By R.L. Bynum

North Carolina is No. 9 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll released Tuesday, the highest national preseason coaches poll ranking since the Tar Heels were No. 8 in 1997, the last season of Coach Mack Brown’s first stint in Chapel Hill.

That season, UNC was ranked No. 7 in the preseason AP poll and went on to finish 11–1 and beat Virginia Tech 42–3 in the Gator Bowl. UNC rose to No. 4 in the coaches poll that season on Oct. 13 and Oct. 20 and was No. 4 after the bowl victory.

Carolina opens it season Sept. 3 at Virginia Tech.

Alabama is No. 1 with Clemson No. 2 and Notre Dame No. 7.

The only other ACC team to make the poll is No. 16 Miami. N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Boston College all received votes.

The preseason AP poll will be released Monday.

Preseason USA Today Coaches Poll

ACC pool photo by Grant Halverson

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