By R.L. Bynum
North Carolina’s season has been on a two-week holding pattern and it appears to have cost the Tar Heels in the Associated Press Top 25 poll. Carolina fell one spot, checking in at No. 12 in the new poll released Sunday afternoon.
Expect UNC to keep dropping even with wins in the coming weeks as more voters start to consider Big Ten and Pac-12 schools. In the preseason poll, Ohio State was No. 3, Penn State was No. 7, Oregon was No. 9 and Wisconsin was No. 12.
The Buckeyes returned to the poll at No. 6 and Penn State was back at No. 10, contributing to the Tar Heels’ drop. Also a factor was Miami jumping from No. 12 to No. 8 after blowing out Florida State 52–10 and Central Florida going from No. 13 to No. 11 winning 51–28 at East Carolina
Without the ability to impress Associated Press poll voters on the field, North Carolina’s only chance of moving up in the poll was to have teams above the Tar Heels lose and hope that teams just below them weren’t impressive.
Two teams lost ahead of the Tar Heels and fell behind them: Oklahoma (No. 3 last week but No. 18 this week after a 38–35 home loss to unranked Kansas State) and reigning College Football Playoff champion LSU (No. 6 last week but No. 20 this week after a 44–34 home loss to Mississippi State).
Two other teams that were ahead of Carolina in last week’s poll escaped upset bids: Texas (No. 8 last week but No. 9 this week after a 63–56 overtime win over Texas Tech) and Texas A&M (No. 10 last week but dropped to No. 13 this week after a 17–12 victory over unranked Vanderbilt).
Carolina won its only game of the season 31–6 at home on Sept. 12 against Syracuse. The Orange is 1-2 after winning at home 37–20 against Georgia Tech on Saturday.
The Tar Heels are scheduled to finally play again at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Boston College (2–0), which rallied at home Saturday to beat Texas State 24–21. The game will air on ABC.
AP Top 25
|1||Clemson (2-0)||1||ACC||1,542 (55)|
|2||Alabama (1-0)||2||SEC||1,473 (3)|
|5||Notre Dame (2-0)||7||IA Independents||1,231|
|6||* Ohio State (0-0)||Big Ten||1,169 (4)|
|9||Texas (2-0)||8||Big 12||862|
|10||* Penn State (0-0)||Big Ten||840|
|11||UCF (2-0)||13||American Athletic||743|
|12||North Carolina (1-0)||11||ACC||734|
|13||Texas A&M (1-0)||10||SEC||705|
|14||* Oregon (0-0)||Pac-12||651|
|15||Cincinnati (2-0)||14||American Athletic||646|
|16||Mississippi State (1-0)||SEC||590|
|17||Oklahoma State (2-0)||15||Big 12||555|
|18||Oklahoma (1-1)||3||Big 12||535|
|19||* Wisconsin (0-0)||Big Ten||510|
|22||Brigham Young (2-0)||18||IA Independents||295|
|23||* Michigan (0-0)||Big Ten||277|
|25||Memphis (1-0)||17||American Athletic||196|
Others receiving votes: Virginia Tech 195, Louisiana-Lafayette 126, * Minnesota 110, * USC 104, Kansas State 60, SMU 37, Marshall 31, Baylor 22, * Iowa 16, * Utah 14, Virginia 12, Arkansas State 11, UAB 5, Washington 4, Kentucky 4, Louisville 4, Army 3.
* Big Ten or Pac-12 schools that didn’t appear in last week’s poll.
Pool photo by Robert Willett