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Caulton Tudor

Bowl-bound Pirates are 'Pack's postseason equivalent

Posted November 22, 2013

East Carolina Pirate cheerleaders celebrate during todays game. East Carolina defeats UAB Blazers 63-14 on Saturday, November 16, 2013 in Greenville, NC (Photos By Anthony Barham)

With the postseason no longer a possibility, N.C. State (3-7) will play its “bowl” game Saturday against ECU (8-2) in Carter-Finley Stadium (12:30 pm, WRAL-TV/Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM).

Where ECU is heading for its bowl game is anyone’s guess with the possibilities ranging from Washington, D.C. to the Hawaiian Islands.

In a perfect world, Pirate fans are wishing for three more wins – at State, at Marshall (7-3) next Friday (Noon) and then back in Greenville on Dec. 7 for the Conference USA championship game, possibly against Rice (8-3) of the West Division. The Owls, 6-1 in the league, are off this weekend and will end the regular season in Houston against Tulane (4-2, 6-4), which hosts Texas-El Paso Saturday in New Orleans.

If it all falls that way, the Pirates would be 11-2 and probably off to Memphis for the Dec. 31 AutoZone Liberty game (4 p.m. EST) against the 8th-slotted bowl team from the Southeastern Conference.

At the moment, that SEC team could be LSU (7-3), Mississippi (7-3), Vanderbilt (6-4) or Georgia (6-4). 

Tennessee, 4-6 with remaining games against Vandy and Kentucky (2-8), obviously is the Liberty’s dream team. The Volunteers haven’t been to a bowl since losing to UNC is the eventful 2010 Music City game and haven’t played in the Liberty since taking a 21-14 win over Minnesota in 1986.

A Tennessee vs. ECU game would be an instant sellout and deliver more pre-game energy than any Liberty game in recent history.

But Tennessee first has to win two and even if that happens, the Vols still could be sent to Shreveport, La., as the SEC No. 9 or 10 for the Dec. 31 AdvoCare game against the No. 7 ACC team, which could turn out to be UNC.

The Liberty has the option to skip over the Conference USA champ for the No. 5 team in the American Athletic Conference, but that’s unlikely. The only bowl eligible AAC teams at the moment are Louisville (9-1), Central Florida (9-1), Cincinnati (8-2) and Houston (7-3). The other six teams all have at least five losses each.

Win at Marshall is pivotal

But if the Pirates lose at Marshall and fail to reach the Conference USA title game, their postseason landing spot is entirely unpredictable.

Conference USA has agreements with the New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 21, 9 p.m. vs. the Sun Belt champ), the Beef O’Brady’s in St. Petersburg (Dec. 23, 2 p.m. vs. an AAC team), the Hawai’i Bowl in Honolulu (Dec. 24, 8 p.m. against Hawai’i or a Mountain West rep), Heart of Dallas (Jan. 1, noon against a Big Ten team) and perhaps the Armed Forces game in Fort Worth, Tex. (Dec. 30, 11:45 a.m. against a Mountain West) and the Military Bowl in Washington (Dec. 27, 2:30 p.m. against an ACC opponent).

The Armed Forces has an option of taking Navy (6-4) and the Military can select a Mid-American foe to face the ACC’s No. 8 slot.

While the Pirates control their dynasty, the same is true of Marshall and, for that matter, Rice. But winning at Marshall in what is always an emotional, uncomfortable game will be difficult regardless of how ECU comes out of the game against State.

When the Herd and Pirates last ended the regular season in Greenville, one of the wildest games of the year resulted in ECU winning 65-59 in two overtimes. The loss left Marshall 5-7 and out of bowl season. The Herd has been awaiting ECU since.

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  • RaleighPirate Nov 22, 1:06 p.m.

    As a Pirate fan this game does make me nervous. I don't want us to have a let down at this point in the season although the most important game to our program is next week against Marshall IMHO.

    GO PIRATES!

  • nctrooper27560 Nov 22, 2:36 p.m.

    Ball spotted on the goaline of the Wufpack where it is a first down........piratessssssssss..touchdown pirates.....

  • ezme22 Nov 22, 3:03 p.m.

    mooers never win

  • Pirate01 Nov 22, 3:49 p.m.

    This is what is scary about these rival games. It does not matter what the records are. The fact that NCSU has nothing to lose makes them a tough opponent. A ECU win could possibly get them into the top 25 with a Marshall win. Certainly ECU has much more to lose Saturday.

  • snapjack Nov 22, 5:05 p.m.

    This is what is scary about these rival games. It does not matter what the records are. The... View More

    — Posted by Pirate01

    All season we've heard how good you guys are, if you can't beat the frack tomorrow you get what you deserve. Good teams don't lose in rawleigh.

  • KillswitchEngage Nov 22, 5:32 p.m.

    This is what is scary about these rival games. It does not matter what the records are. The... View More

    — Posted by Pirate01

    All season we've heard how good you guys are, if you can't beat the frack tomorrow you get what... View More

    — Posted by snapjack

    not this year, they don't. Sure hope the pack gets a qb for next season.

  • BULLDOZER Nov 22, 5:50 p.m.

    ECU by 9

  • weaklings report Nov 22, 6:57 p.m.

    Go Pack!

  • tcoutouzis Nov 22, 9:37 p.m.

    Go Pirates! I think it will be a tough game.

  • LanzThomaz Nov 22, 10:15 p.m.

    One thing is for sure, there will be a good party by the 3rd quarter........

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1st
DUKE 25
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Final
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ATL 99
DET 89
 
Final
TOR 124
MIL 83
 
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4th
OKC 83
BRK 90
 
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CLE 75
 
4th
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LAL 71
 
Half
DEN 59
NOP 49
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
UTA
1:00pm Today
BUF 0
KSU 0
3rd
RICE 17
UTEP 3
 
2nd
SDST 10
AFA 0
 
1st
UTST 7
SJST 0
 
Final
COC 50
TEXAM 59
Final
DREX 70
USC 72
Final
GWEBB 72
CLEM 70
Final
MIAMI 79
AKR 51
Final
UCONN 75
DAY 64
Final
NEV 60
SHU 68
Final
LONG 81
UNCG 79
Final
ARKPB 46
VALPO 59
 
Final
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BC 66
Final
TOWS 58
CCST 49
 
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ILLCH 58
 
Final
IOWA 63
SYR 66
 
Final
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ALCOR 69
 
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ODU 70
LSU 61
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BU 65
 
Final
SCAR 63
CHAR 65
 
Final
UVA 59
GWU 42
Final
WCU 72
HIWASSEE 53
 
Final
GT 78
MAST 69
 
Final
RIDE 78
LEH 74
 
Final
MSU 87
LOYC 52
 
Final
CMICH 76
MAINE 48
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
MNTST 0
 
Final
BAY 60
PVU 45
 
Final
HOF 66
USB 65
 
Final
OREG 78
TOL 68
 
Final
UGA 82
TROY 60
 
Final
STAN 89
UNLV 60
 
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FAIR 36
WOFF 54
 
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YOUNG 62
 
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FIU 74
FLMEM 48
 
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SILL 51
 
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UWMIL 68
 
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LATU 73
MORE 64
 
Final
SDKST 74
NDAK 72
 
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STEPH 63
 
1st OT
UF 51
LAMON 51
 
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WAKE 53
IONA 65
 
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GRCN 38
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COLST 46
UGST 45
 
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WASU 35
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WEBER 28
ILLST 44
 
Half
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UCR 21
 
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TEMPL 15
 
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PSU 18
 
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CPSL 0
DEL 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
AMER
PBY
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
WASH
 
10:30pm Tonight
LBSU
KYST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
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Final
CLB 3
BOS 4
 
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PIT 4
NYI 5
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF 0
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1st
EDM 0
NJD 0