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The future starts slow

Much like our dang photo archive.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at North Carolina Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

NC State’s non-conference schedule is finished, and the Wolfpack begins conference play at Miami on Saturday. It’s been really tough to figure how to make sense of this year’s pre-conference schedule, since there have been so many unusual circumstances.

None of which excuse a loss to Illinois. The loss to Creighton is at least understandable despite the State’s limitations in that game. State has effectively put that portion of the year behind it by winning out the rest of the way.

For reasons I will probably never understand, NC State heads into league play in decent RPI position. That is really fortunate considering how many games the Pack missed Ted Kapita, Omer Yurtseven, and Maverick Rowan. It feels the opposite, but NC State actually weathered its non-conference schedule okay, as far as RPI is concerned.

This is important because it’s league games all the way down the rest of the season, beginning on Saturday, and schedule strength is not going to be a problem. NC State could use a quick start to league play as counter to the first month of the regular season. NC State seems a lot more capable of that fast start than it did just three weeks ago.