Syracuse's well-documented move to the ACC of course comes with a host of new friends to play with. While several are neither "new" nor "friends," still consider these posts your primer on which teams, schools, players and coaches you'll be hating from 2014 (2013?) until the next time college football decides to realign.
In our latest profile, we get to meet a team we've already developed some mild dislike for on the basketball court. You may recall us popping off on them back in December, or maybe their coach speaking ill of one James Boeheim's metropolitan preferences. This week, it's: the NC State Woflpack.
School: North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Location: Raleigh, N.C.
Stadium:Carter-Finley Stadium (capacity: 57,583) | RBC Center/PNC Arena (capacity: 19,722)
Football & Basketball Titles: 2 (both basketball: 1974, 1983)
Notable Football Alums: Philip Rivers, Torry Holt, Mario Williams, Roman Gabriel
Notable Basketball Alums: Spud Webb, Nate McMillan, Vinny Del Negro, David Thompson
NC State has not won an ACC championship in football since 1979. This is puzzling information for any fan, and it also gets you wondering -- then who the hell won that eight-team league for the entire next decade-plus prior to Florida State's arrival? The answer, as it would end up, mixes the expected (Clemson: six titles in that span) with the surprising (Maryland: three titles) and utterly dumb-founding (Virginia and Duke split the 1989 league title). And so explains NC State football in a nutshell. You always believe them to be a pretty decent program, and most years lately, it's safe to pencil them in for at least a 7-5 record. But when you take a look at the overall numbers, you'll see 26 bowl trips (eight in the past decade), no final poll ranking higher than ninth (1974) and a .505 winning percentage. Oddly enough though, we've lost to them all six times we've ever faced them -- four times in the 70s (dark days for SU football), and twice during the McNabb era.
On the basketball court, the Woflpack have spent much of their existence fighting the perception they're not as good as UNC, and for the past 20 years or so, Duke as well. In this regard, our fan bases can find some common ground. However, it's also likely that chip-on-our-shoulder attitude caused State coach Mark Gottfried's misguided comments on where, when and how Jim Boeheim could pop off about the poor location of the ACC tournament. Obviously, he paid dearly in the form of the most entertaining 23-0 runs many of us have ever seen. Still, we'll give credit where credit is due. NC State does have one more title than we do, in one less trip to the final four. No such excursions since 1983, however. Syracuse leads the all-time series 4-1, including a 2-0 record when playing them in Raleigh.
We respect Jim Valvano, and the 1983 surprise title over Houston's Phi Slama Jama, but we do have about 250 more wins all-time. Even with the one-championship advantage for the 'Pack, there's a debate to be had here, and this matchup should be an intriguing fan-favorite for years to come. On the football end, if our historic success (against teams not named NC State) wasn't enough, we can also remind them that Philip Rivers will never be as good as Eli Manning. Enjoying our future Atlantic Division rivalry yet?