Predict the Games

These are only my guesses, but now is as good a time as any to make them. Remember, these are predictions, not hopes or best case scenarios. I wouldn’t be shocked by anything between 4 and 7 regular season wins. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

Game 1: vs. Central Florida (Win; 75% confidence) – This game scares the hell out of me. UCF has a good coach, and they are a veteran team coming off a very disappointing season. O’Leary would love to beat an ACC team, and his kids will be loaded for bear. I just don’t see Tom O’Brien losing his first game as head coach.

Game 2: at Boston College (Loss; 85% confidence) – I really wanted to pick a win here, but that’s not logical (just an emotional reaction to BC fan smack-talk in the offseason). BC returns more starters than we do, and was significantly better than us last year (despite the somewhat fluky loss head-to-head). I don’t like the scrimmage reports on our QB situation, and an early road game will likely exacerbate that problem. Enjoy your gloating, Eagle fans – it will be clear after 3 seasons who won this particular coaching shuffle.

Game 3: vs. Wofford (Win; 99% confidence) – We may not be good this year, but we won’t lose to Wofford. Even under Amato, I would feel good about that (he probably would have gone 2-10, beating Wofford and FSU).

Game 4: vs. Clemson (Loss; 70% confidence) – The Tiggers should be able to dominate the Pack physically (and run hog wild against our LBs), but their coach is one of two Bowdens on the hot seat, and a complete team meltdown is not out of the question.

Game 5: vs. Louisville (Loss; 80% confidence) – Louisville might be the best opponent on NC State’s schedule, but we’ll see how much they miss Bobby Petrino. I like our chances for a huge upset if this is a night game.

Game 6: at Florida State (Loss; 90% confidence) – Again, we should be dominated physically, and our non-existent depth should be giving us trouble against deep, athletic teams by this point in the season. To borrow from my BC thoughts – enjoy your gloating, few remaining members of the “Cult of Chuck” – it will be clear after 3 seasons who won this particular coaching shuffle.

Game 7: at East Carolina (Win; 55% confidence) – Here is the game where I believe Coach O’Brien will get us a win we wouldn’t have been able to achieve without him. With an off week to get healthy and prepare, I expect the Wolfpack to do some riot prevention against the Pirates. You’re welcome, Greenville Police Department.

Game 8: vs. Virginia (Win; 60% confidence) – I expect the Cavs to be in full free-fall mode at this point, as Al Groh prepares for the firing squad. It would be much better for the game to be a week later (UVA historically sucks in November), but late October will have to do. Should be nice weather for this game, so allow for extra tailgating time.

Game 9: at Miami (Loss; 85% confidence) – This is pretty much a repeat of the FSU prediction, but the Canes are slightly less imposing physically (and sans the Amato drama).

Game 10: vs. UNC (Win; 95% confidence) – Because TOB promised us. And the alternative is unthinkable.

Game 11: at Wake Forest (Loss; 80% confidence) – Many people will predict a win here, and I agree that the Deacs won’t likely repeat their stirring title run. However, their rushing attack is a particularly bad matchup for our linebacking corps.

Game 12: vs. Maryland (Loss; 55% confidence) – I think the Pack comes very, very close to winning this game and attaining bowl eligibility, but falls just short. A lack of depth catches up with you at season’s end, and we will be coming off a bruising, physical game against Wake. The timing absolutely sucks for us.

Predicted Record: 5-7 (2-6); Mathematical Median: 5.39 wins

BJD95, on the record.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

'07 Football General NCS Football On the Record Tom O'Brien

129 Responses to Predict the Games

  1. lush 08/13/2007 at 11:21 AM #

    could we be this years version of Wake Forrest? What was Wake’s preseason ranking last year? How many games were they expected to win preseason? Wake won their games with smarts and a system, not an abundunce of talent. They had a good quarterback that came out of nowhere to lead a fairly productive “conservative” offense, and a solid defense that allowed lots of yards but not many points. That translated into 11 wins and an acc championship.

    We have talent, and now with Obie we should have smarts and a system. We have two unkowns at QB, maybe one of them can step up to lead our version of “conservative” offense. Our defense should be solid on the line and in the secondary with questions at linebacker. noone expects anything from us, even some our own fans. will the leauge be better this year than last?

    i predict 3-1 going into louisville game. if its at night i think we take it. but then follow up with a loss to fsu. two more wins and then a loss at miami.
    beat unc, lbeat wake, beat md. 9-3 (5-3) TOB coach of the year. you heard it here first

  2. waxhaw 08/13/2007 at 11:31 AM #

    I think we beat either Wake or Maryland and finish 6-6 with a trip to somewhere not named Boise.

  3. VaWolf82 08/13/2007 at 11:33 AM #

    In general, I don’t like predictions. I especially despise it when the game announcers spend a huge portion of the telecast defending or promoting their predictions. Is there anything less interesting than listen to talking heads discussing their brackets in March?

    In any event, I’ll do my predictions slightly different:
    Wins: UCF, Wofford, ECU
    Losses: BC, Clemson, Louisville, FSU, UM
    Toss-Up: UVA, UNC, WF, UMD

    6-6 or 7-5 represents the upper limit for this team. I don’t see personnel changes that would lead me to expect dramatic improvements frpm last year. The coaching changes are the only reason that the upper limit reaches 0.500. (Please don’t mention the turn around in Sheridan’s first year. There is no Erik Kramer on State’s bench this year.)

    State’s offense will likely resemble what State did in 2005 after Stone took over. (State would have likely won several more games that year if they had used this offense from game 1). This type of offense will wear down lesser teams and be largely ineffective against good defenses.

    The match-up between State’s DL and WF’s OL will likely determine the outcome of this game. While State’s LB certainly don’t represent a team strength, this can be off-set by outstanding DL play. (Note that the converse of this last statement is not true….it is nearly impossible to compensate for an ineffective DL.)

    It’s not clear to me exactly where Clemson belongs. New QB and New OL but outstanding RBs. If everything falls right for the Tiggers, then they could have a good team. If not….then this might be the year they finally run off Tammy.

    The ACC has not had multiple top-level QB’s since 2003. This always leaves open the possiblity that a Rix-like performance could swing a game or two in State’s favor. In contrast, I would be shocked if any of State’s QB’s are given the opportunity to lose a game.

  4. Mr O 08/13/2007 at 11:34 AM #

    UCF win
    BC loss
    Wofford win
    Clemson loss
    L’ville loss
    FSU loss
    ECU loss
    UVa win
    Miami loss
    Wake loss
    UNC win
    Md loss

    4-8, 2-6

  5. McPete 08/13/2007 at 12:14 PM #

    I think we beat Wake this year. We outplayed WF the past two years and should have won. i think their offense is pedestrian. Last year, take away a couple of NFL length field goals, a breakdown in the secondary which led to a long pass completion, and a AB fumble and we win. i know the same kicker is still there, but there were mental mistakes in that close game which cost us a win, IMO. two years ago, same thing. was it two interceptions returned for touchdowns? for some reason they have jedi mind tricked us the past few years (even rivers’ senior year), but that’ll come to an end.

  6. wufpaxno1 08/13/2007 at 12:47 PM #

    I think that a lot of us are underestimating this football team. I believe that there is more talent there then has surfaced, which leads me to be cautiously optimistic about this season. I don’t think that we will rock the world but I do think that we will turn a few heads and play ourselves into bowl eligibility.
    The quarterback position is a question mark, but we are running a new system that is not nearly complex or demanding, I also think that we have a coaching staff that will be much better able to play to our strengths and get the maximum out of every position then we had before. You have to remember, the Eric Kramer before Sheridan was not the same Eric Kramer that he became under Sheridan.
    The offensive line is also a question mark, but again the blocking schemes and reads that our linemen have to execute will not be as complex. Also we will be utilizing the fullback a lot more in front of the leagues most talented backfield.
    We have the backs and receivers to get the job done and I think we will get enough out of our passing game to keep opposing defenses honest and from loading up at the line of scrimmage.
    On defense our line is a plus and the secondary, like our offensive backfield, is among the best in the league.
    The question mark on the defensive side of the ball is the linebackers. I think that we have enough returning experience to stabilize the middle and with the secondary that we have backing them up I think that there is reason to believe that we should be able to hold our own. Remember, this is a whole new scheme going from pressure to a zone which depends on reads from the secondary. The zone will give the secondary the opportunity to read and react thus freeing them up for run support as opposed to constantly hawking the receivers with their backs turned to the line of scrimmage.
    The biggest question mark here is depth, and that is one that we will not be able to fully determine until the season is in full swing. I don’t think that the former staff was as focused on player development beyond the two deep as this staff will be, so I don’t think we really know just how deep we can go. I hope for a relatively injury free season so that we will not have to find out just how deep this team can be.
    There is always the ex-factor behind a full staff change, that of the emotion of the team and how well they respond. In the past we have faired well under new administrations with Holtz, Sheridan, and even Amato in the first couple of years. A first season under a new coaching staff is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. I just hope that ours is more cherries then nuts.

  7. RedTerror29 08/13/2007 at 12:55 PM #

    UCF – Win (80%)
    BC – Loss (65%)
    Wofford – Win (95%)
    Clemson – Loss (75%)
    Louisville – Loss (90%)
    FSU – Loss (55%)
    ECU – Win (70%)
    UVA – Loss (65%)
    Miami – Loss (70%)
    UNC – Win (65%)
    Wake Forest – Loss (65%)
    Maryland – Win (60%)

    5-7 (2-6); 5.85

  8. WestCoast 08/13/2007 at 1:14 PM #

    After my first 4 games played with State on EA Sports’ College Football 2008, State is 3-1 with a home loss to Clemson. Andre Brown is a stud on the game, and the defense has performed above expectations. The win at BC came late, with the D scoring with a late INT for a TD. I know it’s just a game, but you never know. TOB has talent and they seem to be responding.

  9. Scooter 08/13/2007 at 1:24 PM #

    Central Florida – win
    BC – loss
    Wofford – win
    Clemson – loss
    Louisville – loss
    FSU – loss
    ECU – win
    Virginia – win
    Miami – loss
    UNC – win
    Wake – win
    Maryland – win

    7-5, 4-4

    I think we’ll take our lumps early in the season. But come late October I really think we’ll see O’Brien’s coaching take root and we’ll see some improvement. If the players can weather the early stretch and keep a positive attitude then I believe they’ll finish strong.

    Vegas would probably put our over/under at 6. Because I really believe we’ll finish with 5-7 wins.

  10. JimValvano 08/13/2007 at 1:26 PM #

    Hmmm…very interesting predictions from all of you. Mine are a little different so sit back and observe and come seasons end…don’t forget that I was the first to tell you all what was going to go down in Raleigh this year.

    Louisville-Loss (60%)


    Pick up your jaws…I know, I know…I am being pessimistic. At least I’m trying to be…I wanted to predict them all as wins. If you go back and look at our losses last season it is tough to find the losses where I thought it came down to the players. I think most losses came down to poor in game coaching and poor coaching in practice which led to some dumb penalties and a lack of production by the Offensive line. I disagree with the depth issues which have been alluded to many times by many people. I think the O-Line goes two deep quite nicely. I also think the D-Line does as well. The main area of concern is at linebacker, but I think we will see Ray Michel and Guerlin Dervil will provide quality backups not to mention that a lot of our defensive ends can really move and will likely play the elephant type hybrid position where they are ends as well as linebackers. Keep an eye on it. The quarterback position is of a lot of importance, but I think Coach O’Brien, Dana Bible, and I see this the same way. We just need a quarterback who can protect the football, make good decisions, and throw a decent pass downfield every now and then. Our offense is going to be through our running backs and an improved offensive line. Everyone sit back and watch and like I said…when the season winds down…come back to my post and hold me to it.

  11. LRM 08/13/2007 at 1:31 PM #

    The last time we played well in Winston, Jose Laureano was the QB. 85% certainty on that loss may be a tad low.

  12. RochesterRedWolf 08/13/2007 at 1:31 PM #

    I actually think we beat BC. Why? Well we beat them last year #1 so there is a confidence factor (also a revenge factor you could argue). But #2, ive read a few interviews with Jagodzinski and he talks about the zone-blocking scheme he’s putting in and basically how BC’s lineman are a little too big for it and immobile. The O-Line coach actually resigned over “philosophical differences” after BC’s spring game.

    Overall i think what makes this team (NCSU) hard as hell to predict is that for the last two years they were just not “feeling it”. They had weirdness all around from two differenct O-coord’s, two totally different and probably unworthy major D1 college QB’s etc. The defensive line is what essentially allowed us to be close enough that if the offense could do something we’d sneak out a win and as you can see, we sneaked out a few.

    It also makes it hard that we are running a totally different defensive scheme and offensive scheme. But i see the players really buying into TOB and by the 3rd, 4th game, we should have alot fewere penalties.

  13. noah 08/13/2007 at 1:57 PM #

    I’m surprised so many people have us beating UCF.

    I’m sticking with 3-9 or 4-8 for our record. All the coaching in the world won’t fix our QB play or our OL play. And the inexperience at LB and special teams will cost us a game or two as well.

  14. packpigskinfan23 08/13/2007 at 2:16 PM #

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news… but I am almost positive that the Lousiville game will be a early afternoon game. reason?

    its family weekend on campus… and there will be very limited tickets to students because of this.

    thanks lee!

  15. LRM 08/13/2007 at 2:22 PM #

    I would imagine ESPN (who broadcats all ABC regional games as well now) would be the driving factor of the gametime with Lousiville, not family weekend. I doubt that falls into the consideration of the contracts both the ACC and Big East have with ESPN.

  16. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 08/13/2007 at 2:23 PM #

    UCF loss
    BC win
    Wofford win
    Clemson loss
    L’ville loss
    FSU loss
    ECU win
    UVa loss
    Miami loss
    Wake loss
    UNC win
    Md loss

    4-8 but TOB wins against BC, ECU and UNC. Beating the two teams Amato couldn’t last year. I think a win against UCF is possible but I wanted O’Leary to come to State so I have to go with my gut that O’Leary is the better coach and is more established at UCF than O’Brian is with State.

  17. PamlicoPack 08/13/2007 at 2:47 PM #

    I think we would all be reasonably satisfied with a losing season that included wins over ECU and UNC, right?

    I think you guys are being a little pessimistic on Miami, FSU, and Louisville. Louisville because we traditionally perform well as a home nonconference underdog (Syracuse, Ohio State); Miami and FSU because I think they are still but a shadow of their former swaggering selves. I bet we win or beat the spread in one of those three. If we do that, beat UNC and ECU, and beat a couple of other ACC teams on the home slate, who knows, maybe we could pull off 5-7 or 6-6.

    As someone who witnessed the 1986 season , I COMPLETELY agree with the commenter above who said that we won’t pull off the miracle reversal of 1986 (from 3-8 in ’85 to 8-2-1 regular season that would have been 9-1-1 but for freak loss to a really bad Virginia team in Charlottesville). Not because this team has, relatively, more talent than that one (I think it certainly does, but then, the ACC competition is a little sterner now either–the ’86 team didn’t have to deal with storied programs like Miami or FSU), but because this year’s team has no Erik Kramer, a returning QB with experience AND talent. Kramer was a JC transfer who was a senior in 1986, and he went on to a very long NFL career. None of the current stable of QBs has his experience. As for talent, Evans wouldn’t have landed an offer from NC State, let alone any other ACC school, had it not been for his lifelong connections to the program. Though the jury is still out on the junior three of our four QBs, I haven’t seen anything so far to indicate any of them have the talent to be playing on Sunday someday.

  18. BJD95 08/13/2007 at 2:51 PM #

    I like noah b/c he’s more pessimistic than me (and that’s hard to do). I agree that QB and OL are major worries, but I just don’t think it’s unreasonable to predict at least a slight improvement in the W/L column based on coaching.

    I agree that UCF could be a huge trap game, and I’d probably pick us to lose if not for the emotion of opening night/TOB’s debut.

  19. WestCoast 08/13/2007 at 2:56 PM #

    Here’s what I can’t wait for, UCF’s first kickoff from the 30 yd line to DB back there waiting to return it at least his 29 yard average! From that point on (hopefully it’s at least the 40 yd line) it’s up to the O to get the job done. DB is going to have fun with this rule my friends, get ready!

  20. McPete 08/13/2007 at 2:58 PM #

    I thought Wake Forest had offered Evans. I’m pretty sure they did.

    UCF wins only if Dante Culpepper is under center again.

    I really wonder what special teams will look like this year. a new punter, kicker, and long snapper (don’t underestimate the long snapper, per steve logan). also with the kick off moved back 5 yards, D. Blackmon will have more opportunities for returns. plenty of ‘hidden yardage’ to be had.

    6-6 record with wins over UCF, Wofford, Clemson, ECU, UNC, and WFU.

  21. RochesterRedWolf 08/13/2007 at 3:09 PM #

    I’m with you WestCoast…bring on DB.

    McPete – check this out, NCS was the only school that we know of that offered Evans and Wake wasn’t one of them.

  22. LRM 08/13/2007 at 3:14 PM #

    UCF returns 9 starters on defense and 7 on offense; I think it’s a stretch to write that game off as a guaranteed W; especially after losing to two C-USA teams and a MAC team last season.

    I agree with BJD; scary opening game.

  23. Trout 08/13/2007 at 3:15 PM #

    packpigskinfan23 wrote: “I hate to be the bearer of bad news… but I am almost positive that the Lousiville game will be a early afternoon game. reason? its family weekend on campus… and there will be very limited tickets to students because of this.

    thanks lee!”

    Not true at all. The L-Ville game is Parents Weekend, but those tickets are allotted from the visitor allotment, not the student allotment. For a Top 25 program over the past 5 years, L-Ville travels very poorly. 2 years ago in Chapel Hill, they only brought about 1000 total. Expect the same this year.

  24. WestCoast 08/13/2007 at 3:18 PM #

    LRM – No doubt scary, but we know CTC brought in talent. If TOB’s players are really taking to heart what he’s trying to get done here, if they don’t make those stupid penalties, our talent alone combined with a well thought out TOB game plan should get us the W.

  25. McPete 08/13/2007 at 3:21 PM #

    yes but UCF lost its best player and starting qb (Moffit) as well as its best receiver. and the team went 4-8 last year.

    daniel evans in an interview last season said that he had planned to commit to wake forest cuz at the time amato had not offered a scholly and would have had to walk-on. state offered late and he accepted. those were his words.

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