Let's see how well regarded the Belk Bowl matchup is among various media members. We'll start with SB Nation's Spencer Hall:
34. Belk Bowl: NC State vs. Louisville. It is only appropriate that a bowl game involving Tom O'Brien would make me think of shopping for sensible, unfashionable, and affordable pants. It would also be appropriate if the stadium would just pipe inoffensive pop music through the PA at all times during this game for the department store feel, since both teams have been literally inoffensive (93rd in total offense for NC State, 103rd for Louisville) and hard to pay attention to for long stretches of time without drifting away to something else. Teddy Bridgewater will make something up and win this game. The rest will be bland affordable slacks for the eyes.
Tough to argue with much of that, except the last part, because Louisville is a crap-ass crap of a crappy team and we are way better than them (I would only describe our team using the word "crap" twice). And we're 93rd in total offense? Did it feel like a 93rd-in-total-offense year to you guys? My baseline is and will always be the Jay Davis/Marcus Stone teams, and Glennon made the offense way more enjoyable than those guys did, if not necessarily way more productive. I don't know where I was going with this.
15. Belk Bowl, Dec. 27: N.C. State vs. Louisville. Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien needs this one. No one wins uglier than the Cardinals, led by rising star coach Charlie Strong.
That's a quality backhanded compliment right there, Tom Dienhart. "I wouldn't visually endure this team for all the hookers in Vegas, but that Charlie Strong knows how to get it done."
17. Louisville vs. NC State
Reasons Why You Have To Watch This Bowl
1. The Cardinal defense is terrific. Charlie Strong almost got the team to the Orange Bowl with five wins in the final six games, but it lost the Big East tie-breaker to West Virginia. The young D, along with QB Teddy Bridgewater, are rising.
I guess "almost got the team to the Orange Bowl" is technically true since they were in the running right down the the final Saturday of the regular season, but it feels like such a terrible misrepresentation of Louisville's season. But I'll cut CFN some slack since they managed to come up with three reasons why someone should watch this game and also ranked the game at #17 despite predicting a 16-13 final score.
24. Belk Bowl
Louisville vs. NC State
Dec. 27, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Both teams have been woefully inconsistent this season, but turned it on in the end. The Cardinals started 2-4, losing to Florida International and Marshall at home. But they won five of their last six games and earned a share of a Big East championship. NC State started 5-5 but upset Clemson 37-13 and then came back from a 41-14 deficit in the second half of a 56-41 victory over Maryland.
I'm not even sure I want to watch this game anymore.
Belk Bowl, Dec. 27. Louisville vs. North Carolina State. The Cardinals at least are in the top half of the country, according to Sagarin (No. 58). The Wolfpack, not so much (No. 64). Chance to appraise some intriguing young talent for Louisville, where the quarterback and top three wide receivers are freshmen.
Well, thanks for the fun fact. Should you be lamenting the Sagarin Ratings here? You imply that you had some sort of minimum expectations in re: the Belk Bowl matchup. No one has those. There are 35 bowls, which means that for about half of them, the only qualifier is not being dead.