NC State’s patience with Dave Doeren results in 9 win 2017, a bowl victory, and a top 25 team.

I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t wasn’t on the Dave Doeren bandwagon. You win 9 ACC games in your first 4 seasons, and understandably questions should and will be raised. Something happened just over a year. Sitting at 5-6 and headed to play rival UNC in Chapel Hill, the hotseat was about to catch fire for Dave Doeren.

15 games later, NC State has gone 11-4, and the hotseat talked has stopped. NC State finished 2016 with a win over UNC and a bowl victory. There was optimism that 2017 could be a special season for the Wolfpack.

It didn’t start out that way as the NC State had a bizarre opening loss to South Carolina. In NC State’s defense, the Gamecocks did turn out better than expected, but still it wasn’t the start the Wolfpack needed.

The Wolfpack lost 3 more times – Notre Dame, Clemson, and Wake Forest, but there were also wins over Florida State, Louisville, another victory over arch rival North Carolina, and then a blowout bowl win over Arizona State.

This is going to land NC State with a top 25 finish, and 9 win season. There’s a lesson to be learned about patience, especially when the hotseat talk reached it’s peak just over a year ago.

Be careful about hitting the panic button too soon. Since a 3-9 2013, the Wolfpack have had three 8+ win seasons in 5 years. Doeren hasn’t won fewer than 7 since 2013 either.

He built NC State the way it needed to be built. The Wolfpack aren’t likely to pull in classes full of 4 and 5 star players, but they can get a some. Mix in some quality upper-classmen and the Wolfpack can put together top 25 type seasons. I think it’s quite possible the Wolfpack can reach the 10+ win plateau as well.

You’re starting to see the results of the patience with Doeren not only with wins, but in recruiting as well. Doeren is looking at potentially his first top 25 class in 2018.

2017 was a season that NC State had to cash in with a top 25 and 9+ win year, and they accomplished that goal.

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