It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times

Recently the author group here at SFN were having a discussion that veered off into who had the worst sports experience during their time as a student at NC State. Reminded me of the comparing scars scene in Jaws.

Several of the SFN brain trust made valid points as to why they had it the worst but I thought I’d see if I could crunch some numbers and see if I could find a definitive answer.

So here’s how it works, I’ve created 4 year categories for when you were a student cleverly named “The Class of”, for example I’m in the Class of 1996 so my 4 year group contains 92-93, 93-94, 94-95 and 95-96. Then I calculated the basketball winning percentage for that 4 year time period, did the same for football, then took the average of the two winning percentages. I also limited the rankings to the 53-54 season which is the beginning of the ACC (those first few classes will dip back into our time in the Southern Conference).

They Had It Good – Basketball
When it comes to basketball, the class of 1976 had it best with a record of 100-16 and a winning percentage of .862. They went undefeated as freshman in 1973 and won a national championship in 1974. If your time as a student overlapped with David Thompson or Everett Case, you had it good.

Top 10 Classes
1. 1976 – .862
2. 1975 – .848
3. 1956 – .832
4. 1955 – .794
5. 1957 – .782
6. 1954 – .779
7. 1974 – .775
8. 1958 – .773
9. 1977 – .769
10. 1959 – .760

They Had It Good – Football
For football, the class of 1976 also had it best with a record of 33-12-3 and a winning percentage of .719. If your time as a student overlapped with Dick Sheridan or Philip Rivers, you had it good.

Top 10 Classes
1. 1976 – .719
2. 1995 – .704
3. 2004 – .667
t4. 1993 – .663
t4. 1994 – .663
6. 1992 – .656
7. 1981 – .652
8. 2003 – .640
9. 1975 – .638
10. 1969 – .634

They Had It Good – Both Basketball & Football
Congrats Class of 1976, you had the best 4 year experience as a student when it comes to football (.719) and basketball (.862). If you were in school in the mid-to-late 70s or the mid-2000s, you had it good.

Top 10 Classes
1. 1976 – .790
2. 1975 – .743
3. 1977 – .698
4. 1978 – .649
5. 1974 – .648
6. 1981 – .641
7. 2004 – .633
8. 2006 – .628
9. 2005 – .627
10. 1990 – .626

You Have My Sympathy – Basketball
Class of 1995, you have my sympathy. You experienced the worst 4 years in State basketball history in the ACC era with a record of 43-71 (.377). If Les Robinson was roaming the sideline in Reynolds in his red sweater, you had it rough.

Bottom 10 Classes
1. 1995 – .377
2. 1996 – .400
3. 1994 – .432
4. 1997 – .458
5. 1993 – .492
6. 1998 – .500
7. 2011 – .516
8. 1999 – .531
9. 2010 – .534

You Have My Sympathy – Football
Class of 1955, you also have my sympathy. You experienced the worst 4 years in State football history in the ACC era with a record of 9-31-0 (.225).

Bottom 10 Classes
1. 1955 – .225
t2. 1956 – .263
t2. 1957 – .263
4. 1953 – .313
5. 1986 – .341
6. 1962 – .350
7. 1960 – .363
8. 1985 – .364
9. 1963 – .375
10. 1972 – .381

You Have My Sympathy – Basketball & Football
If you meet someone from the Class of 1963, buy them a drink. They experienced the worst 4 years in State football (.375) and basketball (.539) history in the ACC era.

Bottom 10 Classes
1. 1963 – .457
2. 2010 – .461
3. 1997 – .468
4. 1999 – .477
5. 1998 – .483
6. 1962 – .494
7. 1996 – .497
8. 2009 – .497
9. 1986 – .498
10. 1972 – .501

If you’re curious, the class of 1924 had the worst basketball record at 24-51 (.320), the classes of 1893 and 1894 never lost in football (1-0 and 3-0), and the class of 1925 had the worst average winning percentage of .385 with football at .372 and basketball at .397.

Of course numbers don’t capture everything from your football and basketball memories and experiences as a student. But it is kinda interesting to see which classes should be in the discussion for bragging and complaining rights.

About WV Wolf

Graduated from NCSU in 1996 with a degree in statistics. Born and inbred in West "By God" Virginia and now live in Raleigh where I spend my time watching the Wolfpack, the Mountaineers and the Carolina Hurricanes as well as making bar graphs for SFN. I'm @wvncsu on the Twitter machine.

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Home Forums It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times

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    WV Wolf

    Recently the author group here at SFN were having a discussion that veered off into who had the worst sports experience during their time as a student
    [See the full post at: It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times]


    When I signed with State in ’72, I knew I was gettin’ into something special.

    Hard to ignore our ACC baseball championships in ’73,’74 and ’75,too.

    Spoiled rotten.


    I had a National Championship in Basketball in ’83 and our most recent ACC Championship in football in ’79.

    I also got to experience both Tom Reed and Monte Kiffin as football coaches.


    Class of 85 – Football sucked for about 5 years and that at least led us to Sheridan.
    But I will always have that magical 1982-1983 basketball season which made me the eternal optimist I am. It ain’t over until the last whistle has blown.


    I was around for 5 of the Bottom 10 basketball seasons, including the ‘top’ 3!!! (’94-’99).

    A big ‘Thank YOU!’ to all those involved in tearing our program apart (haha 🙂 )


    ^^^^ +2 for Class of ’76….

    But we have some bad memories too..

    The “worst sports experience’ I had during my four years at NCState was…
    when I broke my left wrist playing basketball in Carmichael gym my sophomore year…

    The second was losing to Al Wood and *NC in the ACC tournament in ’75…
    Mr. Dog… What WAS that blond chick’s name ?? … the one who cost us THE tournament and the dance ticket…

    IIRC… that was the only time we lost to the Dean and the Holes…

    … there was the ’76 Peach Bowl… against Bobby Bowden && West Virgina… it was 25 degrees and cloudy in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium… had to watch the second half from the motel room…

    … Junior year… my HS buddy… the walk-on starting punter blew his knee out and never played again…

    … Junior year, again… we had to watch Stoddard and Dempsey pitch the entire ACC tournament at Doak-Campbell because for whatever reason we had no bullpen…

    … It was cold as dogSh%t every winter… standing in line in front of Reynolds to get sideline seats for basketball games…

    Oh yeah… Times were tough back then… on and off the field….

    …sixpack of Bud or Schlitz cost a buck eighty seven, smokes were 35cents a pack, gas was a buck a gallon and twenty bucks might last all weekend if you didn’t have more than two dates…

    But somehow we managed to graduate.

    Oh…if the rest of you guys knew what Mr. Dog and I knew….

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    TEXpack, It some how slipped my mind that we went from our last ACC Football championship to our worst football years almost overnight. Fall of 81 was Monty Kiffins last year and then we had three years of Tom Reed. How did we fall so far so fast? Did Kiffin just not recruit at all?

    Kiffin, Reed, and Les Robinson just show how one bad coach can set a team back terribly, more than I had realized.


    This is a really neat article. Thanks for the effort it took to research this, especially going back 60+ years!

    Class of 89 wasnt too bad and I think would have made some Top 10 list had it not been for the 1987 football season.

    The other way to look at this would be to compare titles, bowl appearances, NCAA advancement during that timeframe. Pretty happy with my years at State – Peach Bowl in 86 and 88; NCAA Elite 8 in ’85 and ’86, ACC tourney title in 87, ACC RS title in ’89 along with a Sweet 16 (that should have been Elite 8 if not for “the worst call in NCAA history”).

    Well done WV Wolf and thanks!


    I saw:

    …The last football conference championship and was sitting with the band for Penn St’s 54 yd field goal as time expired.

    …Clyde Austin pass between his legs to Hawkeye Whitney for a slam and a run-away victory against UNC. I also saw Austin’s “pass” to Dudley Bradley for a slam.

    …State score 110 points in Reynolds against UMD….and lose (No OT).

    …State open the second-half against UNC with a on-side kick (recovered by UNC).


    The second was losing to Al Wood and *NC in the ACC tournament in ’75…

    IIRC… that was the only time we lost to the Dean and the Holes…

    Just a few corrections to your memory:

    Al Wood wasn’t on that ’75 team. It was Phil Ford. And we lost to UNC earlier in that season at Carmichael.


    ^… you’re right about that… time does funny things… you know…

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    The worst of times is right now. 27 years removed from an ACC basktball championship and 35 years removed from an ACC football title. And going nowhere in either sport except bass ackwards. Maybe we’ve won a baseball title since then, but who really cares?

    All we talk about on here is the past. Such is the State of Wolfpack sports.


    I remember Chandler Parsons hitting a half-court three to beat us in the final seconds in 2010(?). 2007-2011. God awful time for basketball fans.


    13OT you are my antithesis. If I’m the eternal optimist, you are the eternal pessimist.
    I can’t believe you think our basketball program with two straight NCAA appearances and high rated recruiting classes each year for coach Gott, is going backwards.
    And you are rating the football team on one year but not looking at the recruits this guy is bringing in.

    These times are not that dark and there is light on the horizon. But then, I’m your antithesis.


    Trout: I’m also Class of 89 and we had it pretty good I think. We had Valvano as BB coach, Sheridan as FB coach(except 1st season) and Esposito/Tanner as baseball coaches.


    1995ers like myself NEVER saw a post-season hoops game of any sort, nor a single win in ACCT play. That includes going 0-3 in LRI games, including a blowout loss to Pete Gaudet.

    Yeah, as a freshman, we beat the Holes twice. But losing 9 straight in between took most of the shine off that. And we sure as shit lost to ’em a lot in football. Every year IIRC.


    All right! I knew I was justified in feeling cheated!


    /I didn’t even graduate, but my last year was 98-99
    //3 years of Herb and O’Cain
    ///Did they have Baseball back then?


    My 3 kids are jealous, I was a member of the class of ’73. They were at STATE in the late 90’s and early 2000’s which were the beginning of some lean sports years.


    VaWolf failed to mention the 4th and 38 conversion by Penn State to set up the 54 yd FG to beat us

    We won the ACC but did not go to a bowl game


    Pack85EE, I’d love to think that there’s a light on the horizon, but it’s dark even with 20/20.

    Since Sheridan left in the early 1990s, football has had little to celebrate other than Torry Holt and Philip Rivers, and no titles. Not even a 2nd place finish since the divisions. No BCS bowl invites. Our home schedule gets worse each season as our long-term rivals disappear, and as optimistic as I was about our current coach, I saw more things from my seat last season that I disliked than liked.

    Since Valvano left about 25 years ago, basketball has tanked. We had Julius Hodge’s senior season, but possible greatness in that NCAAT was quashed by HWSNBN. And after a decade of that failed experiment, we had half a decade of even more misery with almost our Lowest point in BB since the scandals in the early 60s.

    Women’s softball rocks, as does bass fishing and track. Soccer has been interesting at times, but we have failed to produce the kind of program you’d expect in this area of the country, where multiple ACC teams have won it all.

    Baseball might have been great but that went South (to Columbia). Baseball is really good now, but I’m afraid that Rodon’s departure will leave baseball in the same condition that Warren’s departure will leave basketball.

    I’ve followed Wolfpack sports since the 1950s, and it seems we were always pretty good at something most of the time. If we were down in one sport, then we were up in another. But for some time now, we’ve not been very good at anything that matters. We didn’t win an ACC football game last fall, and we’ve lost 22 of our last 24 basketball games to our main rival, UNC.

    The only positive that I can see in the state of our sports right now is that it couldn’t possibly get any worse, and has to get better.



    OK…here’s a SHOW STOPPER….

    1963. State gets invited to the Liberty Bowl in Philly. Game played in the JFK stadium. Mississippi or some OTHER poor soul from the south gets invited.

    There is hardly 1000 folks at the game. It is played right after the Christmas Holidays.

    Band is allowed to stay in their dorms until the busses leave for Philly. We go up the day before. It is SO COLD that the staff starts scurrying around (no internet then, ya know…) and try to figure out how to keep the valves and slides from freezing. The regular valve and slide oil is a water mixture and it freezes or it starts to get gummy and the instrument is basically INOPERABLE.

    They find out that a mixture of Glycerin and maybe Alcohol works….so they mix up that concoction and we pour out all our bottles and they refill them..OK, we can practice.

    Then it turns REALLY cold that night….they next day, we are wearing our PJ’s and whatever other clothes we can squeeze in under our uniforms. NOW REMEMBER, the Uni’s are made of WOOL and it is the type that is like Steel Wool so it will WEAR for a LONG time. Kevlar does not even hold a candle to it.

    SO, it is COLD….State loses. We are freezing our behinds off. The chaperones for our ONE majorette (Peggy was NOT allowed to ride in a Bus with band members….I guess that our FEW female band members did not have the same “appeal”, but they were put in ONE bus and there was a LINE between the front and the back…) are covering her up like she had just been sodomized by the opposing team. Her little whatevers are frozen past recognition…

    NOW, we head back to Raleigh. FROZEN….and then the bus warms up….NOW, we are really getting WARM with all the clothes and folks are taking off whatever they do not need….

    We get back to Raleigh….we are NOT allowed BACK into our dorms as the “halls” are sealed and the heat was turned off. SO, our parents or rides or whatever have to pick us up. My parents drove down from Catawba County. On the way back, I drove and it started SNOWING….

    By the time we hit Statesville, it is almost a whiteout….but we get home. That is about 4:00 AM. My dad worked for the NCDOT. He was an equipment operator….so at 5:00, he had to leave to work. He worked a 36 hour shift with only a one hour “catnap”.

    That is my story….and every fact is that….not embellished….


    Class of ’78 (as the username indicates!); my four years were 1-4 in the Good BB & FB list above…love to get back there. Baseball, swimming, and women’s BB were cranking as well.


    Hmmmmm. Class of 84 here – duh. So I was there in 83 which of course did not suck.

    But if I had to pick my one single worst sports memory it’s actually pretty easy.

    October 1981 – maybe the State Fair was going on that week. I can’t remember to be honest. But I DO remember that parking was unusually worse than normal that day. We literally parked in the median of what is now (and might have been then) Wade Ave.

    Sitting on the grassy hill at C-F. Me and two of my buddies (and one of them’s out of state girlfriend) and I had snuck in a bunch of Wild Turkey. Up 10-0 at halftime on those assholes from Chapel Hell. We’re partying like it’s 1999.

    You all know what happened on the field next. I’ll spare you that part.

    But the worst of it was having to LITERALLY carry our drunk buddy’s girlfriend back to the car after the game was over. All three of us were drunk. But she was passed out. So we literally took turns carrying her over our shoulder from the grass hill back to Wade.

    Needless to say neither I nor the other girlfriend-less buddy had to buy any more beer the rest of the semester.


    I admit that I was chilly a few minutes ago as I wrote my Liberty Bowl tale….it is raw and miserable and I had to do some things in the rain.

    On the BEST of times….Beating ND obviously…

    BUT, in the fall of 1967 (my fifth year), the White Shoes gang (Chucky was on the team) went to HOUSTON. Houston was highly ranked. Friends of the College had concerts in Reynolds and had booked in Glen Yarborough (Baby the Rain must fall….one hit wonder). During the show, there were a LOT of transistor (yes…those cigarette packaged sized radios) radios in their pockets. 680, WPTF carried the game and the steel of Reynolds blocked the signal so the audio (at night after they powered down the transmitters) was UGLY. Occasionally, Glen Yarborough would call out….What’s the SCORE. And then he would announce it. During Intermission, he took him mike and borrowed a radio and left the radio playing so we could listen to the game.

    At the end of the concert, right before he did his signature “Baby the Rain must fall” number, he again asked for the score and where the ball was. State was moving and was about to take the lead.

    He sang his song….and then at the finale, he did the closing line….Baby the Rain must fall….the added, “ON HOUSTON”.

    I have never seen a performer so aware that they were NOT the center of attention….most would have walked out….but he understood the crowd dynamics. I have downloaded that from iTunes as that moment is one of my wife and I’s FAVORITE FB and Reyholds moments…

    SO, there were GOOD TIMES…


    VaWolf failed to mention the 4th and 38 conversion by Penn State to set up the 54 yd FG to beat us

    We won the ACC but did not go to a bowl game

    I was thinking 4th and 24…but it’s been a few years.

    I think about turning down the Garden St bowl during exams and the fact that it was State’s only option every time some young’in around here starts bitching about the current bowl system.

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