Tar Heels picked to finish sixth in ACC preseason poll
The University of North Carolina has been picked to finish sixth in the 2018 ACC Football preseason poll that was released on Monday.
The Miami Hurricanes are an overwhelming favorite to win the Coastal Division over second-place Virginia Tech and third-place Georgia Tech. Duke was picked to finish in fourth-place and Pittsburgh in fifth. Despite being picked to finish in sixth-place, the Tar Heels received one first-place vote. Virginia is expected to finish dead-last in the division.
Three-time defending ACC champion Clemson is a near-unanimous favorite to win the Atlantic Division, and the ACC as a whole. The Tigers received 139 of 148 votes to win the conference coming off of a 12-2 record last season, and an appearance in the College Football Playoff.
Florida State was voted a distant second-place to the Tigers, while North Carolina State was picked to finish third and received two first-place votes. Boston College was selected fourth, and Louisville fifth. Just behind the Cardinals is Wake Forest, and Syracuse was picked last. The Orange received the fewest votes of any team in the conference.
The Tar Heels are coming off of an underwhelming 3-9 season that was riddled with injuries throughout the offense and defense. One of the few bright spots last season was the emergence of sophomore wide receiver Anthony Ratliff-Williams. He hauled in 35 receptions in 2017 for 630 yards and six touchdowns, establishing himself as the team’s best receiver and top offensive threat.
There are still some questions surrounding the UNC offense, particularly who will start at the quarterback position. The Tar Heels bid farewell to senior mainstays Austin Proehl, Andre Smith and M.J. Stewart, while ushering in a new crop of freshmen that features a handful of four-star players including wide receivers Dyami Brown and Antoine Green.
North Carolina will begin the season on Saturday, September 1st at California.