2019 North Carolina Tar Heels College Football Odds and Expert Betting Picks
2018 Record: 2-9
2019 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 5.5
2019 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Over'
Mack is back.
Mack Brown is back in college football after a six-year hiatus. He will begin his 30th season as a head coach while taking over a North Carolina team program that has fallen off a cliff the past two years.
In 2015, just four short seasons ago, North Carolina was 11-1, No. 8 in the country, and trading blows with Clemson in the ACC Title Game. In 2017 they went 3-9, and then last year Larry Fedora was shown the door on the heels of a horrific 2-9 campaign.
Fedora and the Heels have been a hard luck team each of the past two seasons. They had five losses by a touchdown or less last year (including two in overtime), and they've lost eight such games over the past two seasons. Mix in just a shocking amount of injuries, and the Tar Heels' results have been a little misleading.
Now Mack will take over one of the youngest rosters in the ACC and look to lay a foundation for this program to get back to competing in league play.
Despite the youth, Mack has 14 total starters back, seven on each side of the ball. And considering how many injuries the team has had to endure, the backups all have a lot more experience than normal.
North Carolina needs a quarterback to arise. They have three quality rushers and seven of their top eight pass catchers, so the offense has some hope. They also have six senior defensive starters and several three-year starters that will be looking to lead major improvement on that side of the ball.
Brown's impact may take some time, though. North Carolina has one of the most difficult schedules in the ACC. The don't get their first bye week until seven weeks into the year. They face 11 teams that played in bowl games last year, and they face three teams that are coming off of bye weeks.
UNC has to play South Carolina, Wake Forest (don't ask), Appalachian State and Mercer in their nonconference games. I think they can win two of those games. I also think that they can get wins over Pitt and at home against Duke. That means that they simply need two more wins to clear this bar and get back to a bowl game. I can see it. There are so many other teams rebuilding in the ACC. North Carolina's experience, and the fact that they've had nothing but bad luck the last two years, should both work in their favor.
I like the Heels to get to at least six wins and get back to a bowl game.
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