Blog Entry

CBSSports.com 120 -- North Carolina

Posted on: November 16, 2009 3:55 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2009 4:34 pm
 


Finish up strong.

Every coach preaches it, but North Carolina is showing how it's done.

With its second consecutive victory over a Top 25 team -- a 33-24 victory over Miami (Fla.) on Saturday -- the Tar Heels jumped to No. 20 in the latest CBSSports.com 120.

The team has now won five straight over ranked teams, going back to last season (Georgia Tech was not ranked when the Yellow Jackets beat them).

Robert QuinnNot bad for a team that was basically written off after losing to Virginia 16-3 and blowing a lead against Florida State earlier in the season.

"Life teaches you lessons," said head coach Butch Davis. "I think this football team, in the Thursday night game vs. Florida State, learned a really big lesson about trying to finish ballgames. About how important it is to play all 60 minutes, no matter what the score is at halftime."

North Carolina isn't like most 7-3 teams. It doesn't have a running back with more than 600 yards rushing and its leading receiver has just 409 yards receiving. Quarterback T.J. Yates has the same number of touchdowns as interceptions (10).

But the one thing is does have is a defense ranked eighth in the nation in total yards allowed and second in the ACC in interceptions. The team also has 25 sacks, led by sophomore defensive end Robert Quinn with 10.

In the win over Virginia Tech, the defense sacked Tyrod Taylor three times and recovered two fumbles, including one with two minutes left as the Hokies were trying to run out the clock.

Against the Hurricanes, the Tar Heels recorded four interceptions, including three by Kendric Burney. The junior cornerback returned one for a 77-yard touchdown and compiled an ACC single-game record with 170 interception return yards.

"Our guys are really getting a handle on studying quarterbacks," defensive coordinator Everett Withers said. "You hear their conversations while they're watching film -- this guy will stare down this receiver, this guy looks here in this personnel group, this guy looks to run in this formation, how another guy handles the pocket. They know that as the quarterback goes, so goes the offense."

Now if the Tar Heels can just take care of business against at Boston College and at North Carolina State to end the regular season, they will have won five in a row and six out of the last seven.

Southern California

Despite still being ranked in all the other polls, USC fell out of the CBSSports.com Top 25, falling from No. 12 to No. 28. The Trojans are now 7-3, 4-3 in the Pac-10 and will not make a BCS bowl for the first time since 2001.

"I'm not sure I have the right words to describe being humbled like this," Pete Carroll said after losing 55-21 to Stanford. "I don't really know where to put it. ... We have fallen apart and given our opponents the opportunity to do whatever they want, but you have to give Stanford a lot of credit."

The Trojans are on a bye this week and then return to the field against UCLA.

Nevada

The Wolf Pack started the season 0-3, but has now won seven in a row and is ranked No. 45. After taking care of Fresno State this weekend, the Wolf Pack are eyeing the end of the season game against Boise State. With a victory, Nevada would win the conference and end Boise State's dream of going undefeated and playing in a BCS bowl.

MAC Attack

Central Michigan and Temple are course to meet in the Mid-American Conference title game. Both teams control their own destiny and the game would feature two teams in the Top 35.

Central Michigan is ranked No. 31, while Temple is No. 34. Both teams are 8-2 and 6-0 in the conference. The winner will play in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, which used to be the Motor City Bowl.

Three winless teams left

New Mexico (No. 118), Eastern Michigan (No. 119) and Western Kentucky (No. 120) are all 0-10. New Mexico was close to winning this weekend, falling 24-19 to BYU. It plays Colorado State on Saturday.

Comments

Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2009 3:09 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- North Carolina

oops meant FAU has only 6 losses and FIU has 7.



Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2009 3:08 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- North Carolina

Mr.Darst Why is FAU ranked lower than FIU when FAU has 3 win and FIU has 2?



Since: Sep 8, 2009
Posted on: November 17, 2009 12:07 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- North Carolina

Look, I hate USC as much as anyone.  When they parade all these d-bag celebrities on the field it just boils my blood, almost as much as it warms my heart to see them fail and get massacred.

However, as much as I want to pile on, I don't really understand this knee-jerk reaction to drop them out of the top 25.  Drop them, yes, but clear out of the poll?  They were #12 the week before, right?  Things get re-calibrated, sure, but that dramatically?  Those 7 wins they do have still count as far as I know.


IMO, they should have been much lower than #12 in the first place.  Their two previous losses came against lowly Washington and a blowout at the hands of Oregon, who lost the following week to the Cardinal. Their only meritable win to date is a 4th quarter comeback against Ohio St., who has improved much since that loss.  Cal sucks, Notre Dame sucks, most of the Pac-10 sucks, except the teams(and Wash.) that have already beaten the trojans.  After Oregon's loss last week they dropped several places below SC who they had previously destroyed.  They probably should have been somewhere around #18-#20 or so when they played Stanford this past weekend.  Then the drop from the top 25 would not have been the "knee-jerk reaction" you spoke of. 

It is nice, however, to see the perennially over-rated trojans drop this far.  Even if it is a couple of weeks later than it should haver been.



Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2009 9:13 am
 

North Carolina vs. Notre Dame

This is why there is so much gnashing of teeth here in South Bend and across the Notre Dame nation.  Elsewhere it has been pointed out how two other private schools with high academic standards, Stanford and Northwestern, are clearly building their football programs while Notre Dame has stayed static or even regressed. 

Now you see how another program, North Carolina, is growing with five wins over ranked opponents.  Saturday's loss to Pitt ensures that Charlie Weis (barring a late entry into the top 25 by Stanford) will be the only coach in the history of Notre Dame football (yes, since 1892) not to have a win over an opponent in the top 20.  That is not even to mention how they are not ranked themselves.

Northwestern, Stanford, North Carolina.  All growing, all succeeding, all showing measurable signs of improvement.  Notre Dame?  Not so much.




Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2009 7:24 am
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- North Carolina

Now GT is hardly recognizable on most people's radar,
Really? They are the highest-ranked non-undefeated team in the country. The only problem for Georgia Tech is that there are six undefeated teams left. That's taking away from the Jackets' spotlight, not a big drop after an early loss.



Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2009 12:32 am
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- North Carolina

if anyone seriously thinks Rutgers (#25) could stay within 5 TD's of USC they are high
Rutgers is a good team that competes week-in and week-out in a tougher than you would think Big East. In fact, Rutgers would give Stanford a run for their money (and could even beat them), and look what Stanford did to USC.

If you think USC would beat Rutgers by 5 TDs, then you, sir (or ma'am), are high!!!



Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: November 16, 2009 11:44 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- North Carolina

Happened earlier in the year to GT.  They were like #14 when they lost at Miami.  That following MOnday, they were out of the polls.  Been clawing their way back up to #7 ever since....  Now GT is hardly recognizable on most people's radar, but SC is a media darling.  I guess giving up 47 and 55 points in consecutive weeks doesn't warrant top 25 consideration.  I kinda agree....



Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2009 10:11 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- North Carolina

if anyone seriously thinks Rutgers (#25) could stay within 5 TD's of USC they are high I wouldn't say 5 touchdowns, but I would take USC on a neutral field.  If you are judging how teams are playing now though, Rutgers is warming up at the right time and USC is falling fast.  I will say that I think they are going to crush UCLA after the bye in a VERY convincing manner.



Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2009 9:47 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- North Carolina

Furthermore... I just looked at the CBS 120, and if anyone seriously thinks Rutgers (#25) could stay within 5 TD's of USC they are high.



Since: Jan 16, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2009 9:45 pm
 

CBSSports.com 120 -- North Carolina

Look, I hate USC as much as anyone.  When they parade all these d-bag celebrities on the field it just boils my blood, almost as much as it warms my heart to see them fail and get massacred.

However, as much as I want to pile on, I don't really understand this knee-jerk reaction to drop them out of the top 25.  Drop them, yes, but clear out of the poll?  They were #12 the week before, right?  Things get re-calibrated, sure, but that dramatically?  Those 7 wins they do have still count as far as I know.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com