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NC State has a good football team and we’re just going to have to live with it

NCAA Football: Independence Bowl-North Carolina State vs Vanderbilt Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Ok, everybody, granted, it has been a whirlwind couple of days by mid-July standards. First we had SEC Network analyst Cole Cubelic put NC State in his initial college football playoff field, and then we had Phil Steele positing that NC State could be one of a dozen teams to make a run at the playoffs.

NC State is very unlikely to reach the playoffs this season, but NC State is also going to be pretty good, and what those guys are recognizing is the potential, perhaps, for a breakout year, and at the extremes of probability, a really really breakout year.

This has been met with the usual reception that boils down to “why would you do this to me, you monsters?” Why do we—State fans—get all weird about shit like this? There aren’t a lot of fans of other teams going, “wow, here’s some positive press for our talented football team that is going to be good GET THIS AWAY FROM ME IT’S POISON OH GOD HAVE I BEEN EXPOSED I COULD BE KILLED.”

The heck are we worried about, anyway? No one has suggested that NC State should win the ACC this season. Certainly none of us has suggested it. (We get vertigo at the mere thought.) The opinions of various media members do not influence the action on the field, seeing as how none of those media members are on college football teams and therefore can’t affect the outcomes of college football games. None of this matters at all. It’s July.

But for some reason there’s a nagging default inclination to shy away from stuff like this, y’know, hold your hands up to your eyes as though you’ve been blinded, that sort of thing. We’re gonna have to schedule a group psychology session at some point, I guess.

I don’t know exactly how we get over this, but my chosen path is hyper-cocky defiance, at least until the Florida State game, when maybe, just maybe, we might lose a game for the first time this season.

I’m trying to work this whole neurosis out of my system, and if being arrogant and insulting toward South Carolina before and after we beat South Carolina by four touchdowns is the antidote, then that’s what it takes. I would feel bad about doing this—winning by four touchdowns I mean—but to do that I’d have to feel bad.

See, it’s working already. Let us leave our realistic-yet-neurotic internet sports existence, since nobody wants to die alone. Time to plow on through (partially) false humility and peel back the hand whose fingers we’re peering through with (partly) real trepidation.

Lookin’ forward to the college football playoffs.