I LOVE Dr. Saturday. Just love â€˜himâ€™. If you arenâ€™t familiar, Dr. Saturday is the incomparable Yahoo Sports College Football Blog that is required reading for any college football fan.
With this much respect for the Doctorâ€¦imagine how much I love it when NC State is the focus of attention!?
In this entry from Wednesday, Dr. Saturday took a look at NC Stateâ€™s chances of winning its first Atlantic Coast Conference Championship since 1979 and gave us all a positive view from an outside, impartial perspective:
NCSU was generally picked to finish at or near the bottom of the Atlantic Division, made an immediate impression by ambushing Georgia Tech in Atlanta a couple weeks back, 41-28, to move to 4-0. Last week, they charged out to a 17-0 lead against another big favorite, Virginia Tech, and still led with two minutes to play in the fourth quarter before letting another upset slip away.
But with a competitive split against two of the reigning conference heavies already in the bag, the Pack may not have a tougher game left on the docket.
Not surprisingly, the Pack are pacing the league in total offense and scoring, against one of the tougher schedules: In the last three weeks, they’ve faced the defending Big East champion, the defending ACC champion and the preseason ACC favorite, and hung at least 30 points on all of them, on 508 yards per game. Last week, they joined eventual national champions LSU in 2007 and Alabama in 2009 as the only attacks to put up 500 yards on a Bud Foster-coached defense since Virginia Tech moved to the ACC in 2004. It’s an explosive group.
The odds are better of getting into the ACC Championship Game: N.C. State played as well as any team in the Atlantic Division through the first month and clearly has the firepower to hang with anyone in the entire conference. The upset at Georgia Tech could go a long way in the standings, if the preseason assumptions about the dominance of the top half of the Coastal Division hold true against the other Atlantic contenders.
If they make it to Charlotte, though, the Pack’s shot at actually bringing back the championship against a more talented, veteran Virginia Tech, Miami or even Georgia Tech outfit with more big-game experience are much longer. If they’re good enough to get there, though, they’re good enough to win, and right now they look as good as anyone in the Atlantic Division
FWIW…I think NC State and the ACC needs Miami to win out in as impression of a fashion as possible.
Despite the loss to Ohio State, I think the presence of a perceived, very strong national power who would be Top 10 ranked creates some major value for the conference.
If State were to represent the Atlantic in the ACC Title game, then losing to an 11-1 Top 10 Miami team would be looked at very fondly. BEATING such a team would serve to elevate us much higher than if the representative of the Coastal was 9-3.
Virginia Tech has already screwed the pooch for everyone with the Boise and JMU loss.