I picked up my annual copy of Lindy’s preseason football magazine at the beach a couple of weeks ago and found myself a little perplexed in some of what I saw. While I don’t have a fantastically deep grasp of the inner-workings of all of the other football programs in the ACC/Nation, I do feel as though I have a pretty good feel/understanding of where NC State’s individual units should generally rank in relation to other programs. So, I was generally surprised (disappointed) when I saw that Lindy’s had chosen to rank many of the Wolfpack’s individual units a little lower than I think would be accurate. This general disappointment translated itself into the Wolfpack’s overall national ranking somewhere in the mid-to-low-60s.
Yesterday I ran across this link to a national football ranking countdown that respects NC State’s 2011 prospects a lot more than Lindy’s and some other preseason publications.
Strengths: Although Wilson stole most of the N.C. State headlines the last few seasons, defense has become the hallmark of the program since Oâ€™Brienâ€™s arrival. Cole was the teamâ€™s leading tackler as a freshman in 2009, and ranked third on the unit last season with 86 stops. Manning ranked next, recording 75 tackles and breaking up three passes and recovering a pair of fumbles and forcing two more. The heart of the defense will be key once again.
Weaknesses: Glennon was one of the most coveted quarterbacks when he was recruited two years ago. With a lifetime completion rating of 63.5 percent in backup duties, he looks like he will thrive in the Wolfpack system now that Wilson has transferred to Wisconsin. Still, heâ€™s unproven as a starter.
Outlook: Without Wilson, the Wolfpack will look vastly different. But if Glennon plays like most believe he can, 2011 could be a repeat of 2010. A 10-win season is within reach.