While we are all feeling a little bummed about the football program after 2019’s disappointment, there’s no denying that NC State had a pretty good decade. Bill Connelly had a look recently at how things have changed in college football over the last 10 years, using five-year SP+ rolling averages.
It feels like nothing ever changes in CFB, but looking at the current 5-year SP+ avgs & comparing them to the avgs this time 10 yrs ago ... A LOT has changed.— Bill Connelly (@ESPN_BillC) January 1, 2020
* Only 5 of top 10 were top-10 from 05-09
* 2010s: good to Memphis, Wash, Miss St
* And real bad to Kansas and UConn pic.twitter.com/I9ayWXASpX
NC State had an average SP+ rank of 58 from 2005-09, and that average improved to 40 from 2015-19. Not too bad! And probably about what we should expect given the Wolfpack’s resources and spending relative to other power-conference programs.
Within the ACC Atlantic, NC State at 40 is behind Clemson (3rd from 2015-19), Florida State (15), and Louisville (33) and ahead of Wake Forest (64), Boston College (69), and Syracuse (72). Clemson really took off in the last decade, alas, and FSU was a good bit better as well. BC fell off a cliff and Louisville was consistent. Wake dropped off a bit, while Syracuse improved 18 spots (the Orange were REALLY bad for a while there).
In my ongoing desperate quest to find positive signs, I’m hopeful that NC State’s rank over the last five years indicates that a turnaround can happen quickly and make 2019 feel like an exception. The talent in the program didn’t just disappear, it was mostly just out with injuries. Avoid another ridiculous run of attrition, find an above-average quarterback in the transfer market, and State can get back on track.