NC State closed out the 2008 regular season with a convincing 38-28 win over Miami. The team that (for September and most of October) looked as if it could be one of the all-time worst Wolfpack squads turned out to be one of the most memorable. Clemson’s thumping of South Carolina means that 10 ACC teams will be eligible for 9 bowl slots. That said, it’s unfathomable that no bowl would want this NC State team.Â Â Â We’ve already read that the EaglesBank bowl in DC is considering the Pack, and they had to leave Carter-Finley Stadium impressed with the Wolfpack team that they saw.
Consider the following:
- NC State became the first team in ACC history to start 0-4 in conference play, and finish at .500. The 4 game ACC winning streak is the Pack’s longest since 1992.
- Russell Wilson’s freshman season stats: 16 TDs passing, 4 TDs rushing, 1 INT. If justice is done, he is your ACC offensive POY. It would be a travesty if Wilson is not 1st team all-ACC. If he doesn’t win conference ROY, there should be a Congressional investigation. I am now ready to say, without reservations, that Russell Wilson is a better college QB than Philip Rivers. He is an absolute sensation. I’d take him over Tim Tebow right now. If we can hold back the MLB scouts, we are absolutely looking at a future Heisman candidate.
- In its last four games, NC State has won three blowout/convincing victories (the Duke and Miami games looked closer in the box score due to a late garbage time TD, cutting the final margin to 10.
- IIRC, NC State still has 5 current or former walk-ons in the two-deep, including today’s starter at safety (for the injured Clem Johnson). How many BCS conference teams (even of the 2-10 or worse variety) can say that?
- Nate Irving is an absolute beast. He has transformed an awful defense into a espectable one. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a single player mean so much to a defensive unit. You could say he’s the defense’s Russell Wilson. If not for the injury time, he would be your ACC defensive POY.Â Look for Nate to play in the NFL.
- Tom O’Brien gets my vote for ACC Coach of the Year. I would have been impressed if he had just managed to keep the Wolfpack playing hard all year, and he got us bowl eligible against a very difficult schedule. He is the right man at the right time for NC State.
- NC State will finish no more than one game behind the participants in the ACC title game. Don’t be surprised if the Pack is playing in the first week of December next year, or in 2010.
Add it all up, and this is a team that any bowl would be lucky to have. For all the tweaking we give him, ACC Commish Swofford actually does a good job making sure our eligible teams get bowl slots, especially the ones that hold up their end of the bargain and sell tickets. I am strangely confident that he will help find a very nice game for NC State.