The UCF Game Might Affect NCSU Football For Years

In a game that might have implications for NC State football for years, the Wolfpack travels to Orlando this Saturday evening for a game against Conference USA opponent Central Florida.

Why is this game so critical for the Wolfpack?

Simple.  State probably needs the win to be bowl eligible later on this year.  Few if any pundits are predicting a big season for NC State, which is understandable given the results the team has returned the first three years of the Tom O’Brien era.  State has not had a winning record during that time, and this season, on paper, it looks like the margin between going to a bowl and staying home is paper thin.  UCF is currently favored by a field goal, which is about right for a home team when two squads are essentially equal.  If that’s the case – the teams are more or less equal to one another – then this game becomes critical for NC State to win as it builds any possible post-season resume.

Okay, but how can it affect the Wolfpack for years?

Two reasons.  First, if Tom O’Brien and staff do not return the Pack to one of college football’s 35 post-season bowl games, then calls for his removal will be loud and long during the offseason.  New AD Debbie Yow and Chancellor Randy Woodson may or may not heed those calls, but even if they give O’Brien another season to turn things around, it will be difficult for him to recruit at a high level so long as he has an axe over head.  That could mean a marginal class of new players stepping into the program, which of course will effect the team a few years down the road.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, black clouds of uncertainty are hanging over the UNC-CH football program at the moment, and this is a situation that NC State can — and should — use to its advantage by showing in-state recruits that the Wolfpack is a program on its way back up and that it has not only certainty at the helm but also a pristine reputation for making sure players get a real education and have marketable life skills after football.  So far in this recruiting season, UNC has mopped up the commitments from top in-state players, but with Butch Davis’s tenure questionable those commitments can only be softening.  State can offer a better alternative, but to do that, it must prove itself a better team than it has been the past few years.  That can start Saturday in Orlando.

Gametime is 7:30pm, and the contest will be televised nationally on CBS-CSN.  Viewers locally can tune to TimeWarner channel 537, DirecTV 613 or Dish Network 152.  For TWC subscribers, purchase of the “sports tier” of stations is required.

If you want some pre-game ‘detail’ breakdown and talk…then all you need to do is click here to fulfill your heart’s content. As always, we encourage you to make use of our message forums for extended coverage of all things NC State. There should be plenty of conversations going during Saturday’s college football games.

We will have live blogging tonight for the game. More later!

'10 Football

34 Responses to The UCF Game Might Affect NCSU Football For Years

  1. PortAuthority 09/11/2010 at 9:07 AM #

    I agree. This is statement game! We need to show up on defense from the start.

  2. LKNpackfan 09/11/2010 at 9:08 AM #

    Great points.
    Consider the short-term effects as well – an early “W” away from home will instill some confidence in this team leading into Cincinnati. 3-0 entering conference play would be a huge step towards a winning season.

  3. PortAuthority 09/11/2010 at 9:12 AM #

    Short turnaround from Sat night to Thur night and a loss tonight might carry over.

  4. redwolf87 09/11/2010 at 9:29 AM #

    These six days ahead are indeed pivotal, in an understatement.

    TOB obviously understands how critical this stretch is and how high the stakes are, moreso than anytime since he’s been here. So, since his back is already somewhat “to the wall” I would expect the Pack to come out fully prepared. I am cautiously optimistic about this game.

    It’s just frustrating that it seems we have to get to a critical juncture with no room for error before his teams start to get it together. It’s be nice to start with a 3-0 record and have a 10-day cushion before heading down to GT.

    But you have to get to 2-0 first.

  5. Packfan28 09/11/2010 at 9:49 AM #

    Its an insult to our program that we are underdogs in this game. We have an elite group in Russell Wilson, the receivers and the tight end. I honestly believe we are going to go down there and kick UCF’s ass tonight.

  6. WTNY 09/11/2010 at 9:58 AM #

    Good article.

    One point: isn’t 2010 TOB’s fourth year?

  7. ADVENTUROO 09/11/2010 at 10:03 AM #

    Can’t find a current depth chart. Anyone know the status of JR and the boys that did not dress last week?

    Assume that since I don’t have a brown pass on TWC to get CBS CSN, then there is no local TV coverage. Is this correct?


  8. TheAliasTroll 09/11/2010 at 10:09 AM #

    If we lose this game, it will for sure be a HUGE disappointment.

  9. Pack78 09/11/2010 at 10:12 AM #

    I have wondered the same thing re the depth chart; TOB will not release an IR since UNF does not have to (free intelligence to the opposition, TOB is a former USMC Major!); bet we (or UCF) don’t know who will play until gametime.

  10. Cncstatefan17 09/11/2010 at 10:42 AM #

    This will be a huge game for the pack. Lets hope it turns out a bit better than the last time we faced them…

    If we win maybe we can stop talking about UNC’s scandal and focus on us, the wolfpack.

  11. StateFans 09/11/2010 at 11:01 AM #

    No reason to think we won’t be at full strength with Sweezy, Kuhn etc.

  12. 61Packer 09/11/2010 at 11:02 AM #

    If we lose this one, we’d BETTER stop talking about the UNC mess.

  13. NCStatePride 09/11/2010 at 11:29 AM #

    It’s not black or white… SFN can cover more than one subject at one time (NCSU football and the UNC scandal).

    There is often rhetoric surrounding “this is the game!” but this time, I think it really is the game to beat. Great post and great points, Alpha. Great job interjecting the relevancy of the “crisis” in Chapel Hill. We should attempt to capitalize on the power vacuum in North Carolina and put up some good numbers this season. Hopefully we can regain that reputation as “the big upcoming program”.

  14. wjkronen 09/11/2010 at 11:35 AM #

    Does anyone know if the game will be aired on any other channel other than CBS Sports Network? Not everyone has that channel

  15. tjfoose1 09/11/2010 at 11:36 AM #

    Nothing to gain by benching Vermiglio, Sweezy, and Kuhn again. Unless there are egregious details that we don’t know about, all 3 will play tonight.

  16. bTHEredterror 09/11/2010 at 11:42 AM #

    I’m looking at this as a “back on the tracks” game as well. The O’Brien era got hijacked in game one by this bunch of knights, But the S.W.A.T. team is readying the grenades and will soon right some wrongs and get the train rolling. 35-17 Pack.

  17. tractor57 09/11/2010 at 1:10 PM #

    A loss isn’t the end of the world but you could see it from there.
    A win of course is great. I think it’s time for the Valvano strategy of win and advance.

  18. packalum44 09/11/2010 at 1:16 PM #

    i think its a big game but somewhat dramatic to say its an inflection point for years to come. inflection points tend to be larger than one game and in fact TOBs first 3 years were one larger inflection period and quite frankly he failed. its going to take more than this game and more than another pizza or tire bowl for recruiting to become top 25. the negative inflection point can BOTTOM out this SEASON if we win and stop the bleeding but marginal recruiting started last year based on TOB’s first few years and its hitting us hard this upcoming year.

    High schoolers simply don’t have the insight to realize what a mess TOB walked into and expected him to win much sooner Than year 4. Look at Cutcliffe doesn’t take every coach 5 years to win.

    For all the “i’m tired of hearing about UNC” it would be like hitting the bridge on Candyland and jumping ahead 20 spaces if UNC would get bowl and recruiting bands and Butch gets fired. That would benefit us much much more than winning this game or having a “breakthrough” season. That wouldn’t be an inflection point it would be a f—— parabola 180.

  19. Wulfpack 09/11/2010 at 1:59 PM #

    This is obviously a key game — the Pack’s first test on we’re on the road. We do have Cincy at home next week on Thursday night. A loss would hurt and provide little (if any) margin for error if we expect to make any sort of bowl game. But I do feel good about Cincy. Heading into Atlanta with a 3-0 record would be HUGE! If that happens, THEN we can (maybe) start talking about a bowl game. But a loss tonight really sets us back and there would be little reason to expect the Pack to break out of its football rut.

  20. SeaWolf 09/11/2010 at 2:29 PM #

    Just a heads up. I get CBS College Sports in HD since I have an HD package. However, I don’t get the standard def version. So be sure to check your HD channels before you go ordering the standard def channel.

  21. Statefan1998 09/11/2010 at 3:21 PM #

    After what I have seen today, the “difficult” schedule” excuse explaining away the season can be thrown out the window.

  22. coach13 09/11/2010 at 4:36 PM #

    Nobody in the ACC looks that good for what I’m seeing now. James Madison…JAMES FRIGGIN MADISON just be VT in Blacksburg. Are u kiddin me? FSU is getting waxed by Oklahoma…Miami has a Kick return for a TD. If Jim Tressel elects to open up his offense Miami will not hang with them cause Miami’s QB sux…I will not except any other opinion on him.
    GT was trailing earlier…Our schedule is not looking as difficult as it once was. THAT SAID, we should win. Period. Turn loose the offense TOB. Lets put up 50+…PERIOD.

  23. coach13 09/11/2010 at 4:40 PM #

    Hell-friggin-o. GT lost at home to unranked Kansas.


    We can be the only team carrying the ACC torch with a win…come on PACK!!!

  24. Statefan1998 09/11/2010 at 4:42 PM #

    Don’t forget GT losing to a team that lost last week to North Dakota St.

  25. Wulfpack 09/11/2010 at 4:44 PM #

    ^Wake beat Duke 54-48. Clemson is beating Presbyterian 42-0 at the half. BC is tied with Kent State. Maryland plays Morgan State and UVA gets So Cal later. But I know what you are saying — we could be the only team in the league to pick up a good win this week. Let’s go get it.

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