NC State will fall just a hair—a smidge really—outside of playoff contention in 2020, according to the latest FPI projections. NC State’s playoff odds, per FPI: 0.0%. See what I mean? So close. Knocking on the door.
FPI foresees Clemson as the team with the best NCAA championship odds this season, and when you consider that this team was the runner up in ‘19 and returns Trevor Lawrence, yeah, that seems obvious.
For State, the season figures to be a tad more treacherous. NC State opens with Louisville and the win probability in that one is short of 11%, in FPI’s estimation. But after that, the Pack has a five-game stretch in which three of the contests are relative coin flips (Mississippi State, Troy, Duke), one’s a gimme (Delaware), and the other is a likely loss (FSU).
Any combination of three wins over those five games would be a success, and set up NC State for bowl eligibility with a two-out-of-three run against Wake, BC, and Syracuse over the back half. More coin-flip-type games there—at least based on what we know now, y’know, assuming there’s not another tidal wave of injuries between now and then.
Much will as always depend on the whims of the football gods. Figure if NC State’s luck is off-the-charts good, it can win eight games. Above-average luck is 6-7 wins. Abysmal luck, well, sorry about that, Dave, but I’m afraid this has cost you your job. Hey, we don’t make the bounces.