Is it that UNC Football has not been up to par this season, as some of it’s own fanbase believes, or could it be that the conference and the way its playing has been a bit of a pleasant surprise? If we look at the FBS teams this season there are still 29 programs without a loss. Five of them are in the Atlantic Coast Conference, that would be close to 28% of the teams.
For North Carolina to have no losses at this point of the season would have been very difficult, when two of the first three games were against South Carolina, which was in the Top 10 at the time, and then Georgia Tech. Both match up were also on the road.
I would have guessed that Clemson, having a Heisman candidate could have been undefeated, but it was not a given, having Georgia as the first game of the season. Florida State, with a pretty easy first quarter of the season, would have been another guess, as would have GA Tech, even if I did hope the Tar Heels would break their string against them this season.
On the other hand, both Maryland, who had a desperate UConn squad and a okay West Virginia team, I would not not seen still without a blemish. The Terps were up against 30 against WVU, in a game played in less then ideal weather conditions. Of for that matter Miami, who had Florida as their second opponent of the year.
Sure, UNC is below .500 right now, and at 1 and 2 is the only program in the ACC below .500. Sure, things could worst in the near future and head coach Larry Fedora and his team could be even one game more under that mark when the next three games are over and done, with ECU, VT and Miami all coming up. But I am pretty sure that if you poll anyone that follows ACC football they would have been a lot more sure that the Heels would be off to this kind of start than to think that either Miami or Maryland had perfect records after this much of the season.
Having said all of this, while some of the North Carolina fans might not be thrilled with the going ons this season, be it the team’s record or other things, the plain and simple truth is that the Tar Heels are but a couple of decent plays from being 2 and 1 and having knocked off one of the five undefeated in the conference. A bit better running game and some extra effort on defense would have been the difference in the last loss had and maybe might have made a difference with the other Carolina in the season opener.
I sometimes wonder if the fanbase for the gridiron watches and thinks too much like hardwoods fans. Meaning that while in basketball one good recruit can turn around a season, in football it takes times to build the proper roster, and even more to maintain it.