A comment in the last game recap made me wonder about Tom O'Brien's record against recruiting powers and recruiting puffs (as delineated here, scroll down to the bottom or read the whole thing for some enlightenment). These are all major conference teams, i.e. ACC, SEC, Big 12, Big 10, and Big East. TOB's record against non-AQs (teams formed mostly of players unscouted by the major scouting services or one- and two-star recruits) is 4-2. The two losses were to ECU in 2010 and UCF in 2007.
Florida State 1-4
Without '07 (one could argue the 2007 team weren't his players): 1-3
South Carolina: 0-2
North Carolina: 5-0 (LOL)
Aggregate: 8-8 (TOB ought to write a thank you note to Butch Davis and Everette Withers.)
Without '07: 6-7 (Clemson loss, Miami win, UNC win)
Note the solid 2-8 record against the Atlantic Division powers, Clemson and FSU.
Virginia Tech: 0-2
Two-star Recruiters (NC State is in this category):
West Virginia: 1-0
Boston College: 1-4
Georgia Tech: 1-1
Without '07: 7-7 (BC loss, UVA win, MD loss)
South Florida: 0-1
Wake Forest: 2-3
Aggregate: 6-7 (!!!)
Without '07: 6-5 (Louisville loss, Wake Forest loss)
Total without '07: 20-24
You can take what you want from this record, but I don't see any consistent success against any opponent that doesn't wear light blue, regardless of the strength of their recruiting classes. I do see consistent failure against the two best best recruiters in the Atlantic Division, Clemson and Florida State, in addition to Boston College and regular losses to Wake and Maryland. Without better recruiting and, to be frank, better coaching, NC State will never win the ACC, much less the division.