’06 Pre-Season Football Mags

As we mentioned a couple of weeks ago (Link), many of the 2006 pre-season football magazines have hit the stores and preseason football talk has begun in earnest! No more of this pre-mature stuff!

(Update 6/13): The Wolfpacker has done a super job of summarizing the Wolfpack’s presence in all of the preseason magazines in this link.

Our friends at the Red & White from State are perterbed that the Wolfpack is picked dead last in the Atlantic Division (Link) and they aren’t pulling any punches with their feelings about Wolfpack football:

NC State football was once on the lips of national football media as program on the rise. What happened to challenging for conference and national titles? What happened to nationally respected recruiting? Now, there is only sobering reality and questions of ‘where have our dreams gone’. Sadly, after achieving the “stellar” record of 7-5 in 2005, the Pack is going to be rebuilding this year. The Pack, however, has been rebuilding since Philip Rivers’ departure, and there is no reason to believe that Chuck Amato is building anything of note in west Raleigh. Amato certainly has not shown that he can…and that has brought the ire of Wolfpackers, who believed that millions of dollars were laying the foundations for football greatness.

Blue Ribbon has released some of their thoughts on the 2006 college football season, and Pack Pride has highlighted the NC State players selected for pre-season All-ACC honors at this URL. Although it is not up yet…ESPN.com often runs Blue Ribbon’s preseason team profiles as premium content.

Just this week, Wilmington’s Andrew Jones took a brief look ahead at NC State football in this blog entry.

East Carolina visits Carter-Finley on the final weekend of the regular season (Nov. 25) renewing an old rivalry between the schools on a day that should provide terrific tailgating.

ECU is clearly headed in the right direction under second-year coach Skip Holtz and may be playing for a bowl bid, as Conference USA has enough tie-ins to put any team with a .500 or better record in position to challenge for an invitation.

State’s mindset, however, could play a role in how the Wolfpack enters the contest. If State is also playing for a bowl it will likely win comfortably, if it’s had a bad season and Wolfpack supporters are howling about coach Chuck Amato the team could be flat, which would benefit ECU.

At this point, it seems fair to suggest State will go 3-1 outside of the ACC.

SFN has had some really good football entries and conversations as of late. Check out a couple of the following that will be of interest to you:

* Football Position Talk

* Rivals Gets it Right

* Focus on Football

* Carter-Finley’s Best, Part I

* SMQ’s Premature Assessment

* Kudos for ACC Football

* Wolfpackers in the Desert

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'06 Football General

62 Responses to ’06 Pre-Season Football Mags

  1. Wulfpack 06/08/2006 at 8:21 AM #

    FSU, BC and Clemson will be tough. Hopefully we can win one of the FSU/BC home games. Picking us to finish behind Maryland and Wake??? Wow.

  2. VaWolf82 06/08/2006 at 8:43 AM #

    ECU is clearly headed in the right direction

    LOL. I’m working on something about ECU if real life would leave me alone for a little bit…..but I have already looked at ECU’s “improvement”:

    Cinc, Louisville, and USF bolted C-USA for the Big Least last year. The three previous years, ECU was 0-9 against those three schools. Does anyone else think that not playing those schools greatly helped ECU’s 2005 record?

    Here are the five teams that ECU beat last year and their overall record:


  3. choppack1 06/08/2006 at 10:15 AM #

    OK – Here’s where Andrew Jones’ comment is stupid.

    First off – of course it depends on our mindset. But, 2 years ago, the Pack played the Pirates in Charlotte and our record was 4-6. We were insured of a losing season – and in theory – only ECU had anything to play for. I forgot the score of that game – but I think we beat them like 52-10 or something.

    As far as the ‘state of State’ football going into 2006, they bring up good points. Have we really come that far since 2000? How much better shape are we in? We are definitely more talented, but I don’t know how much better we are.

    This is year 7 of the Amato era. The last 2 years we’ve beaten the conference champ AT THEIR PLACE. We had 3 players from the DL drafted in the first round – shouldn’t we have more to show for it than 6-10 in the conference and 1-3 vs. UNC and Wake? Hopefully, in 2006 everything comes together for a special season. Those magic few days in Jacksonville were nice, but hopefully won’t represent the high point of the Amato era.

  4. VaWolf82 06/08/2006 at 10:56 AM #

    shouldn’t we have more to show for it than 6-10 in the conference

    This is a really, really good question. But the answer is not as easy as many would like it to be.

    the ire of Wolfpackers, who believed that millions of dollars were laying the foundations for football greatness.

    Here is the problem with this line of thinking…..if fan support produced wins, the SC would be a lot better. Fans and facilities don’t build great programs…..great coaches build great programs.

  5. redfred2 06/08/2006 at 11:26 AM #

    It’s the seventh year, Amato should be settled enough to use this early season to figure out where the real emphasis on improvements needs to be placed. He doesn’t need to run the scores up on OOC opponents by doing the same things over and over to prove anything early in the season.

    I am hoping that he will give some time to the offense to get comfortable and work on all facets of their game early on. This year more than ever, he needs to finally prove to everyone that he has the ability get into these kids heads, show some restraint and lead with some maturity on the sidelines, and set the example his ownself.

  6. PBdafan 06/08/2006 at 11:36 AM #

    Look, everyone has to face the facts – we still do not have a QB, the defense has been decimated, and the recruiting sucks. You can count on Stone and the running game to put up 7 – 14 points a game, but that won’t get it done this year. And by the way, getting to a bowl game because we beat a bunch of cupcakes is a disgrace. The only positive about the football season is it means basketball season is getting close. If a magazine picks us to finish last in the Atlantic Division, I would say they’re not far from the truth.

  7. graywolf 06/08/2006 at 11:55 AM #

    As a high school teacher at a predominant NC high school I rely on the oponions of the head and assistant coaches because they are usually right. All of out coaches agree that the dead last is about right. We are weak at O-line and D-line and that spells disaster in their eyes.
    I agree with the statements made that if things don’t change that Chuck will be in the same relm as Herb has been the last 5 years.
    I hope I’m wrong but it really doesn’t look good for the coming year.

  8. choppack1 06/08/2006 at 11:58 AM #

    “This is a really, really good question. But the answer is not as easy as many would like it to be.”

    What do you think the answer is? No? How many teams w/ a Top 15 defense nationally have a losing record in their conference? Is there any other team in the last 15 years that has beaten the conference champion in consecutive years ON THE ROAD and had a losing conference record each year?

  9. vtpackfan 06/08/2006 at 12:35 PM #

    Everyone assumes that the Atlantic should come down to FSU, Clemson, and BC. The schedule breaks down for State in three crucial mini-seasons. The first three week season culminates with their first road test in Hattiesburg. Next, two home games are spread out over about a three week period (BC and FSU). After the OOC mini season we could call this the”boys let’s play with dicsipline and respect for the game” segment. The third is the section that will decide how the bottom three in the Atlantic pan out. Home for WF, @MD and @UVA. What Chuck has taught these guys and how much they’ve grown will be on display each of these three games. Even before the GT game happens everyone will be thinking ahead to @ Chapel Hill and ECU, so whats the point of even mentioning how those games are important.

  10. Wolf-n-Atl 06/08/2006 at 1:07 PM #

    We need to finish .500 or better in conference. I think we lost games last year on poor coaching decisions (UNC comes to mind), whether it was foolish penalties early or reluctancy to pull Jay Davis as the season moved forward. I would also like to see Amato play more of the back ups in the early OOC games to give them confidence and experience. One of the keys to success the early FSU teams had was a good rotation of lots of players. This kept them fresh and allowed their speed to dominate games. I think we did some of that last year, but I would like to see us do more of that.

  11. VaWolf82 06/08/2006 at 1:34 PM #

    What do you think the answer is?

    Seasons with 3-5 to 5-3 conference records along with fairly consistent bowl appearances will keep a FB coach at NC State for a long time. When you factor in the new UNC-system admission requirements, I do not think that the standards or the expectations of LF will rise to meet what some fans want.

    How many teams w/ a Top 15 defense nationally have a losing record in their conference?

    The defense has been great and the offense has stunk that last two years…..so what? The record is what it is, and is probably good enough to keep Amato in LF’s good graces for a long time. There are other people here at SFN that think differently, so take this as simply my opinion.

    How many times since the formation of the ACC has the State FB team had a better year than 2005 season(7-5 and a bowl win)? Here’s a little nugget from an entry that I’m working on:

    State has won 12 bowl games in its entire history. Amato has four of those wins.

  12. class of 74 06/08/2006 at 1:41 PM #

    “Great coaches build great programs.” This is absolutely true and we are far from having a great coaching staff in Raleigh. You may argue our present staff is better than the preceeding one but we have underacheived for most of Chuck’s time here IMHO. I just wonder how much longer will the fanbase support this program?

  13. ncsslim 06/08/2006 at 1:57 PM #

    My capability of predicting our performance is woeful, at best. I continue to see things through rose colored glasses no matter how much piss coats the lens. I see most others, generally our natural detractors, forecasting total sub-std performance, year after year. Although, their reasoning is typically vindictively sophomoric, in the end, they are much closer to the truth than my already watered down expectations.

    Granted, I didn’t expect to conquer the world last year, but if you had told me that 3/4 of our d-line would have gone in the first round, maybe I would have. However, our defense was not nearly as dominant as the year before. So what are we to expect this year? Must we have a team full of NFL caliber players merely to break .500 in our division? That seems to be the going logic, and damn if it doesn’t appear somewhat accurate. Year-to-year, Chuck gets the least out of the most as anyone in college football, and all we get in retrun is a pitiful OOC schedule, a blue-field caliber bowl, and the label of “dillusional”.

    We can only hope that this year is the year. Awake me if true (I’ve already sent in my check).

  14. Mr O 06/08/2006 at 2:24 PM #

    We have had good defenses. But unfortunately, we have had worse than pathetic offenses. In fact, our offenses were so bad that not only did they not score and move the ball, but they gave up points to the other team directly.

    Look at how our basketball coaching search just went. There is no sense in trying to run Amato out of town at this point IMO. As far as Wolfpackers spending money, we have really have not spent that much money compared to most programs around the nation. We have just simply barely caught up with other ACC programs(UNC, UVa, Clemson, etc…). We have good facilities, but not good enough that whoever we hire should be guaranteed to compete for national titles or even ACC titles. It is a lot more complicated than that as Vawolf82 states.

    Whoever we could hire to replace Amato may be better than Amato, but it definitely would be a guy from a lesser program and/or lower classification. It isn’t going to be a “big name”, it would be someone with a whole lot more question marks than guys like Lavin, Beilein, Lowe, etc…who we just tried to hire and did hire in basketball.

    Amato is an NC State guy at heart. That is a big plus IMO. I truly believe he knows how to get it done here. In terms of recruiting, he is obviously doing something right. I saw where we have put the 4th most NFL players in the ACC over the last 4-5 years. Unfortunately, we completely missed at QB and then had OC turnover so our offensive strategy has been way off the mark the last few years.

    Unfortunately, I think it is going to get ugly for Amato this year in terms of fan support. Maybe so ugly that the program can’t recover with him as our head coach.

    It will be interesting to see which schools between Wake, UVa, Md., UNC and NC State turn their coaches next. All five hired new coaches in a two year period. All five hires made a lot of sense for a variety of reasons. Now each coach is past the honeymoon period…

  15. choppack1 06/08/2006 at 2:34 PM #

    “Seasons with 3-5 to 5-3 conference records along with fairly consistent bowl appearances will keep a FB coach at NC State for a long time. When you factor in the new UNC-system admission requirements, I do not think that the standards or the expectations of LF will rise to meet what some fans want.”

    It will – providing that you go 5-3 more than 3-5. 6 years into his tenure, he’s gone 5-3 once and 3-5 twice. Worse, is that he’s gone 3-5 his last 2 years, at a time where he would hopefully be going 5-3 or 4-4.

    Regarding the admission requirements – UNC-Ch plays by the same rules. They’ve beaten us the last 2 years – and outdone us in conference the last 2 years.

    Clearly, there’s a bad trend the last 2 years – and we’d be foolish not to acknowlege it.

    “How many times since the formation of the ACC has the State FB team had a better year than 2005 season(7-5 and a bowl win)?”

    I don’t know- I do think that’s a little misleading. A better way to look at it might be that last year, we were 3-3 vs. the FSU included ACC. In addition, we played a team that didn’t really exist for most of the years of the ACC, in a bowl game that didn’t exist. (2 years ago, we were 2-4 vs. the same ACC, so I guess you could argue we made some improvement.)

    If you would have asked me about the State of our program 2 years ago, I would have given you a totally different answer. I do think that the ship is “rightable”, but most of the evidence I see right now is a little disturbing.

  16. Mr O 06/08/2006 at 2:55 PM #

    Link to ACC football records.

    Our all-time ACC record 175-152-4.

  17. PBdafan 06/08/2006 at 3:05 PM #

    Coach Amato came in full of energy and enthusiasm, and truly began to point the program in an upward direction. He recruited well, marketed the program, and was a catalyst for some significant facility improvements. But now, his performance is that of someone who is suffering from burnout. His staff turnover is high, recruiting is tailing off, and I just don’t get the same sense of enthusiasm and energy as before. Add to that the fact that he does not appear to be a very good “game day” coach, there are not a lot of positives here. Phillip Rivers masked a lot of Amato’s deficiencies. And believe me, Im not a pessimist. I honestly felt we had a chance to compete for national championships the past few years. Now we have no QB, no receivers, no defense, and a questionable o-line. I hope I’m wrong, but based on the team’s performance when we had talent, I shudder to think what it is going to be like now.

    We’re going to find out soon enough, but losses to Carolina, WFU, and ECU, and an overall record or 3-9 or 4-8 is not out of the question.

  18. choppack1 06/08/2006 at 3:26 PM #

    PB – to say taht we have no QB, no defense and no receivers would indicate to me that you are a pessimist. Those areas right now are question marks – but I wouldn’t say that they are below average. I think our receiving core can be average to above average. Our D loses a lot, but may end up being average or above. We have a QB – who while there’s little evidence he’s great passer – has a record of 6-1 when he’s played enough to warrant a “decision” (to use a baseball analogy.)

    I understand and share your concerns about our staff. However, I do think from a talent perspective, we’re in decent shape. This year is huge – we managed to get something positve out of last year – now it’s time to build on it.

  19. Wulfpack 06/08/2006 at 3:47 PM #

    “Amato is an NC State guy at heart. That is a big plus IMO. I truly believe he knows how to get it done here. In terms of recruiting, he is obviously doing something right.”

    The fact that he has recruited “well” according to most analysts but produced mediocre season after mediorcre season is alarming. He is consistently out-coached, our teams consistently win the “idiot” awards in the league for the most penalities. I don’t get the sense that other ACC programs are weary of us — we’re gradually being left behind.

    I don’t care where our coach went to school — I really don’t. It makes no difference to me. A loser is a loser. I don’t see other programs knocking on Amato’s door. I see no improvement in the program. BIG year for Amato. A losing record could spell trouble.

  20. Mr O 06/08/2006 at 3:52 PM #

    “I honestly felt we had a chance to compete for national championships the past few years. ”

    Which years did we realistically have a chance to compete for national championships and what led you to believe so? Serious question.

  21. Wolf-n-Atl 06/08/2006 at 3:53 PM #

    Someone help me out, what are the new coaches we have on our staff? I know we have a new o-line coach. Hopefully, some of the new coaches can inject some better results in our problem areas. Also, having our O-coordinator back should help the offense develop.

    Stone, please develop… please…!

  22. redfred2 06/08/2006 at 3:56 PM #

    Chuck is stumbling no doubt, and he’s disappointed before. I am wondering, very optomistically here, if just maybe the balance on offense and defense won’t force him into better judgements on the sidelines for the entire game. Knowing that he can’t relax, take any down off, or give anything away with carelessness and expect the defense/offense to bail him out.

    Being chosen as the cellar dweller in the Atlantic division is a blessing. Chuck had better be ready, it is time to overachieve and easily overcome the low expectations. I’m not saying that he will be gone any time soon, or that I want him to be, but this will be the year that will tell all, and make or break Chuck Amato at NC State.

  23. ncsu96 06/08/2006 at 4:35 PM #

    Remember, this is only Trestmans 2nd year. I still believe Amato’s biggest problem has been staff turnover especially offensive coordinators. Nothing sets an offense back like having a merry-go-round at coordinator job… new playbooks, terminology, etc, etc.

    I’ll remain cautiously optimistic that our offense we’ll be much improved with Trestman having more time to teach players his system and having only one QB (ie one guy getting all the reps).

  24. PBdafan 06/08/2006 at 4:37 PM #

    One year (Phillip’s last) we had one of the top rated offenses in the nation. The next year, we had the top rated defense in the nation. If the defense could have come through one year earlier, we would have contended. If we had a QB one year later, we would have contended. Those were the two years I was referring to.

  25. VaWolf82 06/08/2006 at 4:45 PM #

    The biggest problem the last two years is production at the QB position. You can blame whoever you want (QB, OL, changing coordimators), I really do not care. The bottom line is that production from the most important position on the field has not been satisfactory.

    However, when you look at most of the other positions, the “production” generally varies from “good” to “excellent”. So while I agree with those that are calling for better results, I am not nearly ready to call for Amato’s head. Hopefully over the weekend, I will have time to expand these thoughts into a more complete and coherent entry.

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