11 days ago I wrote a scenario where the North Carolina Tar Heels would make the playoffs. The loss to South Carolina holds UNC down like an anchor. I can’t disagree with it either. The Heels did lose to a team that finished the season 3-9, but if Michigan State can lose to a 5-7 Nebraska and Oklahoma can lose to a 4-7 Texas team, the Heels had a shot with a lot of help.
I had in the neighborhood of 16 results that needed to occur for the Heels to make the playoffs. Stunningly 12 have already happened. The one important result that didn’t happen was Ohio State beating Michigan State.
The Buckeyes are in the playoff mix as a second Big 10 playoff team, and it all depends how the committee weighs the resume of an ACC Champion versus Ohio State. I think we’ll know Tuesday, and I’m adding it to the list. UNC needs to be within 4 spots of Ohio State when the rankings are released Tuesday. Since the Buckeyes don’t play, UNC can leap frog them if they are close enough.
This was the post from November 18
Obviously the Heels need to keep winning. They have 3 games left to move up 13 spots. Can it be done? Here is what must realistically happen or close to it.
Weekend of November 21 (North Carolina ranked 17)
#15 LSU loses at #23 Ole Miss (CHECK)
#13 Utah loses to UCLA (CHECK)
#10 Baylor loses to #6 Oklahoma State (CHECK – Baylor lost to TCU, so the end result is same)
#9 Michigan State loses to #3 Ohio State
North Carolina beats Virginia Tech (CHECK)
I think the Tar Heels can move from 17 to 12 or 13 if these results happen. (CHECK - TAR HEELS are 14 that’s close enough)
Weekend of November 28 (North Carolina ranked 12-13)
#8 Florida loses to #14 Florida State (CHECK)
#7 Oklahoma loses to #6 Oklahoma State
#4 Notre Dame loses to #11 Stanford (CHECK)
#12 Michigan loses to #3 Ohio State (CHECK)
North Carolina beats NC State (CHECK)
The Tar Heels enter the top 10 for the first at 9 or 10 (AWAITING and within 4 spots of Ohio State)
Your top 10 at this point is 1) Clemson 2) Alabama 3) Ohio State 4) Oklahoma State 5) Iowa 6) Stanford 7) Florida State 8) UNC
Weekend of December 6 (North Carolina ranked 8)
#2 Alabama wins the SEC – moves to #1 seed (CHECK – Florida has zero chance to beat Alabama, but even if they do that benefits UNC because FSU did UNC a favor and dropped Florida out of playoff contention, Alabama losing opens an additional playoff spot)
#3 Ohio State beats #5 Iowa to win the Big 10 – moves to #2 seed (CHECK – Swap Michigan / Iowa as Big 10 Rep)
#4 Oklahoma State wins Big 12 – moves to #3 (CHECK – Swap Oklahoma for Oklahoma State as Big 12 Rep)
#6 Stanford loses to Utah or USC in the Pac 12 title game. (AWAITING)
#8 UNC beats #1 Clemson and moves to #4. (AWAITING)