NC State restored program momentum with an 8-4 campaign in 2020 and will be returning a lot of production in 2021, especially on the defensive side. And the way-too-early SP+ projections for the fall do expect the Wolfpack to improve.
The Wolfpack is No. 45 in Bill Connelly’s initial look at next season, with some solid projected improvement for the defense. After finishing 51st in defensive SP+ in ‘20, NC State is projected to improve to 37th.
SP+ is not as optimistic about State’s offense, but the Wolfpack’s quarterback situation last season would be a tough thing for metrics to parse. If NC State gets a full year out of Devin Leary, I have a hard time seeing the offense declining, and SP+ is projecting a minor slide, from 62nd to 68th.
The ACC has three teams in the early top 10: Clemson (2), Miami (8), and UNC (10). Those three should be the easy consensus for the league’s best. The rest of the conference breaks down this way:
Virginia Tech (36)
NC State (45)
Georgia Tech (48)
Florida State (61)
Boston College (62)
Wake Forest (64)