There is absolutely no candy coating North Carolina State’s 2015 cupcake football schedule. Wait, there is actual candy coating on this cupcake schedule.
Look, I’m not trying to single the ACC out for attention here, but the sheer chutzpah some of the conference members have in foisting their 2015 non-conference schedules on the college football-loving general public is simply amazing.
Weary now, from tireless overwork in the ACC, the evil eye of the weak sister bogus non-conference college football schedule witch hunt patrol turns once again to the Wolfpack of North Carolina State. It is once again, as in two years in a row, that the evil eye has peered, through the smoke and dust clouding Tobacco Road, at the Wolfpack’s cupcake football schedule. Maybe North Carolina and Boston College are not such cupcake hogs after all. In comparison with North Carolina State’s two-year foray into cupcake heaven, they look downright spartan in their cupcake-loving ways. (Not really.) Anyway, the evil eye can only wonder who the Wolfpack played three years, and further, ago in the non-conference portion of the schedule, but has decided, instead, to live in an ignorant bliss much like a sugary, but delicious, food-baby, cupcake coma.
Apparently, the Wolfpups can never get enough of that which will hereinafter be referred to discretely as CANDY COATED CUPCAKES.
September 5, Troy ( 3-9 last year overall, 3-5 in the Sun Belt) – Not the Men of Troy, nor the Troy of old, or even the first decade of the 2000s. Troy has slipped of late. Maybe it is time to wheel out the old Trojan Horse.
September 12, Eastern Kentucky (9-4, 6-2 Ohio Valley) – A good FCS outfit that made the playoffs last year. Keep your heads up, Wolfpups, because the Colonels claimed an FBS victim last year.
September 19, at Old Dominion ( 6-6, 4-4 Conference USA) – A road game against a surprisingly good Group of Five team that can move the ball through the air. In only their second FCS season, the Monarchs could throw more than a scare into the Wolfpups this time around. Last year, at Raleigh, ODU lost 46-34. However, the fly in the ointment is that ODU is painfully young this year. Head Coach Bobby Wilder could be a future man in demand in this era of fun and gun.
September 26, at South Alabama (6-7, 5-3 Sun Belt) – Not Alabama, but supposedly somewhere south of there. NC State is trying to punch another notch in the Sun Belt with this road game, but playing the name game can be deceiving. The Jaguars went bowling last year and were a prime beneficiary of one of the most dubious decisions in the history of college football, UAB’s dumping of bowl-qualified program, coaches, and players, only to change their mind a few months later. Throughout history, dubious decisions are easy to make, but hard to fix. For your consideration, there was this young lady in France named Jeanne … Anyway, South Alabama said yes to some of the Blazers’ bowl-quality talent looking for a new home, including their offensive coordinator and a host of offensive skill-position talent. That will help.
Look, the evil eye is not bashing the teams on NC State’s schedule. The evil eye loves college football and everyone who undertakes the massive effort to play the game. But when a Power Five conference member, an 8-5 team from last year, and no less than a bowl champion of the St. Petersburg Bowl, against quality opponent UCF, can’t muster more than this, then the evil eye takes exception. There is not a Power Five opponent or a legitimate quality win of any stripe to be had there in the context of what would be necessary for the College Football Playoff.
But the thing is, NC State was 3-5 in the conference last year and so a little Rasputin like wizardry is necessary to make tough non-conference games disappear, never to be seen again, like poor, tragic, Anastasia. That’s how fundamentally mediocre, or bad, teams get bowl qualified. Last year, the Wolfpack scheduled up three non-conference wins, easy. This year, they are looking for more. And if tragic Anastasia and the Czarinas could put together a team, it would probably be goodbye South Alabama or Old Dominion and hello million dollar guarantee.
And there are pitfalls in the so-called scheduling-up of wins. Neither the Sun Belt, nor Conference USA, is a joke. Playing decent teams from these conferences on the road is asking for trouble. Teams from these conferences can play Power Five teams tough and even win. When you go into their house, they are going to be sky-high and howling for blood.
For all practical purposes, with the possible exceptions of running the table in the ACC, in an otherwise bad year for Power Five conferences, cancel your reservations for the College Football Playoff, Wolfpups. Obviously, that best case scenario would also include power-gobbling the teams on their non-conference cupcake football schedule. On the other hand, just enjoy the cupcakes while they last. Like poor, tragic, Anastasia, you never know when they might just disappear. But don’t panic Wolfpups, you are working up a real nice track record of plenty of CANDY COATED CUPCAKES for everyone. As for that Rasputin guy, I hear he is living in the Amber Room, which he jammed inside a double-wide, at the back end of a trailer park, somewhere just outside of Tallahassee.