ATLANTA - Two football teams with losing records meet this Saturday when the North Carolina Tar Heels travel to Atlanta to take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
At first glance, this game would appear to be inconsequential. Both teams have losing records. Both teams have first-year coaches who are trying to rebuild their program. Both teams seem to be searching for an identity. But both teams play in the chaotic Coastal Division of the ACC. There is no clear frontrunner in the division. The regular season division title and a birth in the ACC Championship Game are very much up for grabs. Both teams are still firmly in the division title mix. One of these teams will on Saturday and that will keep them in the hunt in the ACC. The other will lose and their season will take on a completely different complexion. The Tar Heels are a nine-point favorite on the road but you can throw out the records and the spread. These teams are desperate to get a win, especially a division win.
More importantly though, the game Saturday will be a barometer of where these programs currently stand in the early stages of a rebuild. How close are these programs to competing for a division crown? How close are these programs to being respected on a national stage? The outcome of the game Saturday will be telling. One program will leave Bobby Dodd Stadium feeling much better about themselves. One program will leave searching for answers. Answers that could play heavily into the complexion of the Coastal Division for the next few seasons. So get ready. There will be plenty to play for on Saturday and the intensity level will be high. It should be one heckuva game!