Let’s not sugar coat this Belk Bowl loss for NC State. They were whooped up and down the field by Mississippi State Wednesday. I thought this would be difficult game for the Wolfpack to win, but I didn’t expect it to be so un-competitive. This program and their head coach Dave Doeren are at a crossroads.
This is Dave Doeren’s third year at NC State, and he’s 6-18 in the ACC and he’s only 18-20 overall. The Wolfpack haven’t beat a ranked team under his tenure, and what is their signature win? A St. Petersburg bowl win over Central Florida in 2014?
He had a talented quarterback Jacoby Brissett the last two years, but the Wolfpack only made marginal gains after a 3-9 2013.
Where is this program going exactly? Yes the ACC Atlantic is tough. Clemson and Florida State are national powers. Louisville on a given day can play with anyone, and then there is NC State.
NC State is not at those program’s level, but at the moment is better than Syracuse, Wake Forest, and Boston College. No ACC program has been in neutral the last 10 years more than NC State. They rarely are truly awful, but they never approach greatness.
This was the year many expected NC State to breakthrough and win 9 or 10 games, but they ended up losing 6 of their last 9 games.
Next year Brissett is gone, and the non-conference schedule is a lot tougher. Notre Dame is on the schedule and there is a game with the always dangerous East Carolina.
I don’t like trajectory of NC State. I don’t think the Wolfpack are progressing. They are no better now than when Tom O’Brien was there and it is not like they burning up the recruiting trail.
I’ll be honest I think Doeren ends up on the hotseat at the end of next year.