In June of 2010, NCAA officials became concerned about a party in Miami that several North Carolina football players had attended.
They were even more concerned about how they got there.
The investigators began interviewing players last July. This eventually led to Robert Quinn and Greg Little being ruled indefinitely ineligible for accepting improper benefits, and to Marvin Austin being dismissed from the team due to the same and other violations.
Despite high hopes and expectations for a BCS bowl-type season, Carolina faltered without its star athletes and claimed an 8-5 record. The Tar Heels battled, but could not come away on top in big games—the presence of Quinn, Little and Austin was greatly missed. It was the year of what could have been.
However, 2010 is over with and in the past. It's a new dawn, a new day and new life for the boys in baby blue.
And they're feelin' good.
North Carolina returns just five starters on offense, but sophomore Bryn Renner is expected to take over the quarterback position for T.J. Yates.
Although he didn't see the field much in 2010, Renner has proved he has what it takes to play in the ACC. He has outstanding accuracy and can thread the needle, but is at his best when throwing the deep ball. At 6'3", Renner stands tall in the pocket and his legs give him the option to take it on the ground.
Opposing offenses are going to have a tough time keeping up with what looks to be a superior Tar Heel defense in 2011. 10 starters return for UNC, including the entire defensive line and secondary.
Six seniors and two juniors are expected to start on a very experienced Carolina defense.
Looking solid, right? The Heels are bound to have a successful season, but what's the worst thing that could happen?
Let's take a look.