Scott: ‘NC State’s potential’

David Scott takes a look at the country’s most perplexing college football teams, and guess who shows up prominently on the list?

N.C. STATE (4-4): If coach Chuck Amato has settled on Marcus Stone at quarterback — and if Stone justifies that decision — the Wolfpack’s defense could help squeeze two victories out of its final three games, against Boston College, Middle Tennessee State and Maryland, to qualify for a bowl. The victory against Florida State reminded us all of N.C. State’s potential.

Folks, potential only holds value for so long. Unfortunately for passionate NC State fans who want to succeed in Athletics, subjective conclusions about the current nature of potential is often all that is needed to justify employment within Lee Fowler’s Athletics Department.

NC State is now in year SIX of Coach Amato’s tenure, and the last 2.5 seasons (almost half of his entire tenure) has failed to remotely live up to ‘potential.’ It is time for Amato to ride the re-energization of last weekend’s win in Tallahassee to a very strong finish.

The standards and expectations of this (or any) season should NOT change in the middle of a season just because the year is not going well. Before this season kicked off, I felt as though anything less than an 8-3 season would be frustrating (but acceptable); and anything worse 7-4 would have been a significant disappointment. Saving the season with a 7-4 finish and an acceptable bowl opportunity is the only way to (barely) claim 2005 was “acceptable” based on a fair set of pre-season expectations.

Postscript: After logging this entry I realized that it piggy-backed well on yesterday’s discussion on the blog sparked by Mel Kiper . To share more that is related to the issue of “Chuck Amato deserving another year”, I would say the exact same thing that I said a couple of weeks ago when so many people were down on Chuck:

I don’t think that statement can be made with 3 (hopefully 4) games remaining. We need to see how this team finishes before we pass such a judgement. (of course, recognizing that any fan’s opinion of Amato and the football program is really irrelevant since Lee Fowler will look for every reason in the world NOT to have to fire someone).

Personally, I feel that Chuck needs a strong finish this year (8-4) to keep me energized about the football program into the future.

Marcus Stone’s limited abiity at quarterback says to me that we could easily be starting a new QB next year against a difficult ACC schedule. Maintaining an optimistic outlook for next year, anything better than 5-6 / 6-5 is almost impossible to imagine. That would be the 4th year in a row of that kind of middling performance and would clearly define that our football program is stuck in purgatory.

I need to see the Pack CONSISTENTLY meet some potential at the end of this season to keep me energized. This is just my opinion. You don’t have to agree with me, althouh I feel like most normal fans probably feel the same way as I.

We can’t help the fact that Chuck is in this position to perform with such a small margin of error. This is the result of inexcusable losses to Carolina and Wake Forest. State shouldn’t have lost those games…but we did. (Not to mention the way we bombed vs Virgina Tech). If State ends this season and 6-5…especially with a loss to Maryland (which will mean Amato would be 1-5 vs the Fridge), what real hope/expectation can truly exist that Amato can ever get over the hurdles that exist in the strong middle of the ACC – Maryland, GT, UVA, Clemson, and Carolina?

General NCS Football

29 Responses to Scott: ‘NC State’s potential’

  1. Alpha Wolf 11/10/2005 at 9:18 AM #

    Reality check: NC State will keep Amato for some time to come, especially if he averages 7-8 wins a season. Our Chancellor, AD and (I think) some of the key donors have the attitude that excellence is not required. It’s an attitude that has held the entire university, even beyond athletics, back forever.

    You can say that NC State is a great school on the academic front. Maybe. It is no Georgia Tech or Purdue, both peer schools in engineering. Even UNC has a better record of embracing the internet — and they are not even an engineering school. We’re good, but we could be so much *better.* Good is not good enough.

    Why? Because NC State’s leaders accept mediocrity. I hate saying that, but it is the truth. It efuses to demand greatness of itself, and it shows on the courts and on the fields.

  2. BJD95 11/10/2005 at 9:20 AM #

    Absolutely correct. It is past time to expect results and consistency, not cling onto subjective “potential” labels. We need to win out (including bowl) to feel OK about the direction of our program. Being satisfied with 6-5 because “it could have been worse given how poorly we started” just doesn’t cut it. It lowers the bar for the season, and basically gives Amato credit for beating a lowered expectation based on how bad a job he did in the first half of the season.

    Like Jeff, I hope most “normal” fans would see that as nonsensical.

  3. Trout 11/10/2005 at 9:23 AM #

    ^ Academically, I disagree 100%.

  4. Alpha Wolf 11/10/2005 at 9:50 AM #

    Do you really want to compare NC State to Purdue or Georgia Tech.

    Let’s talk famous alumnus: Purdue: Neil Armstrong. For example.

  5. Alpha Wolf 11/10/2005 at 9:59 AM #

    I hit submit early, but in post-graduate engineering, GT is ranked #4, Purdue #10 and VT #31, all ahead of #34 NCSU.

    State can and should do better. That means not settling for the middle of the pack, either on the field or in the labs.

  6. Trout 11/10/2005 at 10:22 AM #

    Not sure this is the best place for this discussion, but what the heck. First, you are picking out one discipline, engineering, and relating that to the entire University, compared to GT and Purdue. What about agriculture and related fields? Life sciences and related fields? PAMS? Textiles? Natural Resources? Humanities?

    NC State and GT are so unlike each other, structure wise, that it is very hard to compare the 2 schools. They are both public, have engineering programs, are in the ACC and are in capital cities. After that, the comparisons stop. NC State, Purdue and VT are much more alike and offer a better comparison. At least all 3 of them are Land Grant universities.

    Can NC State do better? Of course they can. That doesn’t mean NC State is settling for middle of the pack when it comes to academics.

  7. Jeff 11/10/2005 at 10:28 AM #

    ^ I generally agree with Trout.

    I also think that Trout (and others at the University) have to understand that athletics is THE PRIMARY window to the university for a large majority of the rest of the world…and many NC State people.

    When mediocrity and success is so widely accepted in such a major component of the University (Lee Fowler is an “executive office” of NC State), then it is only natural for people to apply the philosophy to other parts of University.

  8. Trout 11/10/2005 at 10:41 AM #

    “I also think that Trout (and others at the University) have to understand that athletics is THE PRIMARY window to the university for a large majority of the rest of the world…and many NC State people.”

    Agree 100%. Bill Friday called athletics the “front porch of a university” and still think that was a spot-on comment.

  9. Alpha Wolf 11/10/2005 at 10:51 AM #

    I guess what I am saying, Tout, is that IMO, Mary Anne Fox pushed us harder in all areas to excel, and that suited me better than the current leadership.

    As for the university itself, it is doing well, but could do much better. All you have to do is look at the *academic* (not athletic) reputation of our neighbors in Chapel Hill. We *should* be their peer, and match them 1:1 in every objective rating. Do you honestly belive that to be the case?

    If so, then it is indicative of one of NC State’s truest weaknesses, public relations. Great stuff happens there, but it all too often is washed out by the UNC-CH self-congratulation machine.

    True excellence means never, ever being satisfied. That’s something MAF did at NC State from stem to stern, and I hope Oblinger can be just as demanding.

  10. Trout 11/10/2005 at 11:01 AM #

    I think PR is a real area of weakness for NC State. That, and the political machine in the state of NC that is geared toward UNC, but has slowly been changing.

    One thing about UNC. Have you noticed that schools with large endowments are usually higher “ranked.” 1billion+ compared to NC State’s 300 million. It has only been the past 10 years that NC State has caught up to UNC in terms of fundraising. However, they still have an endowment that is 4x the size of NC State’s. In academia, endowments mean alot. Better students, better faculty, etc…..

    I’ll stop now since this is the ” independent voice on the NC State athletics community” and not an academic forum.

  11. Jeff 11/10/2005 at 11:04 AM #

    Academics are welcome to be discussed; it is just that athletics typically are what more people want to discuss. Trout, I WISH that you would accept our offer (from last year) to participate in the blog and focus on sharing news & opinon from the non-athletic part of the university. Obviously it is something that people are interested in.

  12. Trout 11/10/2005 at 11:07 AM #

    I’ll say this, having worked in the corporate world for 15 years, then coming to NC State was a true shock. 🙂

  13. Alpha Wolf 11/10/2005 at 11:10 AM #

    Just to sum it up, I want us to win on the field, and in the world.

  14. Trout 11/10/2005 at 11:14 AM #

    ^ And I think we are doing a better job “in the world” than on the field. Again, MO.

  15. SaccoV 11/10/2005 at 11:17 AM #

    One of the larger reasons why this debate between UNC and NC State continues is that they are both generally vying to be “THE UNIVERSITY OF THE PUBLIC,” which no university should ever claim. The point of the university education is the create the “well-rounded” student. At this I think UNC generally is a step ahead of NC State. BUT, NC State (with the sole exception being Medicine) generally out-performs UNC is specialized fields like engineering, physics, etc. I agree with Alpha that our comparative success recently to Purdue, Michigan, Va Tech and Ga Tech has waned somewhat since Oblinger’s arrival. I disagree with Alpha only insofar as NC State’s ranking should be generally accepted as an accurate indicator of acheivement from its graduating student population because those indicators do not take into account the growth of NC State’s overall student population, which is much greater than 8 years ago when I graduated. Good discussion and I’m glad we’ve used this for equally important issues regarding the university as a whole. By the way, William Friday is an NCSU alumnus.

  16. Alpha Wolf 11/10/2005 at 11:18 AM #

    ^ I can agree with that. And you’re point about the $1B is well taken…and a reminder to all alumni to contribute to the Achieve campaign.

  17. newswolf 11/10/2005 at 12:15 PM #

    Trout, I have always wondered about that. When you say “complete shock” I would bet that most people who run businesses, or are in a high level of business, would be shocked, maybe even disgusted on what goes on at a state univ.

  18. Trout 11/10/2005 at 12:31 PM #

    ^ Not disgusted. But shocked is the right word. At least in my experience.

  19. Alpha Wolf 11/10/2005 at 12:47 PM #

    Do you guys think that NC State should grow itself substantially? I realize fully the university is expanding, but fast enough and to a large enough size? Reason I ask is that I was talking to a lady who’s worried her daughter will not get in with a ~1200 SAT and good grades.

    UNC may say it is “the university of the people,” but really, that is part of NC State’s core mission as a land grant school.

  20. Class of '74 11/10/2005 at 12:56 PM #

    The measure of any university is a v-e-r-y subjective thing. NCSU has its pluses and minuses as do all of its peers. To bring this back to the matter at hand, we should try everyday to be the best we can be at what we do and the heck with what anyone else says. We should have enough pride in our institution that 6-5 seasons are not satisfactory. And certainly 8-5 with PR, 5-6 last year and less than 7-4 this year is not doing justice to our school.

  21. Jeff 11/10/2005 at 1:09 PM #

    I think a lot of people would be disgusted

  22. Trout 11/10/2005 at 1:31 PM #

    ^ Not any degree more than those same people would be disgusted at any major public university, IMO.

  23. Cardiac95 11/10/2005 at 1:31 PM #

    ^^^^^Sadly…..MA Fox was censured by NC State’s Faculty Senate in a 29 to 6 vote, because she attempted to cut out some of the dead wood that was there.

    In alot of ways, the V-Scandal opened the doors wide for State’s anti-athletics faculty to push its agenda into all our sports programs. The STIFLING academic requirements we self-imposed in the early 90’s were perhaps the moronic low-point of this movement. All the while, Duke & unc were racking up 3 National Titles in basketball, Mack Brown was building a Top 10 program in Chapel Hill (which just even hurts to type), & Nike managed to hype Duke/unc into the galaxy’s biggest rivalry of all time!

    By the time Turner handed the reigns over to Les, we’d lost Sheridan & Ray Tanner & were the ACC’s doormat in basketball. You have to admit…..killing an Ath. Dept’s 3 major sports is no small feat. Not that he acted alone……but as the dept’s figure-head, he certainly get’s most of the credit.

    And perhaps worse than neutering our major (& minor) sports, has been the collective lowering of expectations for an entire generation of Wolfpack fans. Its no wonder how so many can rationalize that Lee Fowler is doing such an outstanding job……We’re #51!!!!!!!!!! Yay us!!!!

  24. Alpha Wolf 11/10/2005 at 1:49 PM #

    Yes, it does constantly amaze me at how people diminish the basketball legacy, and then act like we’re not capable of building a top 15 program. Ummm, haven’t we done that three times, with Case, then Sloan in the early 70’s) and V in the 80’s?

    The timing of the V scandal could not have been worse. The explosion in cable gave much more exposure to schools doing well and let them dig in, and those like us trying to reound found the going much steeper. Think of it this way: every time he is on the air, Dukie V pimps up UNC and Duke. So does Stuart Scott. So does Gminksi, etc. In 1988, those guys were really just getting started. Our only guy, Gannon, covers figure skating.

    The second bad thing to happen then was Sheridan leaving, and the football team struggling afterward.

    We were so close in 1988 to something really special in both sports. And we dropped the ball big-time.

    Finally, I think the FANS have the pride, and we’ve all stepped up. It wasn’t just the rich guys that joined into building the RBC or expanding C-F. But we’re talked about like we’re lunatics if we think that success should be expected.

  25. Class of '74 11/10/2005 at 1:55 PM #

    Your comments about the Coach V aftermath remind me that our good cousins @ UNC-CH had an awful lot to do with the anti-athletics policies implemented during that time. Everytime you would pick-up a newspaper there was some UNC board member pushing “their stooge” or “their policies” for our athletic department. And the residue still lingers.

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