Perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but it sure does feel like it. (Hell, it has been 2362 days since the last football post on SFN!)
I cannot remember a season with more hype and expectation, and it’s all deserved.
Sports Illustrated has the Pack projected as the AP Preseason #11 team in the nation.
Where NC State is right now: Four points kept the Wolfpack from an undefeated mark in ACC play, a run that included a win over No. 9 Clemson and with losses at Miami and at Wake. Ten starters on defense that ranked No. 3 in the ACC last fall come back for a reunion in 2022, as does quarterback Devin Leary, a 3,400-yard passer in 2021 with 35 touchdowns against three picks.
There’s a slip-up somewhere on this schedule with road dates against Clemson and then Louisville and UNC to end the season, plus a home tilt with Wake. FPI projects four losses here, which might seem harsh when looking at this roster. NC State could start 4-0 going into Clemson, and there’s no Notre Dame this year.Sports Illustrated
To give context, the Wolfpack have been in the Preseason top 25 a total of three times since I was born at Rex Hospital back in 1976. And in each of those cases, we ended the season unranked. Talk about a turd burger!
Only once since 1993 have we had such preseason accolades. 2003. We were gifted the 16 spot, only to start the season 1-1 and fall out of the rankings, never to climb back in that season.
Only once since 1993 have we spent double digit weeks ranked. Until last year. Last season we spent a respectable 10 weeks with a number beside our beloved university.
Yes folks, this is unusual ground we are stepping onto this year. The kind we don’t see every decade even. (State spent a total of 16 weeks ranked in all of the 2010s combined!)
Savor the excitement
You know, we can spend our time talking about NC State SH!T and how many breaks we needed to beat UNX last season, but you know what? We DID beat the tarholes! And a series of unfortunate injuries derailed what coulda shoulda woulda been a 12-1 season if not for those and UCLA cowering away from a fight in their backyard.
I implore you to be excited, and expectant, and rowdy, and celebratory, and just have as much fun as you can this season cheering on the Pack. We don’t know when this perfect storm will happen again. Let’s choose to enjoy the ride and see where it takes us.