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.

27 Comments

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  • ncsu4me Nov 23, 5:05 p.m.

    worse coaching ...for little wolves..offense confused, defense confused, o line blocking was terrible, d line gave up big holes,pass defense terrible , tackling terrible, hurry up offense confused/slow, signal calling terrible or players didn't know what signs were, etc..A crying shalme for wolfpack..Simply the worse in 40 years watching and pulling for the pack..will continue but boy was it terrible.

  • HeelHater Nov 23, 2:34 p.m.

    I am NC State but....ecu shouldn't have a problem beating our current team.

    — Posted by HeelHater

    So this is your state then?

    — Posted by snapjack


    Some of it, just where my house is located.

  • snapjack Nov 23, 1:11 p.m.

    I am NC State but....ecu shouldn't have a problem beating our current team.

    — Posted by HeelHater

    So this is your state then?

  • HeelHater Nov 23, 11:24 a.m.

    I am NC State but....ecu shouldn't have a problem beating our current team.

  • snapjack Nov 23, 10:40 a.m.

    I thought State didn't regard ECU as a rival or with any respect? Why would this be their SB?

  • rushbot Nov 23, 10:19 a.m.

    this headline is one of the most ludicrous statements i have seen for a while..time for tudor to retire to a rocker, fold a woolen blanket across his thighs and eat oatmeal....

  • sportznutV2.1 Nov 23, 8:06 a.m.

    Cheaters never win

    — Posted by NCheatStateU

    only team in the state that has cheated and it has been proven is unc-CHEATERS- YOU MIGHT NOT... View More

    — Posted by erob1967

    You might want to look into the DJ Green situation , you don't get a years suspension for mistakes - curiously State stays away from the subject. DJ Green will be the only VERIFIED cheater on the field at CFS today - you may not like it but believe it!

  • erob1967 Nov 23, 6:28 a.m.

    Cheaters never win

    — Posted by NCheatStateU

    only team in the state that has cheated and it has been proven is unc-CHEATERS- YOU MIGHT NOT LIKE IT BUT YOU KNOW YOU BELIEVE IT.

  • StunGunn Nov 23, 6:23 a.m.

    I think this is a dangerous game for ECU. Yes, ECU is good, but State is playing with house money, and the game is at CF. State will play tough to the bitter end, and they don't want to lose to every in-state team, which they will do if they lose today.

  • RDI Nov 23, 5:57 a.m.

    ECU is rolling! Last 4 wins:

    Southern Miss (0-10)
    Florida International (1-9)
    Tulsa (2-8)
    UAB (2-9)
    View More

    — Posted by morgannyy

    Just to be fair

    State has 3 wins total
    Louis tech 4-6
    Richmond 5-6
    Central Mich 4-6

    I look for ECU to easily cover the spread 41-17

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