North Carolina is currently a 6-3 team. Their most recent loss came at the hands of No. 2 Notre Dame this past Saturday, but that didn’t stop the Tar Heels from moving up in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. They climbed two spots to No. 17 after checking in at No. 19 in the opening rankings.
But why? What did North Carolina do to deserve an improvement in its status?
At the conclusion of the first half against the Fighting Irish, the Tar Heels had the game tied up at 17. But then their offense, one of top offenses in the nation, failed to score a single point in the second half, which added a double-digit loss (31-17) to their resume.
It’s not just this loss, though. The Tar Heels also have two other losses, to a 2-6 Florida State squad and a 4-4 Virginia team, on their record.
Despite all that, North Carolina is now sitting in a better position than it was a week ago.
That doesn’t make sense, but since when do these rankings make sense at this point in the season? We should probably kick back and wait to see how things play out, but this is starting to shape up as a way to help Notre Dame.
The ACC has already helped in that area as well. The conference announced on Tuesday that the Dec. 12 game against Wake Forest would no longer happen, which secures the Fighting Irish a spot in the ACC Championship Game.
At this point, even a loss to Clemson in a rematch won’t be enough to keep Notre Dame out of the College Football Playoff. Especially when the Fighting Irish have that “double-digit win against a top 20 North Carolina team” to hang its hat on.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.