SFN affiliate, Big Lead Sports has released their list of the 10 most disappointing college football teams of 2013. We all knew that this was going to be a part of the off-season narrative, so there is no reason to try to hide from the obvious. Let’s just accept 2013 and continue to look ahead to expected improvement in 2014 and 2015 and Coach Doeren attempts to re-build a depleted program with some actual Division One football talent.
On BLS’s list you will find the following sprinkled in between the likes of the University of Florida, Boise State, Michigan and Texas A&M:
North Carolina State Wolfpack: N.C. State tried a great leap forward from Tom O’Brien’s mediocrity. They faceplanted, despite returning talent and a schedule with eight home games. The flicker in the first half against Clemson was extinguished and never returned. They finished 2-9 against FBS teams (barely won their FCS game). They lost every ACC game. Only one was by single digits. If Jacoby Brissett is not the answer next season, questions may be asked of Dave Doeren.
I accept that NC State was a big disappointment in 2013 – our weak schedule and recent performance as a program that always seemed to find a way to become bowl eligible set a bit of a standard and general expectation that a minimum of six wins and bowl eligibility should’ve been within our grasp. But, BLS doesn’t do themselves any favors when they make the comment “despite returning talent”. Without re-debating the amount of ‘talent’ currently residing in west Raleigh (I really hope that you will click here), I would hope that BLS would at least research/reference the impact of injuries to our roster if they are going to throw out a very questionable statement about talent. Additionally, if the margin of defeat is so important to mention then BLS might be interested in knowing how many games NC State led or was within one score after three quarters. In fact, that statistic might also serve to further underscore the point that our ‘talent’ (and depth) wasn’t what it needed to be.
Also of interest on the most disappointing list is a 2014 opponent of NC State’s – the South Florida Bulls. The Wolfpack is scheduled to travel to Tampa to take on the Bulls in the middle of next September. Ironically, Taggart replaced Skip Holtz at USF when Holtz replaced Sonny Dykes at Louisiana Tech. Dykes was considered by many to be the second choice for the NC State job (as well as the job he ultimately landed at Cal) behind Dave Doeren, who won his first game as NC State Head Coach over Skip Holtz at Louisiana Tech. Shew!
South Florida Bulls: USF sits in a rich recruiting ground. They hired a promising young coach in Willie Taggart. They encouraged fans to get on the bus. However, the bus, almost immediately, had a flat tire, flipped multiple times, smashed into a forest of trees and burst into flames. They lost by 32 to McNeese State in the opener and just kept being terrible. 120th in yards/play offense. 122nd in touchdowns. Just awful.