North Carolina Tar Heels 2012

((ACC) The Tar Heels play on a grass field at Kenan Stadium (seats 60,000)

  • Larry Fedora is in his 1st season as head coach at UNCHe comes over from Southern Mississippi, where he led his team to a Conference-USA Championship with the upset win over Houston, who would have played in a BCS bowl had they won the game.  Fedora is a great recruiter so Carolina should get back some of that talent it lost to the NFL (and suspensions).
  • It’s amazing with all of the talent that this team has had over the last few years with 18 NFL Draft picks, including 8 in the first two rounds, that the most season wins they’ve in the last decade plus has been just 8.
  • The good thing for Carolina is that they finally start the season off without drama.  The past two years have been complete chaos as 2010 began with 16 players being suspended for some, if not all of 2010 and 2011 begain with the firing of Butch Davis on June 27th because according to the University “The only way to move forward and put this behind us is to make a change.” The University’s decision to fire Davis came at a strange time considering they allowed him to stay throughout the academic fraud investigations and formal charges of 9 violations that resulted in the suspension of 16 players in 2010 and the firing of an assistant head coach (John Blake).
  • Interim head coach Everett Williams led the Tar Heels to a 7-6 season last year.  But this year he departs for Ohio State to become co-Defensive Coordinator under Urban Meyer.
  • Fedora takes over a team currently on punishment by the NCAA.  They are limited in scholarships (80 per year instead of 85 over the next three years) and banned from a bowl game in 2012.  Because of the bowl ban, seniors were permitted to transfer immediately to an FBS school without having to sit out a year before becoming eligible.

    Head Coach Larry Fedora

  • The new policy at UNC as directed to Agents:

At this time, and continuing through the end of the regular season, we request that you adhere to the following policies that we have put in place for our student-athletes:
1) There should be no in-person contact between yourself (or your representatives) and our student-athletes of their families during this time.
2) During the month of August, no phone calls are permitted. Starting September 1st, phone calls are permitted only between the hours of 7:00 pm and 10:00 pm on Sunday night.
3) During August, no electronic communication is permitted. Starting September 1st, electronic communication (including email, social networking, and text messages) is prohibited from Thursday through Saturday (allowing our player to focus on that week’s game).

  • Quarterback Bryn Renner challenged Senior QB T.J. Yates in 2010 and while he never overtook him, he did learn from him and says “everything I knew to be a college quarterback I learned from him—everything on the field and everything off.”  He did well as his first year as a starter and was 10th in the nation in passing efficiency.  His TD-INT ratio was decent 2:1 (26-13) but will be something they will work on improving in 2012. He passed for over 3,000 yards and continued to perform at the level Yates finally reached his senior year.
  • The offensive line is in terrific shape for 2012 with so many starters returning.  And they are coming off of the best rushing offense that the Tar Heels have seen since 2004.  Top rusher from 2011 Giovani “Gio” Barnard (1253 yards, 13 Touchdowns) averaged an impressive 5.2 yards per carry and is just a sophomore this year (he missed 2010 with an ACL injury).
  • UNC has 6 starters returning on defense, but they are changing to a new 4-2-5/3-3-5 scheme (utilizing a nickel back). They don’t have the same NFL caliber talent here on defense that they had two years ago when they had a legitimate chance to win a national championship.  But with a new scheme and a new coach, it will be interesting to see what this team can do.
  • The schedule wasn’t too challenging last year and will be similar this year due to the questions surrounding several teams in the ACC. While Virginia is improving and Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Clemson all seem to be steadily succeeding, Wake Forest, Miami, Duke, Maryland, Boston College (no a UNC opponent this year) and even NC State all seem questionable.