Crunch the numbers until the calculator punts, and the conclusion you reach is that Chuck Amato hasn't advanced the N.C. State football program much within the ACC.
Wow, thanks for the insight.
The perception is that State's program is much stronger now than when Amato arrived. There's no question the infrastructure is much better, and Amato has earned a reputation as a prolific recruiter.
But the last time State won six ACC games was in 1994, O'Cain's second season. If Amato loses tonight, he can't match that this year.
So when it comes to N.C. State's standing in the ACC, not much has changed.
...is a fair point. But the idea that the program is "much stronger" is based on a lot more than perception. The ultimate measuring stick is wins and losses, and I won't argue that; however, Tudor's not giving enough weight to the "infrastructure"--better facilities, a vastly improved recruiting presence in the southeast, four bowl trips in five years.
And we may not be winning a lot more conference games, but we are significantly more competitive. I think that's extremely important.
Mike O'Cain took State to 3 bowls in seven years, and they weren't consecutive. Aside from the 1994 team that went 9-3, the next best record O'Cain managed was 7-5. Prior to last season, 7-5 was Amato's worst mark as the Wolfpack's coach. State went 3-8 in both 1995 and 1996; we'll never have a record that poor while Amato's here.
Tudor glosses over these points by narrowing his scope to conference W-L and pointing out the cupcakes Amato has beaten (several, though, like UConn, New Mexico and Kansas shouldn't be on the list because they were bowl-caliber teams), but he ignores the cupcake wins from the O'Cain era (not to mention the painful upsets; i.e., Baylor 1998, UNC 1999). And I dare say that the ACC is stronger now (especially after expansion) than it was back in the 1990s.
Not all 23-25 records are created equally.