College football starts in just a few weeks, and for two North Carolina schools, they’ll start with some high expectations, as they were ranked in the top 25 of the preseason coaches poll.
The USA Today Sports AFCA football coaches poll was released Monday, and North Carolina State and Wake Forest find themselves ranked in this year’s preseason. NC State is at 13, while Wake Forest is 19th.
The Wolfpack are coming off a 9-3 season in 2021-22, and finished the season ranked No. 19 in the final poll, after not getting to play in a bowl game. North Carolina State had been scheduled to take on UCLA in the Holiday Bowl, but hours before kickoff, UCLA had to back out because of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Coming in at No. 13 in the poll marks the highest ever preseason start for North Carolina State, while Wake Forest also has its highest college football preseason ranking ever at No. 19.
For the Demon Deacons, an 11-3 season was capped by a blowout win over replacement Rutgers in the Gator Bowl. Wake Forest had been scheduled to play Texas A&M in the game, but the Aggies had to drop out because of COVID-19 protocols, and too many players deciding not to play in the game.
Defending national champion Georgia starts the season ranked No. 3, with Alabama coming in as the preseason favorite, with 54 of the 65 possible first-place votes.
Here’s the full USA Today Sports AFCA football coaches poll: