Fate of ACC Football Rides on Dave Doeren, North Carolina State Wolfpack

By M. Shannon Smallwood
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports


It is a word everyone wants to hear when it comes to their team…

But it is also a word that can be impossible to obtain…

This has been the story for the North Carolina State Wolfpack.

Unrealized potential…

In fact in the dictionary under mediocrity there is a picture of NC State.

And that is exactly why Wolfpack AD Kay Yow dumped Tom O’Brien and his 40-35 record after a successful 7-5 2012.

A clear message has been sent from Raleigh, North Carolina

Winning 50% of the time is simply no longer good enough.

“We are going to have to stake out our territory in the state of North Carolina,” Yow told told Joe Giglio of the Charlotte Observer. “We are going to have to get our fair share.”

“She said she was going to hire a coach who would work tirelessly on the road to recruit players and to bring in Alabama-type talent every year,” senior Center Cam Wentz commented.

And so far the hiring of Dave Doeren has been exactly what Yow was looking for.

“To see all the great players from the state of North Carolina starting as freshmen at other schools right now is upsetting, it is,” Doeren said. “I’m going to fight for those guys. You build a wall around your state and you make it really difficult to take people.”

And that is something all the schools in North Carolina have failed at miserably over the past five plus years; much to the disappointment of the ACC.

The lack of national respect for the Atlantic Coast Conference isn’t because the Florida State Seminoles or the Clemson Tigers come up short against the SEC or in a Bowl Game

It’s because NC State and the middle of the pack ACC Football Programs haven’t figured out what Doeren and Yow are alluding too. The Wolfpack have to want to be elite on every level and in every game. Not just those at home against the ‘Noles.

Take a second to think about all the impact players in college football who hail from the state of North Carolina…

The best running back combo nationally is Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Both hail from around Raleigh and both are superstars for the Georgia Bulldogs.

And to Yow’s credit, that doesn’t happen in the state of Alabama…

But the question still remains whether or not Doeren can live up to his platform. What will Doeren’s do to create an identity for the Wolfpack?

David Cuttcliffe has his system figured out with the Duke Blue Devils.

Larry Fedora offense is a recruiting machine in itself for the North Carolina Tar Heels. Fedora can make any Three-Star recruit look like an Eight-Star.

The jury is still out on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

Which leaves North Carolina State and Doeren to take things up about 1000%.

Not just for the school for the entire ACC as a whole.


M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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