Additional Non-Conference Football Scheduling information

A few weeks ago, StateFansNation had an update on the future non-conference schedules for the Wolfpack after it was announced that Troy had been added. In looking at some websites after getting back from being out of the country, I read a couple of articles that were interesting from a non-conference point of view.

Just a bit of background. Here is who State has played in non-conference since 2009:

2009: South Carolina, Murray State, Gardner Webb, Pittsburgh
2010: Western Carolina, Central Florida, Cincinnati, East Carolina
2011: Liberty, South Alabama, Cincinnati, Central Michigan
2012: Tennessee, Connecticut, South Alabama, Citadel
2013: Louisiana Tech, Richmond, Central Michigan, East Carolina

Obviously, this has not been a murderers row of non-conference opponents. Since the beginning of 2010, the only Power 5 school the Wolfpack has played non-conference is Tennessee, a game that was created in part by the help of ESPN, and also replaced the home and home previously scheduled with the Vols.

As a comparison, this article looks at non-conference performance of the ACC over the past 5 years. Here is the number of games played by ACC teams against non-conference opponents in the regular season since 2009:

No. of Games: Team
10: Clemson Wake Forest
9: Georgia Tech
8: Boston College
7: Florida State Virginia
6: Miami North Carolina
4: Duke
3: NC State Virginia Tech

What’s worse, four of those six games played by NC State and Virginia Tech came in 2009, meaning those two programs have each played just one regular-season, nonconference game against a Power 5 team in the last four years. (Virginia Tech played Alabama last season, while NC State played Tennessee in 2012.)

What makes that graphic and quote even worse is that the Hokies’ game with Alabama was created by ESPN and also was played in Atlanta as part of the Chick-Fila Kickoff Classic. So, the only Power 5 non-conference games the Hokies and Wolfpack have played since 2010 is a neutral site game created by ESPN.

***A footnote. Games against Cincinnati and Connecticut, who were in the Big East and part of the BCS, were deemed to be a quality non-conference game at the time when they were played.

And now there is a new rule requiring teams playing a Power 5 conference (ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) as a non-conference opponent starting in 2015. With Oklahoma State and LSU buying out of a home and home series with the Wolfpack, the future non-conference Power 5 teams set up are as follows:

2016: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2017: at Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The Pack needs to add someone in 2015, 2018, and 2019. Here is their analysis:

Of all the ACC teams that will be looking for Power 5 scheduling partners, N.C. State has the most work left to do. This year N.C. State faces Georgia Southern, Presbyterian, Old Dominion and USF. The following year … Troy, Old Dominion and South Alabama. Five of those seven opponents are or were very recently members of the Football Championship Subdivision. Don’t strain yourselves too hard, Wolfpack.

With how watered down the ‘Pack’s non-conference schedules have been of late, it will be interesting to see what State does with this new strength of schedule component. Do they go searching for bottom-of-the-barrel Power 5 programs to play in an attempt to schedule their way to a bowl game? Or will they capitalize on their close proximity to SEC programs and break a sweat during non-conference play?

Possible non-conference opponents: Mississippi St. Bulldogs, Ole Miss Rebels, Tennessee Volunteers, Vanderbilt Commodores

For 2015, another article came out a couple of days ago showing that Alabama is in dire need of an opponent for 2015.

NC State stands alone here. It has three home games in the non-conference lined up. If it truly has a schedule spot open, it could play at Alabama and hit that magic seven-home-games threshold. If the Tide’s last 2015 opponent is on this list, it’s most likely to be NCSU.

Let’s be honest. I know that Debbie Yow is working on the non-conference schedule with lots of input from Dave Doeren. I understand she has been trying to get out of a couple bad contracts made by the previous administration (and the small buyout from LSU is another bad Fowler decision – Thanks a lot as I was looking forward going to Baton Rouge). Yow has mentioned that she wants to beef up the schedule but also wants to maintain a good financial perspective and also consider the expected strength of the team. I completely understand that. But a home and home with Alabama in 2015 and 2018, even assuming the Wolfpack will be underdogs, would be a fantastic step up compared to previous years schedules.

I am not sure what happens in the future, but I can foresee a few options for a Power 5 non-conference opponent:

1. ACC – Duke – This just makes too much financial sense not to happen in the near future. Doeren is for it and I have heard Cutcliffe say on the radio that he wishes he could play State more.

NC State and Duke are located about 35 miles apart. They played annually from 1924 to 2003 but have met only three times since the ACC expanded in 2004. The Wolfpack and Blue Devils are scheduled to play only once (in 2020) in the next 11 years.

— 2nd choice: Virginia

2. Big 10 – Michigan State – No school reminds me as much of NC State as the Spartans do. Their arch rival likes to say another school is their arch rival. They are a land grant, agricultural, engineering school. They are often under the radar (no one thought much of them last year till they beat down Ohio State to win the Big 10 and few thought they would beat Stanford in the Rose Bowl).

— 2nd choice: Penn State

3. Big 12 – Kansas State – They typically are better than most people think. A victory would definitely be a good shot in the arm for the program. One question mark regarding the Wildcats…what happens when Synder retires again?

— 2nd choice: Oklahoma State

4. Pac-12 – Oregon State – Nice Pacific Northwest match-up. The Beavers have been improving over the past few years and Coach Riley is a good coach. Their offense has been pretty good lately.

— 2nd choice: Washington

5. SEC – South Carolina – Although I have issues with the fan base as well as the coach, it is a good regional rivalry that should continue.

— 2nd choice: Tennessee

About ruffles31

1996 NC State graduate who is still waiting on his first ACC conference championship in any of the four main revenue sports (football, men's basketball, women's basketball, and baseball) since enrolling. All I want is a ACC Champions t-shirt.

ACC AD & Department Athletics Directors College Football Dave Doeren Future Opponents NC State

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  • #52503

    A few weeks ago, StateFansNation had an update on the future non-conference schedules for the Wolfpack after it was announced that Troy had been added
    [See the full post at: Additional Non-Conference Football Scheduling information]

    1.21 Jigawatts

    I’m pretty sure the Notre Dame games were set up by the ACC in the deal with ND, who is required to play X number of ACC teams every year. So again, it wasn’t NC State who set up a game against a Power 5 team.


    What’s the worst that happens, we go to Tuscaloosa and lose?

    There’s far more upside than downside here for a program that so desperately wants to be on the rise. At some point you have to stop attempting to manufacture bowl eligibility.


    This is shocking (and really well done). Win or lose, it is past time for the Pack to step up to the plate and grow a pair.


    2018 and 2019 Power Conference team will be Mississippi State.


    did someone already reference this?

    NC State stands alone here. It has three home games in the non-conference lined up. If it truly has a schedule spot open, it could play at Alabama and hit that magic seven-home-games threshold. If the Tide’s last 2015 opponent is on this list, it’s most likely to be NCSU.


    That home-and-home we had in the mid-90s with Roll Damn Tide was fun. We were shit, they were…not. But the games still managed to be very entertaining and competitive.


    What’s the worst that happens, we go to Tuscaloosa and lose?

    And we lose a few starting linemen in the process.


    For the most part NC State has historically done a pretty good job of trying to get at least one quality out of conference opponent each season. The problem has been that historically these schools back out of the agreement and we end up scrambling to fill the schedule with crap opponents. It sounds as if the former administration was a major culprit here, but I can remember other schools backing out of deals before Fowler came on board.

    And you give ESPN too much credit. The home and home scheduled series had nothing to do with ESPN. What they did was take a 2 game series and turn into a single event. They robbed both teams of a home game and eliminated a game from the schedule that both schools had to fill – probably with a nobody opponent.

    I agree that it has to improve, but it has not entirely been for lack of wanting to play a good opponent.


    Three teams from Alabama in one season?
    That’s the only down side I see to playing Alabama in 2015. I would love it.
    I know the coaches like to schedule teams to give them recruiting help. It would probably be better to spread all that Alabama love over the course of several years, but like about every one reading this, I would take a game against Alabama about anytime we could get it. (because it will never be very often)

    If we beat South Alabama, and Troy …. And Alabama (dreaming), could we claim the state championship without playing Auburn?


    I remember the series with Alabama; it was a down period in their recent history, and Gene Stallings was a total prick. Much like the Ohio St series a decade later, we could have won both games, but settled with, uhh, losing both. The home game with ‘Bama was Jamie Barnett’s first start (Jose Laureano(sp?) had gotten kicked off the team earlier in the week). It was a month after Fran hit.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the point of the article, which is the total embarrassment that is our yearly OOC scheduling, which I unfortunately continue to do my small part in funding. However, I have no desire for a one-and-doner in Tuscaloosa. I see no benefit in that move whatsoever, with nothing in return. A lose-lose proposition.


    Duke is 20 miles from State, not 35. It’s crazy for us not to play them EVERY YEAR in football. It’s not only bad from a historical rivals standpoint, but it’s also a very bad financial decision. I don’t care if Syracuse has to travel farther; they knew damn well they would when they agreed to join the ACC. Don’t punish us because of Syracuse’s geography.

    Another team we should be playing more often is Virginia Tech. Thanks to the divisions, we will never see the Hokies enough to establish a rivalry. I can’t remember the last time we played them. Why do we have to play Boston College EVERY year and never get to play VPI? Besides Clemson, Tech is more like us than any other ACC school in terms of the fan base.

    State fans may have lost their perspective as to just how bad we’ve gotten in football in the past decade. We have little if any bargaining power to attract good home opponents, but I honestly believe we’d be better off going on the road against really strong opponents than we are staying home and playing the ODUs, Richmonds, Georgia Southerns, Central Mixhigans, Louisiana-Lafayettes and Troys of the world. As a paying State fan, I’d rather watch us on tv against nationally ranked teams than shell out a hundred bucks for 2 seats to see us play Georgia Southern here.

    Especially at noon at the end of August. We will not build a program with this kind of game and exposure (ACC Network), and we might just get our you-know-what’s handed to us on August 30. We don’t need any more of these games, Ms. Yow!


    A gym buddy told me if we went to SEC we’d get our asses kicked. I said yeah but we’ll get our asses kicked in style.


    I will believe we are trying to schedule better when I see some damned results. We’ve been pretty well continuously at the bottom of the barrel, schedule-wise. That doesn’t happen every year by accident and/or bad luck.


    What’s the worst that happens, we go to Tuscaloosa and lose?

    No. Ask Cutcliffe about the damage that can be done to a team and its season by sending them outmanned and outgunned against a fully loaded Alabama team.

    I for one hope we do not play them in the next two seasons.


    For 2015, another article came out a couple of days ago showing that Alabama is in dire need of an opponent for 2015.

    NC State – The girl Alabama picks up at “Last call”.

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