Can UNC Get Bowl Eligible?

At the beginning of the season I was convinced we were looking at about a four win season which was just fine since I thought there were more pertinent advances to be made in various intangible areas of the program. However halfway into this season I am looking at a very excusable 2-4 record which includes a win over Miami, a tight game with Virginia Tech and two games UNC was in a position to either win or send to overtime save for one play each. UNC has been competitive in every game they have played except for the matchup with South Florida.  The games against Virginia Tech and Miami shows a UNC team that while young, seems to be improving and playing a little less like their age. I also think winning a game like the one against Miami could serve as a watershed moment which gives players confidence and propels the team into a stretch of winning football. Accounting for this plus the upcoming schedule I think one can make a case UNC can possibly snag six wins. After the jump a look at the remaining schedule.

October 13th vs South Carolina

South Carolina has risen to 7th in the polls and comes in boasting the #1 passing defense in the nation. The run defense is decidedly less impressive ranking 99th nationally. Offensively the Gamecocks are good but not great. The bottom line is UNC could have a tough time getting the offense on track and while the Heels’ defense is starting to play with more cohesion I think this is not a game UNC can pull out.

Chances of Winning: 25%

October 27th at Wake Forest

The upside to this game is it comes after a bye week which might be necessary with following a tough game versus SCAR. The downside is this is a road game and Wake Forest seemingly has gotten itself on track after struggling early which was contributed partly to a injury to Riley Skinner. The wrinkle in all of this is the Miami win might give UNC the confidence they need to believe they can win against a team like Wake, especially considering UNC played them close a year ago when the Heels were a decidedly worse team.

Chances of Winning: 50%

November 3rd vs Maryland

I think UNC has a great chance to win this game since it is at home and UNC has shown a penchant for handling teams which struggle offensively. Maryland has had tons of QB problems which may have been resolved in the person of Chris Turner. On one hand Maryland has shown it can win tough games such as knocking off Rugers and Georgia Tech but I also think UNC’s progression as a team will make them a more formindable opponent by the time this game rolls around.

Chances of Winning: 60%

November 10th at NC State

Two things make this game tough for UNC. First the game is on the road in front of a fan base who is sick and tired of losing to UNC and are convinced Tom O’Brien can field a team that can finally do what Chuck Amato could not. The second is the Wolfpack defense is very good despite all the other problems on offense. There is a good chance UNC could have trouble moving the ball and scoring but given how bad the Pack is when they have the ball the same will likely be true for them. Still I like UNC to pull this one out.

Chances of Winning: 80%

November 17th at Georgia Tech

This is probably the worst shot UNC has at winning a game outside the one against SCAR. I would expect GT to be ready for the Heels and their defense is good enough to give UNC problems. Add to that a decent running game and the Jackets should win this one.

Chances of Winning: 30%

November 24th vs Duke

Duke is a bit of an enigma in that they are capable of scoring points in buckets but at the same time still are wholly incapable of winning games despite the one victory at Northwestern. UNC playing Duke in Chapel Hill with the possibility of bowl eligibility on the line? Not a problem.

Chances of Winning: 90%

Obviously this is high speculative. If I bowl eligibility is going to happen I think the wins will be over Wake, Maryland, NC State and Duke. That means the former pair of games will be the crucial ones to win. The NC State and Duke games are still tough games but carry better odds. Then again any number of factors could change how the rest of the season unfolds.  Injuries, team confidence rising or alling and just the sheer fact college football is totally unpredictable makes the possibility of UNC going 4-2 over the final six games a crapshoot at best.  The bottom line is until UNC loses it’s seventh game of the season, they are in the conversation.  The way they have played so far convinces me UNC should be in every game they play and if things can go half as right as they did during the first half versus Miami six wins is possible.


3 Responses to Can UNC Get Bowl Eligible?

  1. chuckheel says:

    What are the uniform color rumors concerning UNC Football. Please tell me they are not going back to those horrid uniforms from 1986. Gray pants with a huge navy blue stripe down the middle and the tacky UNC on the helmet.. Yuckkk!
    Everytime I hear North Carolina and uniform change in the same sentence my skin crawls. Calm me down please THF, give me some good news.

  2. Tar Heel Fan says:

    The only uniform/color issues I have heard came yesterday when Butch Davis was interviewed on 850 the Buzz and they asked him about the student section wearing navy blue shirts as well as his own navy blue sweater vest. Here is a transcript I took down. You can listen to the whole interview here:

    Joe Ovies: There are rumors making the rounds–

    Butch Davis: No truth.

    JO: No truth to the darker blue?

    BD: Please…You know the Tar Pit are all creation of our marketing department…[then he goes on to talk about the various new additions to the UNC game day]

    JO: So no truth to the rumor that we might be seeing a different color scheme on those Tar Heel uniforms in the near future?

    BD: (laughs)This is a Carolina blue school.

    Adam Gold: We’re all a big fans of the powder blue but you know some schools throw black in just for the heck of it.

    BD:(laughs) Maybe someday, maybe someday.

  3. Scott says:

    Any self-proclaiming UNC football fan who is not totally behind a football uniform fan is more a fan of their own nostalgia than actual football. It reaks of the same irrationality as the old alumni argument to keep high-paying UNC donors on the floor section of the Dean Dome: “It doesn’t matter”. With the Dean Dome, it is that the student fan enthusiasm doesn’t affect the game, nor the players. Anyone who believes that shoulds step in to Cameron Indoor Stadium (which now seems to be some sort of strange, alien experiment…but it didn’t stand out that much 30 years ago. Carmichael was no different.). Why does Coach K rail against the students when they have a sub-par ‘cheer’ game? Because he knows it makes a difference! In reference to the UNC football uniforms, what is more intimidating (both for players and opposition), powder blue or dark colors? To put it another way, if you were chosen to play for two teams, and one team required you to wear pink and the other black, what would the effects on your psyche’ be? Let’s all just step back and actually be rationale for a moment. What is the best for UNC football WITHOUT taking away our history? You can add some changes that are logical and practical without rejecting our past. But don’t let our own nostalgia-laden, dreamy views of the ‘perfect UNC football saturday’ cloud reality. Most univorsities now have a whole wing of their Pscyh department totally focused ergonomics…why? because things like color DO MATTER.

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