Since NC State's victory in the first/last/greatest Bitcoin Bowl in history, we've seen prognostications for 2015 built largely on guesswork, some mostly on science!, and some in between. Here's another data point, and more from oddsmakers: the Wolfpack is given the sixth-best odds to win the ACC title. (h/t to Joe Wagstaff)
Those odds still leave three Atlantic Division teams with better chances--FSU, Clemson, Louisville--but notably, the handicappers have State ahead of Duke, Miami, and Pittsburgh. Miami and Pittsburgh both should get their share of preseason buzz, and a lot of it will be warranted, so it's interesting to see how State's modest hype train stacks up in the eyes of a neutral party.
Of course, there is a certain amount of blind grab-baggery that comes with Coastal Division picks, which may not be explicitly acknowledged but is understood. I have a feeling the extent of Georgia Tech's breakthrough has been overestimated by these odds, while Miami and Duke have been underestimated.
But still, it's encouraging to see some faith from outside our NC State bubble in the rebuilding effort that's going on here. Two years ago, the Pack was depressing; now, the team is getting credit as one of the six or seven best teams in the league, which is pretty good improvement.
If you'd given me this in the middle of 2013, I'd have taken it, probably cried a little, and all that without knowing what actually happens during the 2015 season.