On Saturday, the worst North Carolina football season since 2006 came to an end in Raleigh. UNC entered Carter-Finley Stadium with 20 players out and left with a 33-21 loss and a final record of 3-9.
Chalk it up as a rebuilding year, a total failure or just plain bad luck. Regardless of what the 2017 season is remembered as, just know it wasn’t a lost one. No season is.
Sure, the Tar Heels’ 12 games may have been a constant source of frustration and “what ifs.” Still, they offered plenty of takeaways — some positive and many a source of concern — for the program moving forward.
First, the head coach. In 2017, Larry Fedora’s team finished with the fewest wins, points per game (26) and yards per game (369.6) in his six-year tenure. Until a Nov. 9 win at Pittsburgh, he had lost 11 consecutive games against Power Five teams.
But his seat isn’t hot. It’s clear that both Fedora and North Carolina — which gave him a seven-year contract extension through 2022 in late May — are happy. Last November, he chose not address rumors that LSU had contacted him about replacing Les Miles. Fedora is fifth in UNC history with 43 career victories, and he isn’t going anywhere soon.