Ryan Craig

Tar Heels deserve top-25 ranking

Posted October 8, 2008

Do the Tar Heels deserve to be in the Top-25?

I’ve heard the question posed a number of times since the new rankings came out this week, from fans and media people alike.

On my radio show Tuesday night opinions were mixed. Ralph Russo, a national football writer for the AP, said they were deserving. Adam Lucas, the publisher and executive editor of Tar Heel Monthly magazine and a regular contributor to TarHeelBlue.com , said thy weren't. Calls from listeners were divided evenly as well.

In my mind, the answer is simple: Yes.

There are a number of things to consider when you ask yourself whether a program should be considered one of the 25 strongest in the country at the time of the voting, including strength of schedule, how the team performed in their wins and losses, and, perhaps most importantly, whether or not there is someone that deserves to be there ahead of the team in question.

In Carolina's case, I can see the argument with the first two qualifications. Their schedule hasn’t exactly been the most difficult in the conference, much less the country. They’ve played several games on national television against name programs having down years.

I don’t care what Rutgers did when Ray Rice was there – they aren’t the same team. Quite honestly, Greg Schiano should have taken the money and run when he had the chance, but that opportunity is gone now, and in it’s stead is a program that is treading dangerously close to one-hit wonder status.

Their other “marquee” wins, over Miami and UConn, came against a rebuilding program on a last-second play and against an overrated Big East team with their backup quarterback. Granted, Carolina had their backup quarterback in for both of those games as well, but the pessimists will dismiss these two wins as merely a Trimane Goddard lucky play and a Tyler Lorenzen injury away from two losses.

Very well.

Then by the same argument, Carolina should be given credit for beating Virginia Tech – a team they were crushing before their starting signal caller, T.J. Yates, was knocked out of the game with what turned out to be a broken ankle.

My counter to those arguments is simple. You play who is on your schedule when they are on your schedule. These games are put on the slate years in advance, not weeks. It’s not like Butch Davis and the Heels waited to see if Rutgers would be good this year before they scheduled them. They weren’t sitting in the lobby of the hospital with Lorenzen’s parents awaiting the status of his foot x-rays to see if he would be available to play before booking the game last Saturday.

At the time of the schedule was made, they were two good looking teams that would offer Coach Davis’ team a test of how far their program had grown. Once it was obvious they were overrated, all the Heels could do was beat them – badly – and they did.

That’s called taking care of business – something good teams do. Something Top-25 teams do.

More importantly, however, is my opinion that in order to argue against someone being in the poll, there needs to be an equally good argument for someone to be included.

When I think of the Heels this year, I don’t think of them as a dominant team. But, can you think of 25 teams that are playing better than they are right now? I can’t.

15? Sure – maybe even 20.

But when you look at the section of others receiving votes, there are only two teams that I think could beat Carolina right now: Georgia Tech and Wisconsin.

Tech’s defensive line is the best in the ACC, and maybe the country, and their offense is only going to click more as the team gets used to Paul Johnson’s spread option. Wisconsin dropped from 18th in the AP poll to 26th because of a loss to Ohio State by three points. Should they have dropped eight spots for a loss to a better team by a field goal? I say no.

Even still, those two teams only push the Heels down to 24, at worst, which, unless my math has seriously declined since my college years, is still in the top 25.

The moral of the story is this: You can only play who’s on your schedule – a schedule that is made years ago by people that, now I’m only guessing here, can’t predict the future.

All you can ask of a team is that they beat the team lined up across from them, something that Carolina has done better than all but 21 teams in the country this year.

Well - maybe all but 23.

Ryan Craig is the host of Inside the ACC on 99.9 FM The Fan. You can hear him on the airwaves from 7-9pm, Monday-Friday.

Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • The Ryder Cup

    Saturday at 9:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Duke vs. Virginia

    Saturday at 12:30 pm on FOX50

  • CFB: Oklahoma vs. TCU

    Saturday at 5:00 pm on FOX50

  • CFB: Arizona State at USC

    Saturday at 8:00 pm on FOX50

  • The Logan Zone

    Sunday at 11:00 am on WRAL-TV

  • The Ryder Cup

    Sunday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers at Atlanta

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Kansas City at Pittsburgh

    Sunday at 8:20 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Hurricanes at Tampa Bay (Stream only)

    Tonight at 7:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CFB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-FM

AP Top 25
Thu, Sept 29
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
6
Fri, Sept 30
7
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST
10
Sat, Oct 1
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
20
 
14
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
 
13
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
 
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
2
 
22
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
 
23
9:00 PT10:00 MT11:00 CT12:00 ET4:00 GMT12:00 北京时间9:00 MST11:00 EST
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
12
 
11
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
25
 
8
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
4
 
12:30 PT1:30 MT2:30 CT3:30 ET7:30 GMT3:30 北京时间12:30 MST2:30 EST
15
 
9
1:00 PT2:00 MT3:00 CT4:00 ET8:00 GMT4:00 北京时间1:00 MST3:00 EST
 
2:00 PT3:00 MT4:00 CT5:00 ET9:00 GMT5:00 北京时间2:00 MST4:00 EST
21
 
18
3:00 PT4:00 MT5:00 CT6:00 ET10:00 GMT6:00 北京时间3:00 MST5:00 EST
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
1
 
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET11:00 GMT7:00 北京时间4:00 MST6:00 EST
16
 
3
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
5
 
17
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
 
19
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
 
7:15 PT8:15 MT9:15 CT10:15 ET2:15 GMT10:15 北京时间7:15 MST9:15 EST
24
 
NFL Scoreboard
Thursday, Sep. 29
Miami 5:25 PT6:25 MT7:25 CT8:25 ET0:25 GMT8:25 北京时间5:25 MST7:25 EST7:25 CT4:25 UAE (+1)20:25 ET23:25
Cincinnati 
Sunday, Oct. 2
Indianapolis 6:30 PT7:30 MT8:30 CT9:30 ET13:30 GMT9:30 北京时间6:30 MST8:30 EST8:30 CT17:30 UAE9:30 ET12:30
Jacksonville 
 
Carolina 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Atlanta 
 
Oakland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Baltimore 
 
Detroit 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Chicago 
 
Tennessee 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Houston 
 
Buffalo 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
New England 
 
Seattle 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
NY Jets 
 
Cleveland 10:00 PT11:00 MT12:00 CT1:00 ET17:00 GMT1:00 北京时间10:00 MST12:00 EST12:00 CT21:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00
Washington 
 
Denver 1:05 PT2:05 MT3:05 CT4:05 ET20:05 GMT4:05 北京时间1:05 MST3:05 EST3:05 CT0:05 UAE (+1)16:05 ET19:05
Tampa Bay 
 
Los Angeles 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
Arizona 
 
New Orleans 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
San Diego 
 
Dallas 1:25 PT2:25 MT3:25 CT4:25 ET20:25 GMT4:25 北京时间1:25 MST3:25 EST3:25 CT0:25 UAE (+1)16:25 ET19:25
San Francisco 
 
Kansas City 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Pittsburgh 
Monday, Oct. 3
NY Giants 5:30 PT6:30 MT7:30 CT8:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST7:30 CT4:30 UAE (+1)20:30 ET23:30
Minnesota 
 
Minor League Baseball
International League
El Paso 4:05 PT5:05 MT6:05 CT7:05 ET12:05 GMT
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 
 
TOUR Championship (PGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1R. McIlroy - z-12F
2tR. Moore - y-12F
2tK. Chappell - y-12F
4P. Casey-9F
5H. Matsuyama-6F
6tJ. Thomas-5F
6tD. Johnson-5F
8tA. Scott-4F
8tJ. Dufner-4F
10tS. Kim-2F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Evian Champ (LPGA)
PosNameScoreThru
1I. Chun-21F
2tS. Park-17F
2tS. Ryu-17F
4S. Feng-15F
5S. Kim-14F
6I. Kim-12F
7A. Stanford-10F
8H. Nomura-9F
9tB. Henderson-7F
9tA. Jutanugarn-7F
View Full Leaderboard
 
European Open (EURO)
PosNameScoreThru
1A. Levy - z-19F
2R. Fisher - y-19F
3tM. Jonzon-16F
3tR. Karlsson-16F
5B. Wiesberger-15F
6M. Kaymer-14F
7tR. Bland-13F
7tE. De La Riva-13F
7tF. Fritsch-13F
7tG. Havret-13F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
Pacific Links (CHMP)
PosNameScoreThru
1C. Montgomerie - z-15F
2S. McCarron - y-15F
3tM. Jimenez-13F
3tJ. Sluman-13F
3tS. Dunlap-13F
3tD. Garwood-13F
7tB. Langer-12F
7tM. Dawson-12F
7tO. Browne-12F
10tF. Funk-11F
View Full Leaderboard
z = Won in Playoff   y = Lost in Playoff
 
ATP Scoreboard
Tuesday, Sep. 27
Chengdu Open (ATP)
First Round
D. Lajovic1 6 6   
F. Delbonis6 3 4   
Y. Lu6 6    
R. Stepanek3 4    
(7) J. Sousa63 3    
K. Khachanov77 6    
A. Mannarino6 62 6   
D. Kudla4 77 4   
(8) P. Lorenzi6 3 6   
J. Millman4 6 1   
K. Anderson6 6    
J. Thompson2 4    
(5) A. Ramos-Vino6 5 3   
M. Berrer4 7 1   
M. Baghdatis65 77 5   
P. Carreno Bu77 65 5   
(6) V. Troicki6 3    
C. Ruud3 2    
K. Kravchuk 
D. Wu 
 
Shenzhen Open (ATP)
First Round
(8) J. Vesely6 710    
P. Andujar2 68    
M. Jaziri6 77    
S. Robert3 65    
G. Garcia-Lop5 4    
R. Harrison7 6    
M. Kukushkin6 62 77   
L. Rosol3 77 64   
I. Cervantes6 77    
A. Santillan2 65    
(6) B. Paire65 7 6   
N. Basilashvi77 5 3   
J. Tipsarevic77 6    
Z. Zhang63 4    
G. Elias3 3    
T. Bellucci6 6    
 
WTA Scoreboard
Tuesday, Sep. 27
Wuhan Tennis Open (WTA)
Second Round
(9) S. Kuznetsova6 6    
M. Brengle0 4    
(3) A. Radwanska6 6    
E. Makarova4 1    
(13) R. Vinci5 2    
Y. Shvedova7 6    
(14) P. Kvitova6 6    
E. Svitolina3 1    
L. Chirico1 1    
D. Kasatkina6 6    
(1) A. Kerber64 6 6   
K. Mladenovic77 1 4   
M. Doi7 0 2   
B. Strycova5 6 6   
(8) M. Keys6 6    
C. Garcia3 4    
(6) V. Williams6 6    
Y. Putintseva3 2    
(10) D. Cibulkova2 6 6   
L. Siegemund6 3 4   
C. Wozniacki6 6    
K. Siniakova4 4    
(11) J. Konta6 6    
S. Zhang3 3    
(2) G. Muguruza4 1    
J. Jankovic6 1    
 
Tashkent Open (WTA)
First Round
R. Ozaki3 6 6   
E. Kostova6 4 1   
I. Khromachev4 6 6   
T. Martincova6 3 3   
(8) N. Broady6 7    
A. Sadikovic4 5    
(3) C. Buyukakcay1 4    
S. Shapatava6 6    
P. Tig4 6 6   
V. Diatchenko6 4 3   
(6) L. Tsurenko6 6    
E. Rodina0 2    
(7) S. Cirstea5 2    
F. Schiavone7 6    
K. Pliskova6 3 6   
S. Sorribes T3 6 4   
I. Soylu6 6    
S. Soler-Espi0 2    
K. Kozlova6 77    
D. Vekic1 63    
(2) K. Flipkens79 6    
A. Bogdan67 3