A successful 2020 season saw them finish ranked in the Top 20 nationally. Thus, the University of North Carolina (UNC) Tar Heels are ready to kick off the new 2021 season. They will kick off, no doubt with high expectations. This should be a strong season for the whole Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Likewise, UNC is thought to be among the elite. Actually, their returning solid core has the preseason AP poll giving them much respect. They actually are projecting this year of North Carolina College Football to produce a top ten team in the 2021 season.
The top ACC team is again predicted to be the powerhouse Clemson Tigers. The Tigers have been to the National Championship game in four of the past five seasons. Of those they have two NCAA titles in that span. But, the ACC is split into two separate divisions, the Atlantic and Coastal. Being on opposite sides, Clemson and UNC do not play a regular-season game versus one another.
Despite this, projections show that UNC is the preseason top ranked North Carolina College football team. They rank as the tenth best team in the country heading into 2021 play, and Clemson is number two. Thus, with the forecast as the top two squads in ACC play this year, it seems they are on a collision course. In a perfect world for the fans they would meet in the ACC Championship game. That game is set for December 4 to be held at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.
The Road to Charlotte for North Carolina College Football
Even though, they do not square off in regular-season play with the always-powerful Clemson squad mentioned above, the Tar Heels did play well enough to earn one a trip to one of the NCAA’s most prestigious bowls games, the Orange Bowl last year. Despite losing that game to what would finish as a top-five Texas A&M team, the North Carolina College Football future looked and still looks bright, moving toward the new 2021 schedule. But conference rivals, regardless of their ranking, always make for a challenging game no matter what season it is. Likewise, there are still a few high-ranked difficult hurdles on the UNC schedule they will need to overcome in getting to the conference title game.
The Usual Suspects: Rivalries that Get Tobacco Road Rockin’
As far as the local, Raleigh and the surrounding area goes, there are only three teams that belong to the hearts of the locals. Which of the three are loved under each household can vary. But the other two along with UNC are the NC State Wolfpack or the Duke Blue Devils. Any matchups between these three teams in basically all sports are rivalry games with passion behind them like few others nationwide.
UNC vs. Duke: Say No More
This season, the first of the two rivalry games for North Carolina College Football will come on Saturday, October 2, against arch-nemesis Duke. The game is at home for UNC at Kenan Memorial Stadium, and no doubt the North Carolina College Football faithful will be ready for this showdown. Yes, the Blue Devils are coming off a disappointing 2020 season, but on any given day, on any given field, with the emotions as high as they run in this rivalry, the outcome is never a certainty. However, last season the Tar Heels did dominate this game with a 56-24 win last November.
The Battle for North Carolina College Football Supremecy: Heels vs. the ‘Pack
The second rivalry game here locally is the Wolfpack of NC. State against the Tar Heels. While this matchup saw a similar result last season, with the North Carolina College Football crown going to UNC following a 48-21 victory last October, the same parameters hold true with these two bitter opponents. Also, this season, the Heels will have to travel up the road to Raleigh and play in the Wolfpack’s home field, Carter-Finley Stadium. Unlike the Blue Devil, NC State is coming off a solid 2020 season where they finished at an 8-4 clip. So, with expectations high, this should be a battle as usual and would be a strong conference win for UNC on the road to try and secure a shot at the ACC title. In addition, this season’s North Carolina College Football matchup with NC State falls in their last regular season contest on November 26.
Ranked Opponents: No Tigers, But Plenty of Competition from With In
Even though they would not have to play the powerhouse of the ACC, that is, Clemson, unless they met up in the conference championship game, they still face tough competition from within the conference. In particular, the entire North Carolina College Football season may depend on a back-to-back two-game which will be competing in the same “Coastal” division of the conference.
The Division May Come Down to One October Saturday for North Carolina College Football in 2021
Starting this rough but all-important two-game stretch for the North Carolina College Football season ahead will be when the country’s preseason ranked number 13 team comes to visit Chapel Hill and Kenan Memorial Stadium. This colossal game will see the Miami Hurricanes take on the Tar Heels. Though these teams did not meet in last season’s shortened schedule, their previous game versus one another was an actual battle that saw the Heels inch out a victory late when they beat the Hurricanes in September of 2019 by a 28-25 final score. No doubt, with these two squads appearing to be the top dogs in the ACC Coastal, both will have this date circled on the calendar, as a win versus the other may be the difference between a first and second place in the division. This epic contest will take place in Chapel Hill on Saturday, October 16.
Sort of a Conference Game for the Heels
Following the Miami and UNC showdown, the North Carolina College Football squad out of Chapel Hill will have a much-deserved bye week. But when they return, it will be against a familiar foe to ACC teams, as they will travel to one of college football’s most hallowed venues when they play on the road against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. While this is not a conference game, Notre Dame has been playing several ACC conference foes annually.
The Irish come in the preseason polls one spot ahead of UNC at number nine. So, being a 9 vs. 10 matchup, this game has the makings for being a classic. The Tar Heels will be looking for a bit of revenge against Notre Dame. This stems from dropping a game to the then-fourth ranked Irish by a 31-17 final last November 27. With a fresh slate and high hopes, the Chapel Hill faithful will be 100 percent behind their team as always. Just maybe a little more so when they head into South Bend, Indiana, to go to war with Notre Dame.
Are You Ready for North Carolina College Football?
In a follow-up to this piece on the Tar Heels, we will also look at the upcoming season for NC State and Duke. The preseason number ten UNC Tar heels will open 2021 play on Friday, September 3. This is a home contest against the Virginia Tech Hokies. They play a twelve-game season that concludes with the aforementioned NC State battle on November 26. Following that will be the ACC post-season and then the end of the year bowl games.
All of the ACC North Carolina College Football teams involved in these local rivalry games are fairly close by. All three schools are within an hour from your new home at the South Lakes new home community in Fuquay Varina. For more information on the neighborhood and its location regarding these schools as well as all other sports in the area, visit the location page at southlakesliving.com.