Will NC State improve on its 2014 performance this fall? One advanced metric thinks so, even if it's not offering a ringing endorsement of the notion. The Wolfpack checks in at No. 48 in Bill Connelly's initial batch of S&P+ projections for 2015, two spots above where the Pack finished last season.
Alabama nabbed the top spot, sneaking in ahead of defending national champion Ohio State, and three ACC teams are in the top 25. Not surprisingly, Clemson and Florida State project to be the best two teams in the league, with Georgia Tech a close third.
State's ranking puts it 10th in the ACC, essentially on par with the likes of Boston College, UNC, and Virginia. There are eight ACC teams scattered between 25th and 50th, and among them are a couple of expected breakout teams (relative to last season, anyhow): Virginia Tech is up 11 spots to 26th, while Carolina is up 11 to 44th.
See, even a computer model can't help itself when it comes to the Tar Heels. And hey, I get it. Still amusing.
These projections rely heavily on a team's performance over the previous five seasons and its recent recruiting rankings, so if you're looking for reasons why NC State isn't projected to make a leap in 2015, there you go. A breakout is certainly possible, just not likely in the eyes of S&P+ given the program's performance recently. That's fair.
But with that said, 48th is a daggone outrage, is it not?! To your pitchforks, men!