It’s November already, and did you know that there’s yet to be a week in which every FBS team in the Carolinas have all played? It’s true. Didn’t happen last week, with N.C. State off. Won’t happen this week, with Wake Forest off.
Never happened earlier this season, with a bunch of games postponed or canceled because of the pandemic. Teams don’t always play at the same time, anyway, what with regularly scheduled off weeks and all. But the schedule this season has been especially chaotic.
Most teams have played six games by now. Some five. Charlotte is among those with five, and only has three games remaining. Clemson is the only school in the Carolinas that has played seven games, and it has four games remaining — in addition to whatever waits in the postseason.
We’re more than halfway through the season now and, as rocky as it has been, the end point is on the horizon. We’ve made it this far, and maybe things have even gone more smoothly than a best-case scenario might have predicted a couple of months ago.
You say that, though, and then remember that Trevor Lawrence is quarantining after a positive virus test.
Onto Week 8 of the All-Carolina poll:
1. Clemson (7-0, 6-0 ACC)
Previous ranking: 1
Last week: W vs. Boston College, 34-28
Up next: at Notre Dame, Saturday
It turns out that Trevor Lawrence is pretty important to Clemson’s success. Who knew? Without Lawrence, whose positive COVID-19 test personifies the riskiness of this entire college football venture, the Tigers looked highly vulnerable against Boston College. Does Clemson’s 36-game regular-season winning streak end on Saturday? Stay tuned.
2. Coastal Carolina (6-0, 4-0 Sun Belt)
Previous ranking: 3
Last week: W at Georgia State, 51-0
Up next: vs. South Alabama, Saturday
Yes, feel free to consider the competition, but Coastal’s defense can no longer be ignored. Six games into this weird season, and after a shutout last weekend, the Chanticleers rank 14th nationally in total yards allowed per game (305.2). Only five teams nationally have more sacks than Coastal’s 20. There’s room on the bandwagon in Conway.
3. North Carolina (4-2, 4-2 ACC)
Previous ranking: 2
Last week: L at Virginia, 44-41
Up next: at Duke, Saturday
Such a strange coincidence that UNC’s two nemesis of the first Mack Brown heyday are interrupting the Tar Heels’ attempted resurgence in Brown’s second go-round. Back then, in the mid-1990s, UNC never got past Florida State and often lost on the road at Virginia. The Tar Heels’ two losses this season: at FSU and Virginia. UNC’s defensive rebuild will be a process.
4. Wake Forest (4-2, 3-2 ACC)
Previous ranking: 6
Last week: W at Syracuse, 38-14
Up next: at North Carolina, Nov. 14
The Demon Deacons are good? The Demon Deacons are good. It was hard to know what to make of Wake after an 0-2 start that included a defeat at N.C. State. But since: Four straight wins, including a dominant performance over