Best / Worse Case Record for :
North Carolina has been team inconsistent the last few years. The Heels will look like a top 20 team for 5 weeks, then in the next 5 play like they’d rather be picking daisies in a field. Sometimes within a single game their inconsistency will be from quarter from to quarter. Last season the offense was pretty good, but the defense was one of the very worst in the country giving up nearly 500 yards a game. Head coach Larry Fedora had to make a move, and brought in noted defensive guru Gene Chizik to make some much needed changes on that side of the ball. How much difference will it make?
Will Go 9-3 (5-3) if:
UNC beats South Carolina… No other ACC team’s fortunes will be defined more by their game 1 result than the Tar Heels. UNC is such a streaky team, that a strong opening weekend will send them to a 4-0 start. I don’t think they win at Georgia Tech, but UNC has a great shot at being 6-1 heading to Pittsburgh, if they beat the Gamecocks. South Carolina has defensive issues of their own, and question marks at QB. This is a must win for the Heels.
The offense should be one of the conference’s best. Marquise Williams is a dangerous dual threat QB, and there is talent at WR and RB to go along with a solid offensive line. If Chizik can get the defense to just be mediocre rather than awful, the schedule sets up well. There is no FSU, Clemson, or Louisville to play. If you’re looking for deep darkhorse team, I can see that being the Heels.
Will Go 6-6 (3-5) if:
The defense resembles in any form the unit from last year. It’s a soft schedule that should keep the Heels bowl eligible, but who can’t see UNC losing their last 5 games given their inconsistent nature? They play at Pittsburgh, host Duke, host Miami, then play at Virginia and at NC State. After beatingDuke last season, the Tar Heels mentally checked out for the rest of season in ugly losses to NC State and Rutgers. A couple of early losses, and Fedora could lose this team as he did late last year. Did I say that game against South Carolina was important?