November 16 , 2013; Greenville, NC, USA; East Carolina Pirates wide receiver Justin Hardy (2) reacts against the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The East Carolina Pirates defeated the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers 63-14. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Old North State Power Rankings Preseason Edition

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For the 2014 Football Season, I will be keeping up with the six schools in the state via Power Rankings. I will update the rankings each week. Criteria for moving up or down in the power rankings will depend on wins, losses, opposition, margin of victory, and anything else I can come up with. There are only six teams, so expect things to be pretty fluid. So here goes:

1. East Carolina Pirates

I have a feeling the Pirates are going to be really good this year. They return Shane Carden and Justin Hardy and enough of the defense to make me think that ten wins are there to be had. If they can pull off the upset at Cincy late in the season, the AAC crown could be theirs and possibly a trip to the new set of big bowl games. For those of you who may suspect a Greenville bias by now, I remind you to check my avatar colors. They are not purple and gold.

2. North Carolina Tar Heels

I agonized over the two and three spots because nothing separates the two teams in my ACC preview except obscure tie breaker rules. Those rules do favor the Tar Heels in my predictions, so they get the number 2 spot here. This is true even with both starting corners suspended for the Liberty game, because it is the Liberty game. Besides those guys are gone for a game, the next team in the list lost two guys for the season.

3. Duke Blue Devils
Again there is not much between them and the Heels at this point, though the loss of Kelby Brown and Braxton Deaver may widen that gap. The Blue Devils are looking to replicate last year’s success with much of last year’s talent. They play Elon this week, so we get to see what Deaver and Brown’s backups look like.

4. NC State Wolfpack

Dave Doeren’s squad fills the number 4 position, though there is a sizable jump from 3 to 4 unlike 1 to 2 or 2 to 3. This is another team that still possesses more questions than answers and a lot of those questions regard new quarterback starter Jacoby Brissett. Will this be a case of ‘So Jacoby goes, so goes Wolfpack Nation’? We can start to find out on Saturday when Georgia Southern comes in.

5. Appalachian State Mountaineers

This is App State’s first year in FBS play, so a high ranking cannot be justified. They also do not play any of the other teams in these rankings during the year. Still, they have Marcus Cox and I did predict a 5-7 record for them, which is better than the team I have last in these rankings.

6. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Got to start somewhere, right? It is too early to say what Wake Forest will look like. Coach Dave Clawson could shock us all and have a big year this year. It just is not likely to happen. Wake will get shots at NC State and Duke, so there is an opportunity for them to rise from this spot.

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Tags: AAC Football ACC Football Appalachian State Mountaineers Duke Blue Devils East Carolina Pirates North Carolina State Wolfpack North Carolina Tar Heels Sun Belt Football Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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