It’s mid-October in a 2014 college football universe where Mississippi State is (legitimately) #1, Ole Miss is (legitimately) #3, the biggest game in Texas on the Saturday of the Red River Rivalry was TCU-Baylor and there is no Texas, Michigan or Florida anywhere near the Top 25.
Meanwhile, State — and Dave Doeren — just dropped its eleventh straight conference game. To be fair, the reasonable among us expected to be 4-2 after Clemson, with Boston College being one of the few swing games we’d need to have a shot at bowl eligibility. Now, after another disappointing effort drops us to 4-3, it’s still entirely possible to finish 6-6, but — and we’ll save the in-depth analysis for WVWolf’s weekly “NC State Football by the Numbers” column — State has a lot of serious issues right now. Most notably, this: Since leading Florida State 24-7 with 2:07 left in the first quarter September 27, State has been outscored by a combined 120-31 over the next eleven quarters. Since leading Florida State 38-28 with 6:37 left in the third quarter, State has been outscored by a combined 83-17 over the next nine-and-half quarters of football.
At this point, realistically, Doeren’s best shot at his first league win is probably in November at Syracuse or against Wake Forest. The worst-case scenario is going to Chapel Hill Thanksgiving Saturday with bowl eligibility on the line.