Football Schedule Analysis

Yes, I’ve finally had enough caffeine and motivation/shame to force myself to sit down and do this. For a chance (Added Note: I am omitting 2013, when Doeren simply had no chance, so much so that I had blacked it out and forgotten he had been here 3 years instead of 2, getting old is a bitch and a half), Doeren isn’t squarely behind the 8 ball in how the schedule flows, as I will elaborate below…

William & Mary (Thur 1 Sep, 7:30 – ESPN3)

Huzzah, we get the opener right. 9 days to correct the mistakes before a more formidable foe. A Thursday night kickoff that can’t be moved to noon by the Swoffy cabal to torture season ticket holders (and anyone else nuts enough to show up). The open questions we hope and need to see answered here – 1) can the OL be something other than a dumpster fire? and 2) can we identify a credible, good starting QB? For “ok” will not do, NC State never has and in my opinion, never will be any good without good QB play. For reference, look at the post-Philip Rivers side that boasted the most wolven defensive talent (at least in terms of NFL draft assets) ever…6-5.

Win probability – 99%

at Pitt County Community College and Battery Tossing Academy (Sat 10 Sep, Noon – ESPNU)

This is really stretching the “U” by ESPN, but oh well. Full confession, my oldest kid will be at this game as a freshman, cheering for the bad people. She asked me if I wanted to come, to which I said “hell no” (other expletives omitted). But if you are to play this stupid game, which offers zero strategic benefit to NC State and great value to the opposition (especially played at their dirt track racing arena)…this is the ideal time. It will always be EZU’s Super Bowl, but at least it won’t be watered down by coming in the middle of, or God help us, AFTER the ACC schedule. It will be the first legitimate opponent, the first “hostile crowd” test, and that will help our guys be up for it. And unlike 2014 and 2015, we get out first taste of “game speed” at the same time as our opposition, rather than being hopelessly behind the curve (which cost us at least the VPI game last year). Hiding your weaknesses never helps you. Get out there and play football. Hit somebody, see what you are made of. The kids want that.

Win probability – 55%

Old Dominion (Sat 17 Sep, 6:00 – ESPN3)

I probably find this fixture a bit trickier than most. But we could be a bit beat up after the road trip, or feeling a bit too good about ourselves. But in the end, it’s still a home game that we should win. Good scheduling, as it is a step up from the cupcake of the opener.

Win probability – 85%

The bye comes here, at a pretty good time, in my view. Three very different games for the coaches to analyze and make corrections. None of the possible losses would ruin or define the season.

Wake Forest (Sat 1 Oct, TBA)

Getting the Deacs at home off the bye…manna from heaven. Doeren starts 1-0 in ACC play this go ’round, without question.

Win probability – 95%

Notre Dame (Sat 8 Oct, TBA)

Time for shit to get real, yes? And again, the timing is perfect. Confidence should be high, the line should have gelled if ever it will. National pundits have written State off here, noting that under Doeren, “State has never beaten anyone of stature” (paraphrased). Yeah, but let me ‘splain. First, he inherited a vast talent gap. Year ThreeFour is the first time you can really start grading him with a red pen. Second, the teams that NC State has gotten blitzed by are the same that ND struggles with – speed teams. When the other guy can just run past you and score at will…that’s a limiting reagent. The Irish don’t have that, and have mudded around with much lesser sides than NC State, in much less hostile venues. Their record has been padded again and again by playing the dregs of the B1G and other slow, slow programs. NC State gets up for statement-type games, and this will qualify. I thought of this as a 30-35% shot going in, but once I saw the schedule layout, I am upgrading it further…

Win probability – 40%

at Clemson (Sat 15 Oct, TBA)

There are games I am optimistic about, and then there is going into Death Valley the week after playing Notre Dame. Cover your rectal orifices, boys.

Win probability – 10%

at Louisville (Sat 22 Oct, TBA)

Hey, this is a challenging little stretch here, eh? That said, we seem to play the Cardinals tough, and they don’t have the overwhelming personnel advantage that Clemson does. Still, the Fighting Petrinos are the best-coached side in the ACC, and will be a tough hill to climb.

Win probability – 25%

Boston College (Sat 29 Oct, TBA)

Isn’t it nice that Boston College is still in the league? Like having a second, colder Wake Forest. Still, they might have a defense, and our charges might be a wee bit beat up by this point. Not going to be arrogant with this one.

Win probability – 85%

Florida State (Sat 5 Nov, TBA)

A little birdie told me that we get the Criminoles right after they play Clemson at home (without a bye in between). That is indeed the case. Jimbo Fisher still can’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag, so you know they will come in arrogant, or feeling like they threw their season away. It will be a matter of (i) is their talent advantage so great that these factors don’t matter; and (ii) is State too beat up by this point in the season to take advantage? There is always the chance of magic when we play Florida State, so keep some hope alive.

Win probability – 30%

at Syracuse (Sat 12 Nov, TBA)

Damn the anthropomorphic Orange for not playing outdoors, and denying us the chance of Glorious Snow Footy. Will they still be bad? Almost surely. Will NC State have their patented FSU hangover? Almost surely. Will this game be unwatchable dreck that sets a season commenting high due to the raw angst of Glorious Wolven Proletariat? You know the answer…

Win probability – 65%

Miami (Sat 19 Nov, TBA)

This game could be vital for Da U, in terms of winning the Coastal Division. In fact, State’s performance in our last two fixtures could decide the fate of who loses to FSU/Clemson/Louisville in Charlotte on 3 Dec. Feel the excite!!! Can we just rest our starters for next week?

Win probability – 40%

at Trump University Fraudulent Diploma Mill – Orange County, NC Branch (Fri 25 Nov, Noon or 3:30, ABC or ESPN or ESPN2)

Insert all the bad words you know, everything dirty George Carlin and Jim Jefferies have ever said, and multiply it by about 10,000. As long as the Pack shows up reasonably healthy, I think we have enough to ruin a season and add some Schadenfruede to the post-turkey and pie haze of glory. Doeren seems to get the fire and brimstone aspect of our rivalry, and we will want this one…bad.

Win probability – 55%

Adding up the probabilities you get an expected win total of…

6.84. No cheating, I didn’t mess with the numbers to get them to equal what I predicted earlier (7-5), it just worked out that way. You can always try this exercise yourself.

About BJD95

1995 NC State graduate, sufferer of Les and MOC during my entire student tenure. An equal-opportunity objective critic and analyst of Wolfpack sports.

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  • #105477

    Yes, I’ve finally had enough caffeine and motivation/shame to force myself to sit down and do this. For a chance, Doeren isn’t squarely behind the 8 b
    [See the full post at: Football Schedule Analysis]


    Good write-up and fair analysis. 7-5 is the ceiling, IMO. I’m not sure we’re ready to be over-achievers yet. I’ll officially go with a boring 6-6, although I have this nagging feeling that 5-7 is very, very much on the table.


    The past can’t escape us…I’m on record as saying we’ll go 7-5 with a big win (ND or FSU) but also pulling a terrible loss (Wake or BC).


    UH, with a roster full of Tony Levine recruits, went into Louisville and came out with a W last season and we can’t even dream of a close game there. Until our recruiting picks up dramatically we will be capped at 9 wins. The talent gap between State and FSU/Clemson makes those games walk-overs every year.

    The QB situation should be better than the Brandon Mitchell / Pete Thomas horror show but it may be just as fluid. I’m crossing my fingers that Drinksalot is a mad scientist and will razzle dazzle the offense to 35 pts/game in conference play


    Great write up and I agree I think the ND game is ripe for us. A win there could easily turn this season into something are unaccustomed to.

    Two things though.

    1. I think the WandM probability is too high, 99.9% for a pretty decent “cupcake” type team. They return a above average senior qb from a good offensive team. One that could give us fits early on. Think we win but it may not be as easy as it seems.

    2. Our QB situation now is giving me all sorts of nightmares. I cannot think of any reason to feel good about that position going into the first game without a starter named and with plans to play both players. Given A)one qb is in his 3rd year in the program and was a 4star and b)the other qb came with the new wonderkid OC and reportedly already knew the offense. Not sure how one could spin this as a positive


    If you had held a gun to my head and asked me which year this was for Doeren, I would have sworn it was his 3rd. I guess I blocked his first season out of my mind, too.


    Also, I should have mentioned – if you are looking to do a road trip…Louisville in October is the winner, hands down. It’s a neat drive, and an absolutely beautiful, welcoming town. Nice people who are very much like us (in how they view their “blues” and their protected status, etc).

    And unless something has changed since the mid-90s, you can get beer in the stadium!


    Given A)one qb is in his 3rd year in the program and was a 4star and b)the other qb came with the new wonderkid OC and reportedly already knew the offense. Not sure how one could spin this as a positive

    Given precisely that wording, I can’t think of a way to spin it negatively. We shall see.

    Beej, outstanding scripting of the schedule. It pretty much reflects my take, too. It has been very secretive around #1 Wolfpack Drive.


    Thanks for the Louisville tip. I may give that one a try. I’m already planning to go to the ECU and Clemson games. I’m thinking we upset one or two teams this year.

    I don’t know if it’s been mentioned in another thread, but Pete Finley was given another year of eligibility, so he now has 3 years left.


    Pete Finley

    That’s ECU’s pirate mascot, isn’t it?


    Best road trip this season will be B’s BBQ in Greenville.


    That would by Ryan Finley, and hopefully his grasp of the offense will produce a surprising season. As for talent, I really don’t see that our talent level this year is anything to worry about. If the offense can produce, then our suspect defense of a year ago, will spend less time on the field. I will be optimistic, until the team prove otherwise. Go Pack!

    john of sparta

    good news: we play college ball.
    bad news: we won’t have a good QB.


    Great post jb34. Enjoyed it. While I don’t agree with the percentages, I think the overall record is about right.


    Pete Finley

    That’s ECU’s pirate mascot, isn’t it?

    A 4 letter typo, I doubt it. Hope Tex is right.


    Good review and I like looking at each of the games as a series of individual chances based on the week. That’s really the way the season plays out.

    Having said that, I’m doing the same analysis and going with 6-6. I think we’re at about 35%-40% of a chance to win against UNC. I just don’t like how we match up on the road.

    I also think we’re at about a 25% on ND. The talent gap there is too big. ND is used to taking the other teams’ best shots out of programs looking for signature wins. We’re looking for any sort of signature win under DD. This team and DD don’t magically inherit the big win mojo that we’ve had over the past 30 years.

    gso packbacker

    Love the write-up! Went through the same exercise and really torn on the ND game. While I feel like we win that game for some reason, I agree with Rye on the likelihood. All that said, I have us at 6.06 wins. Love to see us get to 7 wins with this schedule, but won’t be distraught if we play well and only manage 5.

    Either way, I’m looking forward to good year! Heading to the ECU game, but really need to think about the Louisville trip. Have a bad taste in my mouth about that game last year. My oldest and her boyfriend (UofL Law Student) made the trip from Louisville, the engine blew on my youngest’s SUV in the pouring way on the way to game, then we looked a little lost on the field. However, it would have been a lot worse had the father of my daughter’s boyfriend not met us on the highway, tossed our tailgate supplies into the back of his truck and gave us the keys so we could make kickoff. Yep, he then proceeded to wait for AAA in the rain and had the car towed back to his house. Talk about a quality guy!


    Great write up. Agree with 99% of it. The 1% we don’t see eye to eye on is DD having a grasp on the bitterness of the rivalry with the Cheats.


    All I know is some “analyst” undergraduate on this site told me how good Fraiser was going to be after I questioned the FACT that he couldn’t get his high school team to the state championship at the 1A level.

    They will be lucky the win 6.

    Fire him, go after Dan Mullen.



    All I know is some “analyst” undergraduate on this site told me how good Fraiser was going to be after I questioned the FACT that he couldn’t get his high school team to the state championship at the 1A level.

    Judging how good “Fraiser” is going to be before he’s played a down is almost as ludicrous as judging him NOT to be good before he plays his first down.

    The only relevant FACT to do with Frasier is the FACT that he hasn’t played the first down of college ball.


    4th on the depth chart at NC State despite being considered one of the top backs in the nations says enough.

    So most certainly I’m making a judgement.

    You made my point for me though, he hasn’t played a down. If he was all that and a bad of chips we would know by now.


    Just remember Ted Brown did not play in the first games of his freshman season. Knowing such I’m withholding any judgment for now.


    Ted Brown also lead TA Andrews to a 4A state title against a loaded Richmond County team.

    Knowing that I’m making judgement.



    All I know is some “analyst” undergraduate on this site told me how good Fraiser was going to be after I questioned the FACT that he couldn’t get his high school team to the state championship at the 1A level.

    They will be lucky the win 6.

    Fire him, go after Dan Mullen.


    I understand you don’t post as often as maybe you once did but you must be a sad little man. Yeah I get your comments are an indictment of Doreen not the kid but you stay away for while and comeback to troll for things to say “I told you so”. You really don’t add anything insightful or useful for that matter. Why don’t you put your ideas or opinions on here? Oh that’s right you are only a keyboard cowboy. Don’t be afraid. If they are actually insightful we may have some legitimate debates. Otherwise make your bed, and go outside and play.


    There is a rodeo in town tonight see you later.


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