Jim Hawkins, Inside Carolina

UNC Slow to Rise in Playoff Rankings

The Tar Heels moved up to No. 17 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The College Football Playoff committee once again undervalued North Carolina on Tuesday, according to several other polls and metrics.

The Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Poll both have UNC (9-1) ranked No. 12. ESPN’s power index has the Tar Heels at No. 15.

UNC’s weak schedule continues to act as a governor of sorts in its charge up the rankings.

“They do have two FCS wins on their record,” Jeff Long, the playoff’s Selection Committee Chair, said during ESPN’s broadcast Tuesday night. “The committee is certainly aware of that, and then the season-opening loss to South Carolina, a team that is not having a very successful season. So certainly those things are weighing them down, but we see a team that’s really emerging and playing very well.”

As bad as the South Carolina (3-7) loss may have been, it still only counts as one loss. There are five teams ranked ahead of UNC with two losses. Speaking of bad losses, No. 7 Oklahoma is also 9-1 with its lone defeat coming against a 4-6 Texas team.

The table below provides a statistical comparison of the teams slotted Nos. 11-18 in Tuesday’s rankings.

Stan Mich Utah FSU LSU Navy UNC TCU
Rank 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Record 8-2 8-2 8-2 8-2 7-2 8-1 9-1 9-1
Wins over bowl-eligible teams 4 2 3 4 3 3 3 1
Wins over ranked teams 1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0
Losses to unranked teams 0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0
SOS 28 56 19 53 18 84 73 57
Power 5 opps (to date) 9 8 8 8 7 1 8 8
Avg. margin of victory vs P5 14.0 15.8 9.0 9.0 4.7 (-17.0) 20.8 12.4


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