UNC Football: CBS Preseason Rankings for Every FBS Team

CBS ranked every team in the nation from Alabama to UMass.  Where did the UNC Football team and their future opponents fall in these rankings?

The college football season is almost here and preseason rankings are beginning to roll in.  The coaches’ poll was released on Monday, and while the Tar Heels were not ranked in the Top 25, North Carolina, as well as every other FBS program, was ranked by CBS Sports this past week.

CBS has ranked North Carolina as the 46th best squad out of 131 FBS teams coming into this season.  This is technically much lower than where the Heels were ranked by the coaches, where UNC received 34 votes, which would rank them at 33rd in the nation in that respective poll.

This ranking slots the Tar Heels as the 7th highest ranked team in the ACC.  North Carolina is the third highest ranked team in the Coastal division behind Miami and Pittsburgh.

The ACC teams are ranked in this poll as follows:

5. Clemson

11. NC State

19. Miami

21. Wake Forest

25. Pittsburgh

41. Louisville

46. North Carolina

50. Florida State

52. Virginia Tech

55. Boston College

59. Virginia

89. Syracuse

96. Georgia Tech

109. Duke

The ACC is well represented in these rankings, having five teams ranked in the Top 25.  The Tar Heels have four of these opponents on their schedule this year, as well as Notre Dame, who is ranked 6th in this projection.

Here is the Tar Heels schedule this year, followed by where each team is ranked in these CBS rankings:

Florida A&M-Unranked (FCS)

@App State-42nd

@Georgia State-80th

Notre Dame-6th

Virginia Tech-52nd

@Miami-19th

@Duke-109th

Pittsburgh-25th

@Virginia-59th

@Wake Forest-21st

Georgia Tech-96th

NC State-11th

According to these rankings, the Tar Heels are ranked higher than six of their opponents and lower than six of their opponents.  That would project the Heels to have a 6-6 record for the second consecutive season.  That would not be enough to please most UNC football fans.

However, three of the tougher games on the schedule are at home and spread apart with the Tar Heels hosting Notre Dame in late September, Pittsburgh in late October, and NC State in late November.

The Tar Heels took the eventual ACC champion Panthers to overtime at Heinz Field and held a nine-point lead in Raleigh with two minutes left last season.  Both of those games will be difficult but could be even more winnable this season with them being played in Chapel Hill.

If the Heels can win one or both of those, steal a road game at either Wake or Miami, and win the games they are supposed to, they will have a good shot at representing the Coastal at the ACC Championship Game this December.

As we saw last season, preseason rankings mean nothing once the games begin.  Hopefully this year the UNC football program can reverse last season’s trend and exceed their preseason expectations in 2022.

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