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Larry Fedora Will Finish with a Better Legacy than Mack Brown

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

OK…

So it’s only been one season but it’s never too early to dream about what could be with the North Carolina Tar Heels and Head Coach Larry Fedora.

Right?

Fedora’s first year was fantastic as he led the Heels to a 8-4 record overall and a first place 5-3 mark in the ACC Coastal Division. Due to sanctions, Carolina gave up its bid to play the Florida State Seminoles in the ACC Championship so it was not able to compete in any post-season games.

Add to the fact the Tar Heels finished second in Scoring Offense and Total Offense, sixth in Total Defense and fifth in Scoring Defense, third in Rushing Offense and fourth in Passing Offense and that’s one heck of a first year ladies and gentlemen…

In fact in the 113 years of football at UNC it is the best… by far!

And as you look through the history of the 33 Head Coaches Carolina has had over these years three names stand out; Bill Dooley, Dick Crum and Mack Brown. Crum leads the pack with a 72-41-3 record in 10 seasons and won a few ACC Titles. Brown was next with a 69-46-1 record over 10 seasons that ended with a No. 4 National Ranking which was the highest in Carolina Football History. Dooley was no slouch either with a 69-53-2 in 11 years with a few ACC Titles as well.

So in the history of College Football we know where those three guys played out. There is no doubt a sports fan thinks of basketball coach Denny Crum instead of Dick and Derek Dooley probably has more street cred than Bill.

But everyone knows the pedigree that is Mack Brown and the legacy of greatness he has built with the Texas Longhorns that include a National Championship in 2005 and another appearance in 2009. In 15 years, Brown has a 150-43 mark in Austin, Texas but is just a timid 22-16 since the 2009 BCS Title loss.

So as the 61-year-old Brown seems to have peaked in his greatness, can Fedora find a way to overtake him? The answer is a resounding yes!

Fedora is currently 43-22 as a head coach over his first five seasons. Brown started his first five seasons at 17-38 including a 1-10, 1-6 record in his first season in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

So as Fedora Ball continues to pick up steam in the ACC don’t be surprised at all when the next 10 years become the golden era of Tar Heel Football.

And the No. 1 reason Carolina better not let another Texas take away their gridiron great.

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M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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Phantom Offsides Penalty Costs North Carolina

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All season long, we’ve been hearing about how bad the officiating has been in the NFL. On Saturday night, we saw how much damage bad calls can do in college football as well.

During the ACC title game, the North Carolina Tar Heels were making one final push to steal the crown from the Clemson Tigers. After scoring a quick touchdown in the waning minutes of the game, the Tar Heels lined up for an onside kick — and recovered it after a few Tigers mishandled the ball. However, a flag came flying in for an offsides penalty. The only problem was that no Tar Heel was offsides.

Just look for yourself:

Am I missing something, or were there zero Tar Heels offsides on that play?

The closest player was still about two yards from the line. Obviously a recovery wouldn’t have guaranteed a North Carolina touchdown, but it certainly kept them from getting the opportunity they earned.

The Tigers recovered the next onside kick, and ran out the clock, securing the ACC crown and a spot in the 2015 College Football Playoff.

The ACC title came down to a phantom offsides call that cost North Carolina big.

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