Somebody may want to check on SEC Network sideline analyst Cole Cubelic because his most recent thoughts on the College Football Playoffs are straight-up out of this world.
Either he’s been abducted and replaced with an imposter, or he’s seriously excited about what the N.C. State Wolfpack are capable of in 2017. But that’s the crazy part.
Arky Shea, Cubelic’s radio partner, tweeted out his friend’s current CFP top four. The first three teams made sense. Team No. 4 came straight out of left-field (or outer space), though.
Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide are clearly one of the top dogs in college football, especially considering the fact that they’ll be hungry to redeem themselves after their national championship loss to Clemson last season.
Ohio State, under head coach Urban Meyer, is always one of the best teams in the country, and Washington is going to be very dangerous with Jake Browning (a potential Heisman Trophy candidate) and Myles Gaskin leading the way on offense. That’s not even considering head coach Chris Petersen, who’s quickly becoming one of the top coaches in the Power Five. He, of course, already had a ton of success at Boise State.
N.C. State, though? As one Twitter user pointed out, that must have been an inside joke between the two radio personalities.
The Wolfpack, coached by Dave Doeren, went 7-6 last season and were 3-5 in their own conference. They’re not even expected to be one of the top teams in the ACC next season, let alone nationally, so how in the world does Cubelic expect N.C. State to be one of the top four teams in the nation?
In fact, N.C. State hasn’t won more than eight games in Doeren’s four previous seasons with the program. Granted, he started off at 3-9 and immediately produced an 8-5 record in year two, but two 7-6 seasons in a row have followed. With that in mind, especially in an ACC that features Clemson, Florida State and tough teams in Pitt, Louisville, Miami in North Carolina, it’s tough to see the Wolfpack leaving 2017 with anything but another average record.
Anything can happen, and obviously, Cubelic believes that anything will happen, but that doesn’t stop this early pre-season prediction from looking extremely foolish.
Can N.C. State have a decent year? Absolutely. A CFP-worthy year seems incredibly unrealistic, though.