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Fear the 3rd or 4th Best Team In North Carolina? Tar Heel Hate!

They might not be good, but at least they’re trying!

Appalachian State v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Clemson enters week 5 straining to keep up with the truly “elite” teams in the nation. While Ohio State and Alabama have consistently throttled elite competition like Miami (the one in Ohio) and Southern Mississippi (the one in Southern Mississippi), Clemson continues to plod along, fighting to keep their heads above water against inferior opponents like Charlotte and Texas A&M.

Speaking of Charlotte, it’s time we start talking about Trevor’s sophomore slump. While Tua is racking up huge numbers, playing deep into the 3rd quarter against Southern Miss, Trevor can’t even put up 100 yards against Charlotte.

Sure, some people might say, “Trevor barely played a quarter and only threw 9 passes” but those people are just making excuses. The coaching staff is protecting the fragile Lawrence while the indefatigable Tua, who has never been fatigued, not once, ever, in his college career, other than when he played against Clemson, but you know, he had to play Georgia a month before and that’s pretty much a death sentence for most teams, so it doesn’t count, continues to lay it on the line deep into blow outs each week. Trevor needs to step it up.

This week looks to be another short outing for Lazy Lawrence (as I’ve taken to calling him) as the Tigers travel north to take on the 3rd or 4th best team in North Carolina, the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Some people may think that Mack Brown has been saying nice things about Dabo all week, in hopes that Clemson calls off the dogs early in this one.

Don’t fall for Mack’s humble act.

He learned the game coaching against legends like Amos Alonzo Stagg, John Heisman and Bear Bryant. Mack is setting a tar trap for the Tigers. The Tar Heel’s losses to Appalachian State and Wake Forest are all part of his master plan to pull the upset against Clemson.

We need to bring our A hate game this week.

Let’s get to it.

Mack Brown

When I was teaching high school English in Texas, Mack stopped by my school to recruit one of my students. I ran into him in the hall and thought, “Man, Mack looks frail and is in desperate need of some whitening strips.”

That was 9 years ago.

Texas, much like Michigan, generally peaked in late August/early September during his tenure with the Longhorns. Granted, he did win a National Championship at a program with by far the most resources in college football, but he also went 7-16 against Oklahoma and Bob Stoops, went 34-31 against ranked teams, and won as many Big 12 Championships as Bill Snyder and Kansas State over the same time period.

If you’re big into analogies like I am (my ability to figure out analogies on the SAT is the sole reason Clemson let me in), Vince Young is to Mack Brown as Jameis Winston is to Jimbo Fisher.

I’ll let you fine folks figure out what I’m talking about.

The Brown tenure at Texas finally ran out of gas in 2013 after the Longhorns started the season yet again ranked in the top 20 and proceeded to get dusted by BYU, Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Oregon. Mack’s innate ability to do less with more finally sealed his fate in Austin, as the Longhorns turned the program over to Charlie Strong (yes, the guy that is currently 1-2 at USF).

It looked like his coaching days were over. If you can’t consistently win at Texas, with every conceivable advantage, it’s time to call it a career and spend your time on less demanding pursuits, like dominating your weekly bridge game and tearing up the shuffle board court (is it called a court?) in Boca with other older, but still active, folks in a nice retirement community with a shockingly high STD rate (seriously, look it up folks).

The North Carolina Tar Heels and athletics director Lawrence (Bubba) Cunningham, however, had other plans for Mack’s golden years. Instead of moving up the Canasta standings at the Sea Side Luxury Retirement Resort, Bubba decided Brown was the coach to lead the Tar Heel program back to mediocrity.

The decision making process went something like this:

UNC Donor, let’s call him Chad Sr.: We’ve got to do something, this Fedora thing isn’t working out.

Bubba: Dude’s a beast in the weight room though.

Chad Sr.: Bubba, we’ve won 5 games in 2 seasons.

Bubba: Put up 310 on the bench yesterday, clean too, straight up and down. I think he could get 320 no problem.

Chad Sr.: Look, I don’t buy out the luxury boxes and bring in the premium wine and cheese plates for 2-win teams. We need to do better. This is hurting basketball recruiting.

Bubba.: What do you have in mind?

Chad Sr.: We need to bring someone in that understands the culture of North Carolina athletics. What’s Butch Davis up to these days?

Bubba.: He’s at FIU, last I heard, he was embroiled in a pee-wee football dust up.

Chad Sr.: Pee-Wee football?

Bubba: A star 2nd grade quarterback got all gassed up on birthday cake and juice boxes and crashed his Paw Patrol quad into a swing set. They found a squirt gun under the seat, and 6 cases of pixie sticks in the trunk. It was a bad scene. Parents threatened to nuke his Minecraft account if he didn’t come clean. He gave up Butch. We’re talking V.I.P. rooms at Chucky Cheese, year round access to Halloween candy, and a sectioned off playground. Things aren’t looking good.

Chad Sr.: Well, damn

Bubba: I know, he’s the perfect culture fit at UNC, but then again, we don’t want the NCAA to come snooping around the basketball program again. Roy would be angry, and you wouldn’t like Roy when he’s angry.

Chad Sr: Ok, so Butch is out, but who else would be willing to even take the job?

Bubba: What if I told you I had an in with a National Championship winning coach?

Chad Sr. I told you last year, I’m not interested in Larry Coker.

Bubba: I got someone better in mind.

Chad Sr. Please tell me you can get Dabo.

Bubba: What, (chuckles) Dabo wouldn’t come to this third-rate program, but I know someone who would.....(leans across the desk and whispers in Chad’s ear) Mack Brown.

Chad Sr.: I....I thought he was....dead...didn’t I attended his funeral 2 years ago?

Bubba: Nope, still alive and kicking, and he’s ready to get back into coaching.

Chad Sr.: Are there any other options?

Bubba: It’s either Mack or Larry.

Chad Sr.: Sighs....well, Mack it is I guess.

Bubba: I’ll give him a call when he wakes up. Coach doesn’t like to be bothered before 10 am. Says it’s bad for his digestion.

North Carolina Football

Other than South Carolina, I can’t think of a more pathetic football rival than UNC. In 116 seasons, the Tar Heels, the supposed “flagship” program of North Carolina, have accumulated 14 bowl wins and 7 conference championships. I had to double check that those numbers were accurate, because, man, that’s just sad.

Mack must be desperate because North Carolina is the place where coaching careers go to die, but then again, I doubt he has further coaching aspirations after North Carolina this time. He cut out for Texas after 10-1 record the last time he was at North Carolina, because he knew sustained winning was impossible. In the 20+ years since Mack left, UNC has finished the season ranked in the AP poll once (2015). UNC has burned through Carl Torbush (retired), John Bunting (retired), Butch Davis (FIU), Everett Withers (Giants DB Coach), Larry Fedora (urine color analyst for Tom Herman). It’s basically the South Carolina of ACC coaching jobs.

It’s not just that coaches aren’t successful at UNC. It’s that stink of coaching at UNC never leaves your resume. In essence, Mack Brown successfully escaped college football’s version of Alcatraz, and then decided to break back in over 20 years later to tarnish whatever “legacy” he didn’t destroy on his way out the door at Texas.

North Carolina is, and always will be, a basketball school full of Chadwicks and Ashtons with little to no interest in a physical sport like football. Their 65,000 seat bleacher stadium was just downsized to 50,000 baby blue chairs yet remains about half full, and the people that do show up stroll in half way through the first quarter and don’t come back after halftime.

To be perfectly fair (as I’m known to be), those fans aren’t not missing much. I expect Kenan Stadium will be painted orange on Saturday. The loudest the crowd will get is after Clemson touchdowns (there will be plenty of those). This will be another waste of a perfectly good Saturday for the Clemson starters. The UNC fans that show up to see Trevor play should get to their seats early, because he’ll be on the sidelines conditioning his hair by halftime. You know, I hate to say it, but I kind of miss the excitement of playing against good college football teams.

I guess I’m going to have to wait a while longer. See y’all next week.