Now that Christmas is over, if not the Christmas hangover, it’s time to talk Belk Bowl.
The Pack has been in Charlotte for a few days now, practicing and doing the typical Bowl Week stuff.
Even without a shopping spree at Belk’s, State still would have been sporting some fancy new duds.
— NC State Football (@PackFootball) December 21, 2015
Head Coach Dave Doeren doesn’t really care what the press, or anyone else, has to say about the Wolfpack’s soft 2015 schedule.
NC State-Mississippi St. Preview (FoxNews.com)
The Wolfpack’s favorable scheduling outside of the ACC came under heavy scrutiny. They eased to victories by an average margin of 34.3 points against the FCS’ Eastern Kentucky, Old Dominion, South Alabama and Troy.
“I think a lot of people wanted to see us play a ‘Power Five’ team in those first four (games),” coach Dave Doeren said. “I haven’t thought about the difficulty of it. I look at it as a challenge.
“Winning’s important, period. I think as a coach, why do you coach, you coach to be victorious. You don’t coach to lose. This game won’t define us one way or the other. … (Winning) will give us a better taste in our mouth going forward.”
N.C. State has won three of the five all-time meetings with Mississippi State, including the most recent in the 1995 Peach Bowl. A victory this time could silence the Wolfpack’s scheduling critics.
“At the end of the day, the SEC is the SEC,” defensive end Mike Rose said. “They’re considered the premier conference, so a win against one of their better teams would be good for us.”
When the matchup vs Mississippi State was first announced, the Pack opened as a 7pt underdog. Since that time, the line has narrowed to 5.5.
Belk Bowl Betting: NC State vs. Mississippi State Odds, Analysis and Pick (BleacherReport.com)
N.C. State might hold some degree of home-field advantage for this game, playing so close to home, but realistically, when your best victories come against Syracuse and Boston College, you probably shouldn’t even be playing in a bowl. Mississippi State looks like the smart money here.
North Carolina State is 0-4 straight up and ATS in its last four games against the SEC.
North Carolina State is 6-2 SU and 6-1-1 ATS in its last eight bowl games.
Mississippi State is 6-2 SU in its last eight bowl games.
The favorite is 4-0 SU and ATS in the last four Belk Bowls.
But in spite of that narrowing betting line, not many folks are picking the Pack straight up.
It all gets going Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 on the Worldwide Leader.