Coastal champion UNC moves up in AP poll

By R.L. Bynum

After capturing the final ACC Coastal Division title with Saturday night’s 36–34 victory at Wake Forest, North Carolina moved up two spots in the AP Top 25 poll to No. 13.

It’s the Tar Heels’ highest ranking since they were No. 5 in Week 7 of the 2020 season. UNC moved up three slots to No. 11 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

Carolina (9–1, 6–0 ACC), which is host to Georgia Tech (4–6, 3–4) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and N.C. State (7–3, 3–3) at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 25, will meet Clemson (9–1, 7–0) in the ACC championship game in Charlotte at 8 p.m. on Dec. 3.

“It’s an awesome feeling heading to Charlotte,” said redshirt freshman quarterback Drake Maye, who is looking forward to playing in the Charlotte Panthers’ stadium for the first time. He’s only played in a seven-on-seven tournament at the facility.

It’s UNC’s second appearance in the game after losing to the Tigers 45–37 in 2015.


The Tigers moved up from No. 10 to No 9 after a 31–16 win over Louisville and the Wolfpack fell from No. 16 to unranked after a stunning 21–20 home loss to Boston College. Florida State (7–3, 5–3) jumped from No. 23 to No. 20 after blowing out Syracuse 38–3.

Helping UNC move up were losses by UCLA (fell from No. 12 to No. 16 after a 34–28 loss to unranked Arizona) and Ole Miss (fell from No. 11 to No. 14 after a 30–24 loss to Alabama.)

Ranking UNC the highest at No. 8 was Brian Fonseca of the Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., and ranking the Heels the lowest at No. 23 is Dave Reardon of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Joe Giglio of WCMC (99.9 the Fan) in Raleigh and David Thompson of the Fayetteville Observer each had UNC No. 15 and N.C. State No. 17. Giglio had the Deacs No. 19 and Thompson left them off his ballot. Steve Wiseman, the Duke beat writer for The News & Observer, had UNC No. 16, State No. 17 and didn’t rank Wake Forest.

AP Top 25

RankTeamChangePoll points
(1st-place votes)
1Georgia (10-0)1,574 (62)
2Ohio State (10-0)1,501 (1)
3Michigan (10-0)1,453
4TCU (10-0)1,374
5Tennessee (9-1)1,341
6LSU (8-2)+11,218
7USC (9-1)+11,152
8Alabama (8-2)+21,140
9Clemson (9-1)+31,055
10Utah (8-2)+3965
11Penn State (8-2)+3882
12Oregon (8-2)-6856
13North Carolina (9-1)+2843
14Ole Miss (8-2)-3797
15Washington (8-2)+9693
16UCLA (8-2)-7648
17UCF (8-2)+5537
18Notre Dame (7-3)+2495
19Kansas State (7-3)+4468
20Florida State (7-3)+5386
21Tulane (8-2)-5273
22Cincinnati (8-2)237
23Coastal Carolina (9-1)143
24Oklahoma State (7-3)85
25Oregon State (7-3)81

Others receiving votes: N.C. State 77, Texas 65, UTSA 51, Troy 22, Duke 16, Liberty 15, Illinois 13, Minnesota 7, Florida 6, Boise State 5, South Alabama 1. Point values in parentheses indicate the number of first-place votes.

ACC standings

X-No. 13 North Carolina6091
Georgia Tech3446
Virginia 1637
Virginia Tech1628
X-No. 9 Clemson7091
No. 20 Florida State5373
N.C. State3373
Wake Forest2464
Boston College2537

X-Clinched division title
Saturday’s results
North Carolina 36, Wake Forest 34
Duke 24, Virginia Tech 7
Pittsburgh 37, Virginia 7
Miami 35, Georgia Tech 14
Clemson 31, Louisville 16
Boston College 21, N.C. State 20
Florida State 38, Syracuse 3
Saturday’s games
Louisiana at Florida State, noon, ESPN3
Virginia Tech at Liberty, noon, ESPN+
Duke at Pittsburgh, noon, ACC Network
Boston College at Notre Dame, 2:30, NBC
Miami at Clemson, 3:30, ESPN
N.C. State at Louisville, 3:30, ACC Network
Coastal Carolina at Virginia, 3:30, ESPN3
Georgia Tech at North Carolina, 5:30, ESPN2
Syracuse at Wake Forest, 8 p.m., ACC Network

(current rank)
27SaturdayW, 56–24HomeFlorida A&M1–0
3SaturdayW, 63–61BooneAppalachian State2–0
10SaturdayW, 35–28AtlantaGeorgia State 3–0
24SaturdayL, 45–32HomeNo. 19
Notre Dame
1SaturdayW, 41–10HomeVirginia Tech 4–1, 1–0 ACC
8SaturdayW, 27–24Miami
Gardens, Fla.
Miami 5–1, 2–0 ACC
15SaturdayW, 38–35DurhamDuke6–1, 3–0 ACC
29SaturdayW, 42–24HomePittsburgh7–1, 4–0 ACC
5SaturdayW, 31–28CharlottesvilleVirginia8–1, 5–0 ACC
12SaturdayW, 36–34Winston-SalemWake Forest 9–1, 6–0 ACC
19SaturdayL, 21–17HomeGeorgia Tech 9–2, 6–1 ACC
25FridayL, 30–27,
2 OTs
HomeNo. 25 N.C. State 9–3, 6–2 ACC
DecemberACC championship
3SaturdayL, 39–10CharlotteNo. 10 Clemson9–4
Holiday Bowl
28WednesdayL, 28–27San DiegoNo. 15 Oregon9–5

Photo via @UNCFootball


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