Breakout team, you say? And it's not North Carolina? Well, at least we're finally taking one step out of the realm of fiction here. It's one giant leap for mankind. I was never sure we'd reach this day, but I never doubted the technological advances of man. Look at where we are now, with USA Today putting NC State on breakout lists and leaving UNC by the wayside.
North Carolina always gets put on these lists, and it always seems to fail to live up to expectations. So let's try the Tar Heels' neighbors in Raleigh this year. The Wolfpack looked primed for a breakthrough last year when Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett briefly turned into Johnny Manziel in the first half against Florida State, but that abruptly went out the window. In the end, the Wolfpack went a solid 8-5 in Dave Doeren's second year, after an abysmal 3-9 debut (after Tom O'Brien was fired for going 7-5). With a solid fan base in a solid region for talent, N.C. State seems like it could have the resources to improve, and last year it showed signs of being able to compete. Of course, its best win was against ... UCF? Georgia Southern? North Carolina?
My goodness, I'm gonna need a minute. Did we just get the benefit of the doubt despite a weak schedule and a poor recent track record? Don't get me wrong; this faith will be repaid regardless of external circumstance, but it is amusing to see the Pack get a bit of the sleeping giant treatment.
This matter will be rendered moot when the Wolfpack builds on its finish to the 2014 season by rushing for at least 300 yards per game for the first half of 2015. The pain for opponents started late last season, but that was just the beginning.