North Carolina in bottom half of CBS Sports’ ACC football post-spring rankings

The college football offseason is always fun, right?

That “fun,” if you want to call it that, is highlighted in recent years by the transfer portal. JT Daniels transferred to seemingly every FBS school possible, while Jayden Daniels became a Heisman Trophy winner after heading from Arizona State to LSU.

Another fun part of the offseason is fans and media outlets hoping their preseason predictions come true. Will the Virginia Techs of the world finally return to conference championship glory? Does Michigan repeat its 2024 success?

In the ACC this coming fall, particularly for our North Carolina Tar Heels, there’s a ton of uncertainty. UNC lost 2022 ACC Player and Rookie of the Year Drake Maye to the NFL Draft, its best receiver in Devontez Walker also went pro and defensive standout Cedric Gray – if you haven’t caught onto the theme of this sentence – is also now a professional football player.

Due to all this uncertainty, CBS Sports ranks North Carolina 11th in its ACC post-spring power rankings, ahead of just Duke, Wake Forest, Boston College, Pitt, UVA and ACC newcomer Cal.

“After flipping Sam Howell and making a bowl game in his first year back, Mack Brown has mostly been leading North Carolina teams into the fall with expectations of competing for a title,” Chip Patterson wrote. “From 2020-23, the Tar Heels were picked in the top three of the ACC preseason media poll three times – interestingly enough, recording their best finish (2nd in 2022) in the year they were picked 7th – and twice boasting the Preseason All-ACC pick at quarterback. Now, quarterback is a huge question mark, the wide receiver position has lost key contributors and the defense is looking to finally take a step forward under new coordinator Geoff Collins. North Carolina may have one of the top running backs with Omarion Hampton back, but this is about as much uncertainty has the Tar Heels have had regarding both the ceiling and floor for expectations heading into the season.”

These are simply just preseason rankings, which we’ve seen plenty of teams outperform. We’ve also firsthand witnessed basketball teams not live up to their preseason hype (no, we don’t want to relive those painful memories).

Despite their uncertainty at quarterback, the Tar Heels have an intriguing battle between Duke’s Mayo Bowl starter Conner Harrell and Texas A&M transfer Max Johnson.

Senior wide receiver J.J. Jones and a deep tight end room, however, bring some much needed comfortability for whoever wins the starting QB gig.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire