In the 2014 preseason AP college football poll, the North Carolina Tar Heels were ranked 23rd. The were the third highest ranked ACC team, not including Notre Dame. The Florida State Seminoles took the top spot in the poll with 57 of 60 first place votes. Clemson was ranked 16th in the initial poll, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were ranked one below them at 17th. The Tar Heels will play both the Tigers and Irish this season.
You can find the entire poll here.
Here is the methodology behind the poll, from collegefootball.ap.org/poll
The AP Top 25 is determined by a simple points system based on how each voter ranks college football’s best teams. A team receives 25 points for each first place vote, 24 for second place and so on through to the 25th team, which receives one point. The rankings are set by listing the teams’ point totals from highest to lowest. The mathematical formula is the same as the one used for the AP Pro 32 rankings and the AP Top 25 rankings for men’s and women’s basketball.
I think 23 sounds about right for the Tar Heels. UNC has been a popular pick in the 20s in many of the preseason polls. The Heels were ranked 23rd in the USA Today poll as well as just one example.
Assuming the Heels take care of business against Liberty, SDSU and ECU, the Tar Heels will climb as high as 16 or 17 in the polls leading up until week five of the season. Then the Tar Heels will face Clemson in what could be a matchup of top-20 schools. Then the Tar Heels can jump up into the top-10 (!!!) by sweeping Clemson, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame, but that will be very, very tough to do. More likely they will fall back to 24-ish after losing one or two of those three games.
What do you think about the Tar Heels latest ranking? Too high or too low? Let us know in the comments below.