UNC slides in CFP rankings, NC State drops out completely


North Carolina’s Josh Downs (11) drops a pass from quarterback Drake Maye on fourth down with 4:10 to play in the fourth quarter on Saturday, November 19, 2022 at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC The Tar Heels fell to the Yellowjackets 21 -17.


North Carolina fell in the College Football Playoff poll—from No. 13 down to No. 17—after its 21-17 loss to Georgia Tech last week. NC State dropped out completely after a 25-10 loss to Louisville. The Wolfpack had been ranked No. 24 last week.

Four ACC teams remain in the poll, which was revealed Tuesday. The Cardinals essentially replaced NC State, making their debut at No. 25 after beating the Wolfpack. Florida State surpassed North Carolina, rising three spots up to No. 16.

Clemson is still hanging in the top 10, moving from ninth to eighth after beating Miami, 40-14. The Tigers are clinging to faint hopes of making the top four. They close with South Carolina, which is fresh off its 63-38 beatdown of then-No. 5 Tennessee. Later, Clemson and UNC will square off in the ACC championship game on Dec. 3.

The Tar Heels were a long shot to make the College Football Playoff’s top four before losing to the Yellow Jackets. The loss erased all hope of being in the conversation. However, now North Carolina could also sabotage Clemson’s chances of making the top four as well. The title game won’t be a matchup of highly-ranked teams.

North Carolina’s No. 13 ranking was its highest in the CFP poll since 2020. UNC’s best ranking came in 2015, when the Heels reached No. 10.

If North Carolina defeats Clemson in the ACC championship game, it would claim an Orange Bowl berth. But if the Heels lose, they could be in competition with Florida State for their preferred selection in the ACC’s top tier of bowls.

College Football Playoff Poll

ranking team Record
1 Georgia 11-0
two ohio state 11-0
3 Michigan 11-0
4 TCU 11-0
5 LSU 9-2
6 USC 10-1
7 Alabama 9-2
8 Clemson 10-1
9 Oregon 9-2
10 Tennessee 9-2
eleven Penn State 9-2
12 Kansas State 8-3
13 Washington 9-2
14 Utah 8-3
fifteen notre dame 8-3
16 Florida State 8-3
17 north carolina 9-2
18 UCLA 8-3
19 tulane 9-2
twenty mississippi 8-3
twenty-one Oregon State 8-3
22 UCF 8-3
23 Texas 7-4
24 cincinnati 9-2
25 louisville 7-4

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CL Brown covers the University of North Carolina for The News & Observer. Brown brings more than two decades of reporting experience including stints as the beat writer at Indiana University and the University of Louisville. After a long stay at the Louisville Courier-Journal, where he earned an APSE award, he’s had stops at ESPN.com, The Athletic and even tried his hand at running his own website, clbrownhoops.com.


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