UNC Football: Tar Heels on track to be a CFP contender?

UNC football head coach Mack Brown is going into his third season in his second stint in Chapel Hill and he has the Tar Heels on the right track. After UNC won a combined three games in 2018-19, Brown has upped his win total in each of the past two seasons and led the program to an Orange Bowl appearance last year.

With a foundation in place including talent currently on the roster plus strong recruiting classes, the Tar Heels are thinking big in 2021. They want to contend for a spot in the College Football Playoff this year and compete for an Atlantic Coast Conference title as well.

Those are big goals but are the Tar Heels on the right path?

Rivals recruiting analyst Mike Farrell wrote in his latest article about teams that could potentially become the next Clemson as a consistent national title contender. He sourced an ESPN article which listed Georgia, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State and LSU as the five teams with the best chance. However, Farrell wasn’t sold on those five and wanted to replace Notre Dame and Penn State.

But it’s the teams he picked to replace those two and one of them includes North Carolina:

Who would I add to replace Notre Dame and Penn State? That’s easy. North Carolina and Oklahoma. The Sooners have been to the playoff four times already, their defense is improving and they have an easier path to the playoff through the Big 12. As for the Tar Heels, I believe in Mack Brown and what he’s building in Chapel Hill. Clemson will eventually take a step back. It’s inevitable. When the Tigers do fall back to the pack, North Carolina could rise up in the ACC.

That’s interesting.

The Tar Heels certainly have a path to being a legit contender in the ACC but where does that place them on the national stage? While Brown has been good in each of his two seasons back I need to see more from the program in order to put them in contention among the top programs across the country.  Having a big year in 2021 and being in the running for a CFP spot would be a good start for the Tar Heels.

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