Tom O'Brien never delivered on the promise we all assumed would translate to Raleigh based on his track record at Boston College, and in hindsight, it makes complete sense. O'Brien and company could mold the talent they had on hand, there was never any question about that. But the recruiting hustle--if it ever existed--was long gone, and in the hyper-competitive south, that was glaring.
We got the winning teams we wanted; I'm just not sure we expected the whole ordeal to be so mundane. I didn't. This was probably a mistake in judgment.
NC State could have gone with it into the foreseeable future, but no other sport is as bluntly honest as college football. All it takes is a trip to Atlanta to drive home the realization that you can't even match up with a shitty SEC team that somehow out-recruits you despite said shittiness and despite being in Tennessee and being Tennessee.
There is very little, within the context of major-college football, going in our favor. We have absolutely zero hope of ever competing on a dollar-for-dollar basis with the country's best programs. (Insert your joke here.) Our budget is at the lower end of the power-conference spectrum. We will rarely out-recruit UNC, and again we're talking about football here, but that's the sorry truth of it. The state is saturated with football programs and surrounded by successful and entrenched regimes.
We could accept all of that as inescapable, but where is the fun in that? This is why we had to throw Tom O'Brien to the wind and see what the hell happens. It might be a huge disaster. It might also result in unprecedented success. We don't know. That's fine. It's better to live here than in the Belk Bowl for eternity.