The Wolfpacker

September 2013

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 41 of 95

P By Matt Carter reseason predictions are not worth much, if anything, but they can be entertaining and thought provoking. More times than not, the prognostications prove to be off target — but sometimes they hit the mark. We take our best stab at it with these five fearless predictions. 1. The preseason picks for the Atlantic Division will be accurate. If you follow the ACC media's track record in recent years for picking the order of finish in the Atlantic Division, you would have observed a low percentage for accuracy. Last year, though, ended a dubious four-year stretch. The media correctly picked the order of finish from one through four in the Atlantic. The only hiccup was they had Boston College fifth and Maryland last in the division, and the two reversed those positions in the final standings. That ended a stretch of three straight seasons the team the media picked to finish last in the division went on to be the Atlantic's runner-up. The 2012 picks were also the first time since 2008 that NCSU finished where it was projected. State's 4-4 ACC record was third in the Atlantic. In 2008, NC State was picked to finish last. State finished in a four-way tie for third, but if you applied tiebreaker standards, State would have been last. This year NCSU is picked to finish third behind Clemson and FSU. It's the third time in the last four years NC State has been projected for such a finish. The Atlantic, on paper, appears to be broken off into tiers. Clemson and Florida State are the cream of the crop, and NC State, Wake Forest and Maryland have a lot of support for the next three spots. Syracuse and Boston College are the projected cellar-dwellers. Expect this year's preseason projection to hold up when all is said and done. 2. The road to the "state championship" will go through Winston-Salem and Durham. The 2013 season offers a unique opportunity for head coach Dave Doeren in his first year at NC State. The Pack is playing all four other Football Bowl Subdivisionlevel in-state programs in one season for the first time since 2008. What happened in 2008 was memorable. The Pack upset undefeated and No. 15 East Carolina in Raleigh 30-24 in overtime. State proceeded to snap a three-game losing streak by defeating Duke 27-17 in Durham. The Wolfpack then scored a hardfought 21-17 home win over Wake Forest On The Record The Wolfpacker Makes Five Fearless Predictions For 2013 First-year head coach Dave Doeren and the Wolfpack will face all four other in-state Football Bowl Subdivision-level programs this season. Photo by Ken Martin 42  ■  the wolfpacker 42,44.FB Five Predictions.indd 42 8/23/13 3:02 PM

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