By R.L. Bynum
Carolina’s 38–35 victory Saturday at Duke was enough to allow the Tar Heels to slip into the latest Top 25 poll.
The Tar Heels (6–1, 3–0 ACC ) are No. 22 and are ranked for the first time in more than a year heading into their second open date of the season ahead of the Saturday, Oct. 29 home game with Pittsburgh (4–2, 1–1).
UNC was last ranked in Week 4 on Sept. 19, 2021, when it was No. 21 after being ranked No. 10 in the preseason poll.
Joe Giglio of WCMC (99.9 The Fan) in Raleigh has UNC No. 16, the highest of any AP voter, with Chris Murray of Nevada Sports Net voting the Heels No. 17 and Brian Howell of the Daily Camera of Boulder, Colo., voting them No. 18.
Steve Wiseman, the Duke beat writer for The News & Observer, voted UNC No. 21 and David Thompson, the N.C. State beat writer for the Fayetteville Observer and the state’s Gannett papers, has UNC No. 22. Thompson has the Wolfpack No. 25 while Giglio and Wiseman didn’t put State on their ballots.
Syracuse moved from No. 24 to No 14 after a 24–9 home win over N.C. State, which fell from No. 15 to No. 23 (the Wolfpack dropped from No. 13 to No. 23 in the coaches poll). Carolina earned 55 more poll points in the AP poll than the Pack.
Carolina, which debuted in the coaches poll last week at No. 25, moved up three slots to No. 22 in the poll released on Sunday.
It’s the first time that the Tar Heels have been ranked at some point in three consecutive seasons since being ranked in 2014 (peaking at No. 23 in Week 2), 2015 (a high of No. 8 in Week 13) and 2016 (ascending to No. 15 in Week 11) seasons under Coach Larry Fedora. They also did it from 2008 to 2010 under Coach Butch Davis.
The Tar Heels’ longest such streak was eight consecutive years from 1991 to 1998, with the first seven of those under Coach Mack Brown, and from 1976 to 1983 (Bill Dooley was the coach for the first two of those seasons and Dick Crum for the other six).
Carolina garnered the 26th-most poll points a week ago, seven poll points behind No. 25 James Madison, which lost Saturday to unranked Georgia Southern 45–38 and fell out of the poll. After losing to unranked Oklahoma 52–42, Kansas fell from No. 19 to unranked.
Carolina is alone atop the ACC Coastal Division at 3–0, with a one-game lead over Georgia Tech (3–3, 2–1).
AP Top 25
|1||Georgia (7-0)||—||vs. Vanderbilt, W 55–0||1,530 (31)|
|2||Ohio State (6-0)||—||at Michigan State, W 49–20cap||1,509 (17)|
|3||Tennessee (6-0)||+3||vs. Alabama, W 52–49||1,474 (15)|
|4||Michigan (7-0)||+1||vs. Penn State, W 41–17||1,384|
|5||Clemson (7-0)||-1||at Florida State, W 34–28||1,336|
|6||Alabama (6-1)||-3||at Tennessee, L 52–49||1,232|
|7||Ole Miss (7-0)||+2||vs. Auburn, W 48–34||1,173|
|8||TCU (6-0)||+5||vs. Oklahoma State W, 43–40||1,166|
|9||UCLA (6-0)||+2||vs. Utah, W 42–32||1,048|
|10||Oregon (5-1)||+2||at Arizona, W 49–22||953|
|11||Oklahoma St. (5-1)||-3||at TCU, L 43–40||913|
|12||USC (6-1)||-5||at Utah, L 43–42||861|
|13||Wake Forest (5-1)||+1||vs. Army, W 45–10||790|
|14||Syracuse (6-0)||+4||vs. N.C. State, W 24–9||751|
|15||Utah (5-2)||+5||vs. USC W, 43–42||715|
|16||Penn State (5-1)||-6||at Michigan, L 41–17||629|
|17||Kansas State (5-1)||—||at Iowa State, W 10–9||599|
|18||IIllinois (6-1)||+6||vs. Minnesota, W 26–14||433|
|19||Kentucky (5-2)||+3||vs. Mississippi State, W 27–17||414|
|20||Texas (5-2)||+2||vs. Iowa State, W 24–21||368|
|21||Cincinnati (5-1)||—||vs. South Florida, W 28–24||321|
|22||North Carolina (6-1)||—||at Duke, W 38–35||210|
|23||N.C. State (5-2)||-8||at Syracuse, L 24–9||155|
|24||Mississippi State (5-2)||-8||at Kentucky, L 27–17||150|
|25||Tulane (6-1)||—||at South Florida, W 45–31||115|
Others receiving votes: Purdue 95, LSU 87, UCF 13, South Carolina 13, Kansas 12, James Madison 6, Oregon State 6, Maryland 5, South Alabama 4, Liberty 2, Arkansas 1, Minnesota 1, Florida State 1. (Point values in parentheses indicate the number of first-place votes.)