Every day, we inch closer to the start of the 2022 college football season, and on Monday, we reached another sign post on the journey. Monday saw the release of the USA Today Coaches’ Poll preseason top 25.
As you might be able to guess, the North Carolina Tar Heels were not among the teams to make the top 25. Between the fact that the Heels went a disappointing 6-7 last year and also have to replace some notable pieces, including quarterback Sam Howell, it’s not shocking that UNC missed out. They probably also will in subsequent preseason top 25, including the AP Poll.
However, Carolina did end up in the “others receiving votes,” coming away with 34 ranking points. In case you’re unaware, the way voting works is that all of the voters submit a 1-25 ranking. The #1 team gets 25 points, #2 gets 24, and so on, down to #25 getting one point. UNC getting 34 points, means that, while it’s possible that 34 of the 66 voters ranked the Tar Heels #25, they more likely got several votes at higher positions than that. It should be noted that 34 points is still a decent ways off the 257 that #25 Houston got to get into the rankings. The Tar Heels are unofficially #33 in the Coaches Poll going into the new season.
Now, what does that mean exactly? Well, probably not that much. It’s not that hard to come up with a scenario for this season that sees that Heels finish higher or lower than the #33ish team in the country.
Not to mention, the Coaches Poll is often seen as the redheaded stepchild of the college football rankings. There are plenty of stories of the Coaches Poll arguably needing quotation marks around “Coaches,” with the duties being shunted off to someone else. In this year’s preseason poll, the four teams that received first place votes were Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, and Texas. One of those teams is not like the other, and we’re looking at you Texas. Before you think this might be UNC’s own Mack Brown doing a joke or something to honor his former team, he was not listed among the 66 voters.
Despite all the issues with the Coaches Poll, the release of this preseason edition is another item checked off the offseason checklist before we can get to watch actual games.