Right at the conclusion of the 2017 NC State football season, I shouted at my computer, “find me an optimistic interpretation for 2018, you stupid computer.” It did not respond.
NC State was losing a lot of defensive talent to the NFL after its breakthrough nine-win 2017 season, and I was worried that would be a major hindrance moving forward, even though Ryan Finley and Jakobi Meyers and Kelvin Harmon were going to return.
It turns out there is some evidence that returning experience at quarterback can bully every other factor into submission, and things basically worked out that way for State in 2018. State was 112th in projected returning production for 2018 and won nine games anyhow.
As for this time around, though, NC State ranks only 109th in returning production heading into 2019. This is extra fun with a new quarterback! ... is something I’ll be lamenting in October.