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Heel Tough Blog: Tar Heels Debut At No. 17 in Initial Playoff Rankings

Bob Donnan- USA Today Sports

Tuesday night was the revelation of the first College Football Playoff Rankings of the 2022 season as the season of playoff debates officially gets underway. While most of the focus was on the four teams vying at the top for the playoff spots, the attention of Tar Heels fans was on the middle of the rankings.

The 7-1 Tar Heels debuted at No. 17 in the initial rankings as the second-highest ranked ACC team behind only Clemson. As expected, they are now officially in control of their own destiny when it comes to a trip to the Orange Bowl thanks to Wake Forest’s blowout loss to Louisville on Saturday.

In terms of the Tar Heels’ playoff chances, they look extremely thin as you would expect, but it is still a slim possibility. The 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes are the lowest-ranked team in the initial rankings to ever make the College Football Playoff at season’s end when they appeared at No. 16.

In terms of the team’s ahead of them, there are a fair amount of head-to-head matchup that will sort some things out. Most importantly, the Tar Heels do have a schedule that could be advantageous to them with the possibility of facing three ranked opponents in the final five weeks of the season. If the Tar Heels were to win out and Notre Dame could also turn their season around, the Tar Heels would certainly have an interesting case.


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