NC State travels to UNC this Friday for their annual rivalry game. After a year of close and curious losses, NC State fans are at a crossroads of whether to support Dave Doeren or hope Debbie Yow makes a change at the end of the year. With year 4 coming to an end Dave Doeren is 23-26 overall, including an 8-23 record in the ACC. A majority of those ACC wins have come against bottom dwellers in the ACC. The most glaring omission from Doeren’s resume at NC State has been a “Big win”. They have yet to beat any team ranked while under Doeren as well.
Another question this brings up is what should NC State expect out of their football program. Should NC State fans expect to have a team that contends year in/year out for division and/or conference championships? Should they sneak into major bowls every few years?
The most glaring question that gets asked often is “Do NC State fans have delusional expectations for their football team?”.
For this exercise with the help of Bryan Ives (@awaytoworthy), ESPN crack researcher, I’ve looked at 6 power 5 conference teams including NC State to see where they stack up with comparable teams throughout the country since 1996.
The following teams are slightly above “average” in all of FBS in terms of wins:
41. SC (136-117)
43. Miss (133-118)
44. NCSU (133-121)
45. Wash (132-120)
46. ORST (130-123)
Taking the same group of teams I looked at how they performed in games vs ranked teams. NC State jumped to the 31st in the country vs ranked teams, and ended up with a better win % than teams comparable in overall wins:
31. NCST (19-40) 0.322
32. SC (28-62) 0.311
33. Wash (29-67) 0.305
36. Miss (25-61) 0.291
40 UNC (18-51) 0.261
43 ORST (19-57) 0.25
Out of the 6 teams we researched only 1 team…NC State…had not been to a Major Bowl and/or won a division/conference championship in that time span.
So what should NC State’s expectations be? Based on this exercise it’s a little bit of everything. NC State should expect to be a program that beats ranked teams at nearly a rate of 1 per year. NC State should be a program that should expect a breakout season at any point to contend for a major bowl as well as play in a conference championship. One thing that all the numbers meant is NC State loses its fair share of games they should win as well. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?!?
Also this makes me want to get a drink because I still don’t know what the expectations for NC State football should be given their history over last couple of decades.
What say you?