UNC's Withers not concerned with rankings

October, 13, 2011
10/13/11
11:00
AM ET
Earlier this week, North Carolina cornerback Jabari Price was quoted about how he thought the Tar Heels weren't getting enough respect for their 5-1 record:
“We talk about it all the time,” Price said, according to the Herald-Sun. “You see teams like (No. 19) Virginia Tech; they’re 5-1, but they’re ranked. We’re one of the better teams in the country right now. I feel like we’re being disrespected.”

The Raleigh News & Observer had a similar quote:
"We're not really getting no respect," said the sophomore, who missed the first four games of the season because of a hand injury. "As you can see, we're 5-1, and we're still not ranked. ... In order to make a statement to the world, we have to show up and eat at the end of the season, right here, right now.

"... We talk about it all the time. You see teams like Virginia Tech, they're 5-1 but they're ranked. Obviously, being ranked is not a big deal to me, but it shows a sign of disrespect to me, personally. I feel like we're one of the better teams in the country right now, and we're playing like it."

On Wednesday, North Carolina coach Everett Withers said those comments were taken out of context.

Withers made it clear he's not concerned with the Tar Heels' being snubbed by the Top 25. I asked him if he thought he was coaching a top-25 team.

"I don't worry about rankings until the end of the year," he said. "All we worry about is trying to play the next opponent, and playing the best we play. I don't even look at the rankings. I don't even know who's No. 1 in the country right now, and I don't really care to be honest with you, because we play Miami this week. It's all about our preparation and getting ready for the Hurricanes. At the end of the year we'll look back and say, 'OK, we did this, or we didn't do this,' whatever. But that's my focus. My focus has nothing to do with respect or anything of that. You earn it, and you earn it throughout the entire year, and at the end of the year you can say we deserved this or we didn't."

With all due respect, he might want to tell that to Price.

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