It is just beginning.
Today, another local media member sees the writing on the wall while the national media is revving their engines about the mess in Raleigh.
We start national, where an ESPN college football writer says:
Here’s the decision for NC State athletic director Lee Fowler: Fire coach Chuck Amato or remain the next-to-worst program in the ACC, ahead of only lowly Duke. The Wolfpack did the unimaginable again Saturday, losing 23-9 to North Carolina, which had lost seven games in a row and hadn’t beaten a Division I-A opponent this season.
The Wolfpack’s effort against the Tar Heels was a microcosm of the last two seasons under Amato; they rushed for only 82 yards, managed only three field goals and no touchdowns, had nine penalties, allowed four sacks and committed four costly turnovers.
NC State is 3-8 and 1-6 in the ACC, which hasn’t been this collectively bad since before Florida State joined the conference in 1991. The Wolfpack lost for the third season in a row to the Tar Heels, who were bad enough in those seasons that coach John Bunting was fired last month. Amato’s record against Carolina is now 3-4 and his mark in ACC games is 25-31.
“It doesn’t get any worse than losing to Carolina,” Wolfpack running back Toney Baker told reporters after the game.
Yes, it does. NC State finishes its season Saturday against East Carolina
Additionally, SI’s Stewart Mandel ‘honored’ Chuck Amato with the “Not quite coach of the week award”.
Chuck Amato, NC State: The Wolfpack’s unimpressive 23-9 loss to the 1-9 Tar Heels brought Amato’s career record to 15-19 APR (after Philip Rivers). Although Amato has gotten votes of confidence from NC State’s AD Lee Fowler, it may be time for him to hit the bricks. I’m sure these people would agree.
You may recall that Mandel has not been the most ardent supporter of Coach Amato’s. This entry does a good job of chronicling some of Mandel’s past comments about the Wolfpack boss. Comments like Mandel’s are exactly why it is so much fun to archive when things happen.
So hereâ€™s the bottom lineâ€¦..
NC State is headed for a 3-, or 4-win finish, depending on the outcome of Saturday nightâ€™s game against ECU. For the second time in three seasons there will be no â€œsuccessfulï¿½? season, no 17 extra practices and no bowl gift bag with iPods and personal Play Stations. Chuck Amato has been the head coach at NC State for the last seven seasons and heâ€™s done so much to elevate the program.
The facilities are top of the line. The Murphy Center and the Carter-Finley Stadium upgrades have created a wonderful setting for college football. The tickets are sold and the parking lots are jammed with tailgate parties, making for a great atmosphere.
Recruiting is excellent. State continues to put players on NFL rosters each year. Roughly 20 players who played for Chuck Amato â€“ of whom many were also recruited by him â€“ are playing in the league today.
State players have also stayed off the police blotter.
But, this is a bottom line business. And, the bottom line for Chuck Amato â€“ or any head coach â€“ is winning football games. And, this coaching staff just does not measure up.
Winning is a culture, losing is a culture. Right now, NC State has the latter of the two cultures and that must change.
I donâ€™t know what the mood is among members of the Board of Trustees. I donâ€™t know what Wendel Murphy, and some of the other influential Wolfpack boosters, think about the current situation. But hereâ€™s what I think.
I think Chuck Amato has taken NC State football as far as heâ€™s going to take them on an annual basis. Heâ€™s raised the level of recruiting, created all sorts of excitement, and established a pipeline of players into the NFL. The truth of the matter is that Chuckâ€™s done an outstanding job in so many areas in creating a base from which to grow this program. He just has not managed to figure out how to win enough games.
I donâ€™t have to give you all sorts of statistical data about who theyâ€™ve beaten and who they havenâ€™t beaten over the last few years. I donâ€™t have to explain that even when they were winning they were leaving too much meat on the bone. I donâ€™t have to tell you that since Philip Rivers started drawing a paycheck, State has a 1-5 record against the combination of Wake Forest and North Carolina.
I donâ€™t have to tell you that State has only 1 winning ACC record in 7 seasons under Chuck Amato. I donâ€™t have to remind you that the last three years, even with some pretty impressive early-season wins that should have provided the confidence boost that always makes other teams better, Stateâ€™s ACC record is just 8-16. Overall, over the same span of time, the Pack is just 11-19 against 1-A teams.
Chuck Amato is also on his 4th offensive coordinator in seven years. And, if Chuck does come back for an eighth season, he should have a 5th because Mark Trestman is awful.
But ultimately, this comes back to not winning enough football games. And, the offensive coordinator isnâ€™t responsible for winning the games, thatâ€™s the responsibility of the head coach. And this head coach, for all of the positives, isnâ€™t winning enough games â€“ and there arenâ€™t any indications that this aspect of the program is about to improve. So whether you make the change this year, or make the change next year, youâ€™re ultimately going to make the change.
Itâ€™s time for the next chapter of NC State football. Itâ€™s time to thank Chuck Amato for all the great work and give his truck to someone who can drive it to 8 wins per season.