ATLANTA, Ga. -- With 13 players -- including seven starters on defense -- who didn't make the trip to the Georgia Dome, the odds are stacked against North Carolina. Les Miles is expected to win this game, and if he doesn't, it's going to be a long season and probably his last.
The Tigers lost nine games the past two years and the rumblings about the direction the program is headed have grown louder. A loss against an undermanned UNC team would only add fuel to the fire and will set the tone for the season.
At North Carolina, a black eye to the university's academic mission won't be tolerated by chancellor Holden Thorp. And it's hardly as if Butch Davis' 11-13 record in the ACC is enough of an argument to bail him out of this public relations nightmare.
It's only the first week of the season, but for these two coaches, it's already a must-win situation.