While Texas Preps For The Goliath of Alabama, Mack Brown Makes History In Atlanta
The Texas Longhorns will play host to Alabama on Saturday in a rematch of the 2009 BCS National Championship Game.
Alabama prevailed over Texas in the infamous "Colt got hurt" game, which now has about a dozen nicknames for it.
The Longhorns and Tide have yet to run it back since that fateful day in Pasadena. A day in which Alabama climbed atop the mountain to glory once more, this time with a new leader at the helm.
From the roller coaster highs of Vince Young scrambling past a wicked fast USC defense, to the lows of resigning for losing too many games, the Mack Brown era in Austin was truly one to remember. However, that's enough on Alabama and then legendary Texas coach Mack Brown's time with the Longhorns.
We're here to talk a little Tar Heels. North Carolina (2-0) will travel to Atlanta on Saturday with a new challenge at its feet. The Heels visit the Georgia State Panthers (0-1) in Center Parc Credit Union Stadium, making this their third venue in the 'Capital of College Football' since 2019 and fourth since 2016.
Back in 2016, future first-round draft pick Mitch Trubisky and North Carolina kicked off their season with a date with Georgia in the Georgia Dome. The Tar Heels took the lead on a massive kick return in the second half, before ultimately falling late to the Bulldogs, by a score of 33-24.
After that, Carolina visited Georgia Tech, playing in Bobby Dodd for 2017 and 2019. The Heels would find a change of scenery in 2021, playing the Yellow Jackets in the newly built Mercedes-Benz Stadium, taking a shocking 45-22 beating in the upset loss.
In 2022, Carolina will now visit its fourth Atlanta stadium since agreeing on that 2016 date with Georgia, hoping to turn the tide in the Peach State.
If you dig even deeper into the record books, the Tar Heels played at Fulton County Stadium a total of three times, the first being a 48-26 loss to Arizona State in 1970, then a 21-0 drubbing in 1976 at the hands of Kentucky and the most recent a 28-3 loss to Florida State in 1983.
UNC then played Mississippi State in the Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome, to cap off the 1992 season in early 1993. The Heels left victorious, defeating the Bulldogs by a score of 21-17.
Georgia has not been a kind spot for Carolina the past few seasons, but all of that could change on Saturday. The Tar Heels are listed as 7.5-point favorites over the Panthers and have a good shot with Mack Brown at the helm. Brown has turned Carolina into a recruiting prowess in the ACC, something fans in Chapel Hill could only have dreamed of just a few seasons ago.
Will this finally be the year for UNC? Can the Heels get another win on the same campus property they last played on in '93? A 40-point blown lead in Boone last weekend nearly proved disastrous, but Carolina withstood a pair of 2-point conversion attempts to prevail in front of a packed-out App State crowd.
Is this finally a sign of fate turning Carolina's way? Can the Heels figure out how to turn the corner?
Maybe, but first, there is business to take care of down Highway I-85, as the Hip/Hop group Migos would say.
As a matter of fact, the Panthers of Georgia State do own the grounds next to I-85 that the former Fulton-County Stadium once sat on, which still feature a piece of the wall and the base paths from the Atlanta Braves' old home.
As a fellow Atlanta-native myself, I must say that for any Carolina/Braves fans making the trek to watch Coach Brown, this is a must-see attraction, which may not be around much longer.
From the 1996 Olympics with Muhammad Ali, to Hank Aaron, Vin Scully, Game 6 of the 1995 World Series, the Peach Bowl, Deion Sanders in a Falcons uniform and now GHSA title games and Mack Brown across the street, this place is truly hallowed ground for Southern sports fans.
Read that chunk of words again.
Time really is a flat circle, eh?