably feeling about the Tar Heels in the upcoming 2022 season: While there is some potential there, we are going to need to see it on the field before getting ahead of ourselves.