NC State’s strong finish in the 2014 season has re-established the Wolfpack as a team that is getting some notice and getting some attention from the national media.
Today, ESPN ran an article ranking the ACC after spring practices and the Pack is listed at 6th (which is a huge jump when you consider where this program was just one year ago).
6. NC State Wolfpack
2014 record: 8-5
Previous ranking: 7
This season is shaping up to be the best yet under Dave Doeren, who has gotten results at all of his previous stops. Quarterback Jacoby Brissett and his powerful backfield return, and a few position shifts on the defense have that group poised to be much more physical and aggressive. Factor in better depth, and there are reasons for encouragement. Receiver remains a big question mark.
Post-spring ACC rankings
(1) Georgia Tech
(3) Florida State
(5) Virginia Tech
(6) NC State
(12) Boston College
(13) Wake Forest
A couple of my quick comments on the above rankings:
===>>> While the ACC Atlantic is clearly stronger than the Coastal at the top with 2 of the top 3 and 4 of the top 6, these rankings would seem to indicate that the Atlantic also has three teams that are sitting at the bottom of the conference. The Coastal logs all five positions between #7 and #11.
===>>> Looks like the author, Andrea Adelson, is still new to covering the ACC as she has fallen for the most obvious trick in the book — looking at Boston College on paper and believing that what you see will hold on the field. Its a mistake that make EVERY YEAR…and, every year BC wins more games than I expect (usually including a defeat of us that has me steamed).
===>>> Another way that one knows that Heather Dinich did not put these rankings together is that (a) David Cutcliffe is not mentioned and gushed over by name, and (b) Duke is not listed as a Top 4 team with a good chance of going to the Orange Bowl.
===>>> Lastly, Adelson can’t help but impress me with her ability to state the obvious (something with which most of the rest of the media still struggle):
9. North Carolina Tar Heels
2014 record: 6-7
Previous ranking: 10
Forget the usual preseason hype. It is time to start seeing results from the Tar Heels. This must be the season they deliver, with 17 starters returning — including a whopping 10 on offense. Quarterback Marquise Williams showed flashes of brilliance last season, but did not get much help from his supporting cast. That has to change. New coordinator Gene Chizik should improve the defense, but how much improvement can be expected from a returning core group of players that made up one of the worst defenses in school history?