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Phil Steele Likes The Wolfpack

JP Giglio caught up with Phil Steele and got him to share his thoughts on NC State and the rest of the ACC.

Steele pointed to the strength of State's running backs and its inability to win close games last season. Yes, inability. One of Steele's main tenets, which he supports with statistics, is if Team A loses a lot of close games in Year A, they'll win more close games in Year B. And vice versa.

State lost seven games by a touchdown or less in 2006 and won two, giving them what Steele calls five "net close losses." According to Steele, there have a total of 120 teams in the past five seasons who have had two or more net close losses, only 29 had a worse record the next season.

The Pack's turnover margin (-11) also makes it a candidate for an improved record in 2007. Same principle, if Team A has a lot of turnovers in Year A, that number will go down in Year B. And vice versa.

An example of the TO margin theory in action, courtesy two recent NC State teams:
 Give Take Net
2004 32 15 -17
2005 24 24 0
Steele has NC State finishing 3rd and BC finishing 6th in the Atlantic division, which would be so very priceless. If that happens, I will never ask for anything ever again ever (for two weeks).

If you want more Phil Steele, he's appearing on EDSBS's radio show tonight. I doubt they'll spend any time on the ACC (they rarely do), but Steele is always interesting.