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Tar Heel Hangover: The Bye Week

Finally a week without a loss!

Miami v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Welcome to the Tar Heel Hangover. This is our Monday morning opportunity to review last week’s game, second guess all of the key moments, and set the game plan for the week ahead.

The Elevator Speech: What happened last week

This is the first time since September that we had to work Monday morning without a Tar Heel loss. It was nice to sit back and enjoy a day of crazy college football without frustration.

Water Cooler Discussion: If I were the coach . . .

There are three weeks remaining. Without a bowl game, this is a critical developmental time for next season. Two of the three games are certainly winnable with the season finale against NC State looking like a very difficult matchup.

This is the time to hit the reset button. There is nothing that can be done about the six game losing streak. Instead, it is the coaching staff’s responsibility to motivate the team toward a three week season. I predict that by 8:00 Thursday night, we will all know whether the team is focused or lost.

Lying In Bed, I Wish I Could Change . . .

The timing of the bye week. A late season bye is a great schedule for successful teams that are making a push toward a bowl game or the playoffs. This team desperately needed the bye 4 or 5 weeks ago.

An earlier week off would have allowed for many of the injuries to at least partially heal. More importantly, it would have broken the downward spiral that the team was experiencing.

Looking Forward: Pittsburgh and Northern Iowa

On the gridiron, the Heels have a winnable game at Pitt on national television. Don’t let Pitt’s 4-5 record fool you, though. This is a good team with losses to Penn State, Oklahoma State, and NC State. Recent wins against Duke and Virginia demonstrate that the team is coming together.

Statistically, this is a fairly even matchup. Let’s hope for a strong showing.

On the hardcourt, the Heels will make their debut on college basketball’s opening day. There are a lot of questions surrounding this team, especially without Joel Berry II. It will be very interesting to follow the line-ups and get a glimpse into the broader strategy for the year.

Final Thoughts

This is an important week with a nationally televised football and basketball game. Two wins would make for a nice start to the weekend.