Since it seems to have had a seriously jinxing effect on the trajectory of the N. C. State season, I am discontinuing the "way too early bowl projections" weekly feature until the Wolfpack reach eligibility. And, just to be sure the football gods are not offended, let me stress that I am fully aware that it is not WHEN the Wolfpack become bowl eligible, but IF.
But before we look at how State's schedule made out last weekend, let's note this: after week 8, there were 3 bowl eligible teams from the ACC. After week 10, there are still just 3 bowl eligible teams from the ACC. Only the Big East has fewer bowl eligible teams. If FSU makes the Orange Bowl as expected and Dabo dethrones the Ol' Ball Coach en route to winning out, the ACC may well put 2 teams in BCS bowls. That would leave 7 bowl spots for Duke and perhaps as few as two or three other ACC teams to fill. Yikes! Welcome to the Belk Bowl, University of Texas at San Antonio!
There are going to be some thank you cards sent to The Swoff from the commishes of some mid-mid-mid-major conferences that get to fill those empty spots this year, and it will be even more pathetic for ACC football in the postseason if Miami, should it get bowl eligible, declines an invite in order to appease the NCAA hammer that is about to drop down in Coral Gables.
And now to the week that was:
As you know, after each weekend I have been keeping track of how our future opponents' seasons are unfolding while also keeping track of how past opponents react to not having us to kick around anymore.
How to read the post: A capsule for each Pack opponent, including the team's record and most recent result, is listed under the heading "Week 1," "Week 2," "Week 3," etc. based on what week during the season that the Pack plays that opponent. The future/past opponent is listed in bold.
Week 1: Tennessee (4-5) 55, Troy (4-5) 48
The Fighting Derek Doolanders (you really must click on that link) had to stage a fourth-quarter comeback against a team that is 3-3 in the Sun Belt, but thanks to 530 yards passing and 5 touchdowns from Tyler Bray, Tennessee bolstered its hopes of making a middling bowl. The Trojans held the ball for 15 more minutes than the Volunteers and ran up 721 yards of total offense, making one wonder if Sal Sunseri attended a Mike Archer seminar during the offseason.
In week 11 UT faces off with fellow 4-5 Missou in a game with serious Music City Bowl implications.
Week 2: South Florida (3-6) 13, UCONN (3-6) 6
The Bulls took this episode of torture to claim their first Big East win of the season. The Huskies have dropped 4 straight and remain winless in conference play. The game film has been sent to Guantanamo Bay, where military interrogators will force detainees to watch it until they talk.
Week 3: Florida International (2-8) 28, South Alabama (2-7) 20
The Golden Panthers entered this contest losers of 7 straight, and their only win of the season was a 3-point, overtime triumph over the Akron Zips. Alas, the Jaguars were overconfident in this cat fight and got down 28-7 early. SOAL showed pluck in cutting it to a one-score game in the 4th, but ultimately and crew could not overcome 4 turnovers. The Jags will have to wait until next year to replace an ACC squad in the Military Bowl.
Week 4: The Citadel (5-4) 38, Elon (3-6) 24
The big-play Bulldogs had two 50+-yard scoring runs (Darien Robinson and Ben Dupree) and a 50+yard TD pass (Aaron Miller to Matt Thompson) in their two-score win over the Phoenix, and the triple option led to a 300+ yard rushing advantage for the scrappy military academy.
Week 5: Miami (5-4, 4-2) 30, Virginia Tech (4-5, 2-3) 12
The Canes capitalized on 3 Hokie turnovers and took control of the ACC Coastal division. There was Logan Thomas good in this game for VT in the form of a 73-yard TD run, but also a lot of Logan Thomas bad. He tossed a pair of picks and averaged a mere 5.4 yards per attempt. The 12 points against a defense that entered the game ranked 86th in the country in DFEI is perhaps a new low in a season of lows for Beamerball. The Hokies must win two of three against FSU, UVa, and BC to make it to a bowl. That's certainly far from a given at this point.
Meanwhile, Miami plays at UVA, at home against South Florida, and at Duke in its quest for an ACC championship/bowl invite. However, if, as rumored, the Canes render themselves ineligible for post season play, then they will not be able to participate in the ACC title game, which would open the door for UNC. Haha. Not really.
Week 6: #10 Florida State (8-1, 5-1)
The Noles, who had the weekend off, have won conference games by 52, 44, and 41 this year. Virginia Tech will try to save its season Thursday night when it hosts FSU in primetime, but no matter how amp the Hokies get, a 40-point thrashing seems more likely at this point than an upset.
Week 7: Bye week.
Week 8: Georgia Tech (4-5, 3-3) 33, Maryland (4-5, 2-3) 13
When you click on Shawn Petty's player card at ESPN the freshman is still listed as a linebacker, and his future is definitely on defense, but his passing numbers were not brutal against the Yellow Jackets. Petty, pressed into duty thanks to abysmal Terp luck that saw 5 quarterbacks lost to either injury or transfer, completed 9 of 18 passes and hooked up with Stefon Diggs for two scores. Petty averaged 6.4 yards per attempt, better than Logan Thomas or Mike Glennon managed Saturday! Take the training wheels off him, Randy Edsall, and let him chuck it 50 times this weekend.
Week 9: North Carolina (6-3, 3-2)
The Tarheels had the weekend off to scour the internets for 11-year-old's term papers.
Week 10: Virginia (3-6, 1-4) 33, N. C. State (5-4, 2-3) 6
The Pack, outgained on homecoming by 230 yards against a team that came in having lost 6 straight, dropped from 37th to 53rd in overall FEI. San Jose State, Louisiana Monroe, and Fresno State are among the teams ranked higher in this the 6th year of Tom O'Brien's rebuilding effort. Read more about BTP's take on the carnage here and here.
Week 11: Wake Forest (5-4, 3-4) 28, Boston College (2-7, 1-5) 14
In a battle of two of the league's most underrated receivers, the Deacon's Michael Campanaro (16 catches, 123 yards, 3 TDs) got the better of the Eagles' Alex Amidon (10, 130, 1), but the main difference was on the ground, where Wake held a 116-12 advantage. The Deacs, who will try for bowl eligibility in Raleigh this weekend, also benefited from three Chase Rettig INTs.
Week 12: #13 Clemson (8-1, 5-1) 56, Duke (6-4, 3-3) 20
The dangerous duo of DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins combined for 10 catches, 225 yards, and 4 scores as the Tigers overwhelmed the fading feel good story from Durham. Duke picked off Tajh Boyd thrice and still managed to surrender over half a hundred. The Tigers are averaging 42.7 points per game and have scored at least 37 in every game since their season opener. It's hard to imagine how the Wolfpack will keep pace when they visit Death Valley.
Week 13: Wake Forest (5-4, 3-4) 28, Boston College (2-7, 1-5) 14
The Eagles unleashed secret weapon Bobby Swigert in this one. The wide receiver tossed his second pass of the season, both of which have gone for 6, to bring BC to within 7 in the third quarter, but there ultimately wasn't enough swag from Swig to spark the upset. BC is winless in 5 games away from the friendly confines of Chestnut Hill, where it will host the Golden Domers Saturday.