Tar Heels slide to No. 14 in AP poll, the second-largest poll drop in program history

Many questioned if North Carolina deserved the No. 5 ranking in The Associated Press Top 25 poll, even Coach Mack Brown. After a rally fell short Saturday night in Tallahassee, Fla., against unranked Florida State, the stay at that lofty spot was short.

North Carolina fell to No. 14, their lowest position since being ranked No. 18 in the preseason poll.

“As far as our top-five rating, we’re ahead of schedule as a team, our recruiting is going really well, we’re playing hard, but we weren’t the top five team in the country,” UNC coach Mack Brown said Monday. “Part of that was because the Big Ten wasn’t playing yet.”

At nine spots, it’s the second-largest AP poll drop in program history behind only a 10-spot fall in 1939 from No. 7 to No. 17 after a 13-3 defeat at No. 13 Duke.

“If you are the fifth-best team in the country and you want to stay there, play better than your opponent Saturday,” Brown said. “And I told him yesterday we obviously don’t deserve to stay up and the ratings because we didn’t play well.”

UNC fell from No. 7 to No. 13 in the coaches poll.

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Largest UNC drops in AP poll during season

10 — From No. 7 to No. 17 after a 13–3 loss at No. 13 Duke on Nov. 18, 1939
9 — From No. 5 to No. 14 after a 31–28 loss at Florida State on Saturday
8 — From No. 6 to No. 14 after a 41–7 loss at Oklahoma on Nov. 1, 1980
8 — From No. 9 to No. 17 after a 20–13 loss at No. 10 Tennessee on Nov. 2, 1946
7 — From No. 6 to No. 13 after a 20–17 loss at No. 24 Virginia on Nov. 16, 1996
7 — From No. 3 to No. 10 after 28–26 loss at No. 13 Maryland on Oct. 29, 1983
7 — From No. 6 to No. 13 after 13–7 loss at LSU on Oct. 22, 1949
6 — From No. 5 to No. 11 after 7–6 loss at Pittsburgh on Sept. 9, 1982
——————————————————————————————————

N.C. State, which comes to Kenan Stadium on Saturday for a noon game on ESPN, debuted in the poll at No. 23 after its victory last week over Duke. The Tar Heels are early 18-point favorites.

“N.C. State’s done really well,” Brown said. “I think we’ve been overrated. I think they’ve been underrated.”

News & Observer correspondent Conor O’Neill, formerly of the Winston-Salem Journal, dropped UNC from No. 9 to No. 20 and he voted the Wolfpack No. 19..Jonas Pope IV, the N.C. State beat writer for The N&O, dropped the Tar Heels from No. 5 to No. 15 and he voted the Pack No. 20. Lauren Brownlow of WRALSportsfan.com dropped UNC from No. 8 to No. 16 and she has N.C. State No. 22.

Five voters ranked UNC the highest at No. 11. Ranking the Tar Heels the lowest at No. 23 was David Jablonski of the Dayton Daily News in Ohio.

AP Top 25

RankTeamPV RankConferencePoints
1Clemson (5-0)1ACC1,542 (54)
2Alabama (4-0)2SEC1,494 (8)
3Notre Dame (4-0)4ACC1,337
4Georgia (3-1)3SEC1,300
5Ohio State (0-0)6Big Ten1,223
6Oklahoma State (3-0)7Big 121,137
7Texas A&M (3-1)11SEC1,054
8Penn State (0-0)9Big Ten1,033
9Cincinnati (3-0)8American Athletic1,028
10Florida (2-1)10SEC942
11Miami (FL) (4-1)13ACC887
12Brigham Young (5-0)14IA Independents875
13Oregon (0-0)12Pac-12841
14North Carolina (3-1)5ACC677
14Wisconsin (0-0)16Big Ten677
16SMU (5-0)17American Athletic638
17Iowa State (3-1)20Big 12511
18Michigan (0-0)19Big Ten489
19Virginia Tech (3-1)23ACC411
20Kansas State (3-1)22Big 12399
21Minnesota (0-0)24Big Ten234
22Marshall (4-0)Conference USA227
23North Carolina State (4-1)ACC199
24USC (0-0)25Pac-12192
25Coastal Carolina (4-0)Sun Belt185

Others receiving votes:Memphis 76, Oklahoma 74, Tulsa 58, West Virginia 57, Auburn 48, Iowa 42, Louisiana-Lafayette 40, Liberty 37, Utah 36, UAB 30, Army 29, Arkansas 15, Air Force 14, Kentucky 12, Tennessee 11, Virginia 9, Arizona State 9, Washington 8, South Carolina 8, Indiana 4, Texas 1.

Point values in parentheses indicate the number of first-place votes.

Pool photo by Don Juan Moore

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