Syracuse football set to face UNC and its legendary coach, Mack Brown

North Carolina hosts Syracuse football in the Orange’s 2020 season opener, and UNC is guided by a Hall of Fame head coach in Mack Brown.

When Syracuse football hits the road to battle No. 18 North Carolina this coming Saturday at noon in Chapel Hill, N.C., the Orange will go up against one of the best coaches in the history of the sport, Mack Brown.

Brown, a national champion at Texas and 2018 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame, is in the midst of his second go-around with the Tar Heels.

After serving as an analyst for ESPN, and full disclosure I absolutely loved him in that role, Brown rejoined North Carolina for the 2019 campaign and led UNC to a 7-6 mark as well as a win in the Military Bowl.

Okay, 7-6 doesn’t sound all that glorious, but consider this. The team’s seven victories amounted to two more than the Tar Heels had claimed in the previous two stanzas combined, and North Carolina conquered an opponent in a bowl game for the initial occasion since 2013, according to Brown’s bio on the UNC athletics department Web site.

What’s more, the squad’s half-dozen losses came by a total of only 26 points. Now, with sophomore quarterback Sam Howell primed for a Heisman Trophy-contending term, the Tar Heels are ranked No. 18 in the pre-season AP top-25 poll, and the Atlantic Coast Conference’s pre-season media poll projects them to finish third in the league.

On Sept. 3, the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl released their pre-season watch list for the 2020 Dodd Trophy, a coveted national coaching award.

Brown is one of 13 head coaches on the list, which only includes coaches from conferences that at this time are scheduled to play a 2020 campaign in the fall. Other ACC head coaches who made the cut are Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly, Virginia’s Bronco Mendenhall and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney.

Syracuse football visits North Carolina on Sept. 12 for the Orange’s 2020 fall opener, and the ‘Cuse will duel with HoF head coach Mack Brown.

Here’s some more context about Brown. He’s served as a head coach for 31 years, at Texas, North Carolina, Tulane and Appalachian State.

His career coaching-record is 251-128-1, and those 251 conquests are ninth on the all-time FBS docket and also the most among active coaches. Brown has claimed multiple national coach of the year honors, and he represents one of only several coaches in the history of the sport to guide two different teams to top-five finishes.

While at Texas, he secured the 2005 BCS National Championship and advanced to a second title-game appearance in 2009, when the Longhorns fell to No. 1 Alabama.

Heading further back, Brown took over the UNC program in 1988, and the squad had registered three non-winning seasons in its prior four stanzas. Yet by 1997, the Tar Heels went 10-1 and achieved a No. 4 final ranking in the USA Today/ESPN poll.

Following the 1997 regular term, Texas hired Brown away from Chapel Hill, however, roughly 20 years later, Brown is leading another North Carolina resurgence. Syracuse football will get to witness that first-hand in a mere matter of days.