NC State Beat: So Much to Prove

When it comes to NC State football and basketball there is a belief that both teams have a chance at doing some great things.

On the gridiron the Pack control their own destiny. Currently at 4-2 overall, and 1-1 in the ACC, Saturday’s game against Maryland will go a long way in determining how much longer the Pack control their own destiny. But, of course, Maryland and Atlantic Division road games have not been to kind to TOB and NC State over the years.

On the hardwood NC State is projected to have the type of season fans have dreamt about since 1990. ACC coaches and media have both selected NC State to win the ACC Championship this season. That type of preseason hype was nothing more than a State fan’s alternate universe a year ago. Now, State fans simply pray that it is not the kiss of death.

There is a lot of reason for State fans to be excited right now. A huge win over then fifth ranked Florida State has restored fans’ hope that this could be a year NC State is in the mix to play for an ACC Championship. And of course, you cannot get a State fan down on their basketball program right now.

However, these NC State teams haven’t done anything yet. The football team has still not taken the next step under Tom O’Brien. And the basketball team wasn’t the model of consistency last season.

It is time for these teams to prove that they are what they say they are to the fans, media and all of their detractors.

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Show me something, TOB

Admittedly, I have been a big TOB critic. Rightfully so, I believe. But just taking a glimpse at his record proves why I have criticized him as I have.

In his 6th season, TOB is 37-32 overall, and has never won an Atlantic Division road game. I don’t need anymore information, that’s just not good. When you have yet to win a road game within your division, who cares if you have beaten your rival every year? If you’re not competing for ACC Championships, but barely sneaking into bowls, something has to change.

Despite everything that I criticize TOB for, I still think he is the guy who can help NC State take that next step. He may not have done it at Boston College, and he may not have done at State yet, but TOB is one heckuva coach. He just has to stop talking about competing for ACC Championships and actually do it.

Games like this Maryland game coming up on Saturday have frequently derailed TOB and the Wolfpack. In 2010, NC State was one game away from playing in the ACC Championship, only to go on the road and lose to Maryland. In fact, Maryland has won 8 of the last 12 times these two teams have faced off. TOB seems to have been able to get by most everyone except Maryland, so hopefully getting over the Maryland hump will propel the Pack to get over the hump into the ACC Championship Game.

State Basketball: Our State?

No team in ACC history has ever been number one in the preseason ACC coach’s poll as many times as the NC State Wolfpack have. Mainly because this year marked the first year the ACC coaches have done their own poll, but let’s not get caught up with semantics.

I’m not sure how it happened. It happened so fast, it was merely a blur. But somehow, someway, NC State has become the preseason favorite in the ACC. In just two short years, the Pack have gone from 10th in the league to now potentially winning the whole thing. It has been a remarkable ride and State fans should embrace this position. God knows we’ve been through enough.

However, we must never forget that there are no banners for preseason ACC favorites. And there are still a couple of teams down Tobacco Road with Hall of Fame head coaches, who are chomping at the bit to burst little ole NC State’s bubble one more time.

The Pack have a lot to prove this basketball season. Widely considered as a top-10 team nationally, this team will have people from around the country with their eyes fixated on Raleigh. Not to mention the tons of people within the media sitting back waiting for the Pack to fail.

There is a lot to prove, and even more people to prove wrong. It has been a long time coming for the Wolfpack. God willing, this will be the moment that State fans have only been able to dream about for the past 20 or so years.

No matter where you look around NC State athletics, there is a lot of promise. But still so much more to prove.


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NC State blogger Spencer HardisonSpencer Hardison has been writing about NC State athletics for over a year for various web sites, and has been talking about and passionately pulling for the Pack since the day he was born. He lives by the idea that numbers never lie, and firmly believes that defense wins championships. Spencer is one of the more opinionated and passionate people you will ever meet. Basically, he’ll argue with a wall, if said wall doesn’t agree with him. All in all, Spencer loves to be opinionated, make bold statements, and prove to everyone that he is right and they are wrong. Oh, and Taylor Swift has written three songs about him. You can find Spencer on Twitter at @SpencerHardison.

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