The Legacy of the 2015 Tar Heel Football Team


On the legacy of the 2015 North Carolina Tar Heels football team and how the team will be remembered years from now.

10, 15 years down the road, how will fans remember the 2015 North Carolina Tar Heel football team that went 11-3? What will be more prominent in the minds of fans — the three bad losses to South Carolina, Clemson and Baylor, or the 8-0 conference winning record and the 7-0 home record at Kenan?

2012 will be remembered for being Larry Fedora’s first year and a very good football team built off the recruiting efforts of Butch Davis’ staff.

2013 will be remembered for the Belk Bowl win in Charlotte over Cincinnati and the optimism that win carried for the rest of the Larry Fedora era in Chapel Hill.

2014 will be remembered for the team that had so much potential and six good wins, but that also had a terrible defense and lackluster performances in big games that doomed the team.

2015’s legacy could go two ways. The pessimistic fans could remember the three losses, which each caused significant pain. The South Carolina loss was a game the Heels should have won, but didn’t, because of redzone turnovers and mismanagement. The Clemson loss was a game the Tar Heels had a chance in, but didn’t do quite enough on defense to stop Deshaun Watson. And the Baylor game was a game that the Tar Heels weren’t prepared for defensively, leading to hundreds and hundreds of rushing yards for Baylor.

North Carolina Tar Heels
North Carolina Tar Heels /

North Carolina Tar Heels

The optimistic fan, however, and hopefully the true North Carolina football fan, should remember this team for the wins and the good moments from the season. They should remember the 35 points in the first quarter against NC State. They should remember the come from behind victory against Georgia Tech and the “never say never” attitude showcased by the team. They should remember putting up 66 points at home against Duke. And they should remember the overtime win against Virginia Tech and the ACC Coastal Championship that came from all those ACC wins.

There’s possibly another piece of this team’s legacy that could be added in a few years. If Carolina takes a step up as a program to become a national powerhouse in line with the Clemsons and FSUs of the world, fans should look back on this team as the team that laid the groundwork for that success. The 2015 football team helped the North Carolina football program take a huge step forward with an ACC Coastal Championship and 11 wins.

Down the road, if UNC starts to consistently win ACC Coastal Championships and be in and around the discussion for CFB Playoff spots, future teams will have this team to thank.

To close, I will share how I will remember this football team. I will remember Marquise Williams and Landon Turner as the team’s leaders. I will remember the explosive offense, with so many weapons at the skill positions and Williams leading the charge as QB, as one that could score on any play at any point in time at any place on the field.

I will remember the defensive improvement under Gene Chizik. I will remember the tough linebacking core of Jeff Schoettmer and Shakeel Rashad and the amazing secondary of Des Lawrence, MJ Stewart, Donnie Miles and Sam Smiley.

I will forget the tough losses and remember the 11 wins that set up the football program for future success.

Let us know in the comments section below how you will remember the 2015 football team.