Joe Ovies

NC State hype train has left the station

Posted October 16, 2012

The ACC surprised most observers on Monday when it announced NC State was selected to win the conference in the league's first preseason coaches poll.

That the Wolfpack were selected to win the league wasn't the surprise, it's that the coaches were convinced to do a preseason poll in the first place. Delicious irony considering they loathe discussing expectations going into the start of the season. Although it's amusing to speculate how each coach voted and their motivations for doing so, such as Roy Williams throwing a first-place vote Mark Gottfried's way just to ratchet up the pressure that goes along with being considered the favorite. 

NC State, Duke and North Carolina will likely shake out in the same order on Wednesday when the media hands out their preseason poll at Operation Basketball in Charlotte. Understandable, since the Wolfpack bring back most of what got them to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.

The rational takeaway from all of this? It says a lot about the improvement of NC State's off-the-court perception under Gottfried. Their performance last March peaked the interest of national pundits and the continued transformation of C.J. Leslie into "Calvin" is the type of narrative writers lap up. But somewhere along the way, the off-season momentum of improvement somehow evolved into an expectation that NC State is in position to overtake the Tar Heels and Blue Devils. 

Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com wrote last month, "things are about to get irrational in Raleigh." Except it's not the coach, the fans or the local media that covers NC State making things irrational. It's the national folks driving the hype machine for a change.

It's important to point this out because if the Wolfpack don't live up to that hype, it's highly probable the stories blaming fans for expecting to much out of NC State based on a couple weeks of great play last season have already been written and produced. Pack fans always seem to take the bait and give them what they want -- reaction and web hits. 

But if you talk to most NC State fans about the upcoming season, it ranges anywhere from cautious optimism to nervousness because it's been a while since the Wolfpack received this much attention. Will the Leslie of March show up the entire season? Can Richard Howell stay out of foul trouble during crucial stretches of games? Will depth concerns rear their ugly head? Sure, the talent is there, but the wait and see attitude is justified.

...and when a fan base has dealt with more than 20 years of "NC State Stuff," it's easy to understand.

80 Comments

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  • dmccall Oct 19, 2012

    The article is correct. I am primarily a UNC fan and I haven't encountered and State fans beating their chest about the upcoming season; only cautious optimism.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Oct 17, 2012

    Is Carolina going to be perpetually good?

    Is Duke going to be perpetually good?

    State is good RIGHT now. It has to start somewhere. Will we be good five years from now? Ten years from now? No way to say for sure. About ANY team.

    Shut your yapper, Hans. If State was preseason picked in the bottom half of the ACC, you'd be going off about it. State is as good as any conference team can be in the preseason, and you're going off about it. State could win every game and two championships along the way, and you'd go off about it because we're not a "perpetual winner" yet.

    What will it take, Hans? I've asked you this several times before. You're like a politician in a debate ducking a question you can't answer. Give me a threshold so I can know what it will take for you to actually SMILE about something related to NC State.

    Because from what I can see, you've given yourself MANY outs to just remain a miserable State fan (as if you're a State fan). We could win a couple of national titles in five years and you wouldn't be happy because we didn't win all five.

    What is it, Hans? What is your threshold to not complain?

    You're being VERY unreasonable, and I think you know it.

  • Hans Oct 17, 2012

    View quoted thread


    That's what I've been telling them, but the fringe is too loony to listen to reason. So, crown 'em right now!

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Oct 17, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Yes. The corner has turned.

  • heelsforever Oct 17, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Who missed the Sweet 16 by losing to Kentuky? You're not talkig about State are you? If so, they lost in the Sweet 16 to KANSAS.

  • heelsforever Oct 17, 2012

    View quoted thread


    You guys are actually going to say that one year of making it to the Sweet 16 and having a couple of good recruiting classes means the corner has turned? What if Gott can't get the chemistry right? What if kids leave early? There are still too many unknowns to crown this thing perpetual.

  • heelsforever Oct 17, 2012

    View quoted thread


    I know FackPride is full of therories fueled by the likes of fryingpan, but thus far Dan Kane has done nothing more than a rehash. OK, maybe each article has a 4-5 sentence paragraph that is somewhat new and then we get another 15-20 paragraphs of the same old stuff. God, even you guys must be tired of reading the same book over and over...even if it were a Pulitzer masterpiece. As much as he wants it to be, DK's work is not award winning and won't be.

  • PackFan1983 Oct 17, 2012

    "hype train"? Wondering if Joe and Adam have left the station of common sense altogether...

  • tlesley4ncsu Oct 16, 2012

    View quoted thread


    Excuse me ...but didnt Fedora proclaim that the State game was UNC's bowl game this year?

  • 903 mens national championships Oct 16, 2012

    View quoted thread


    It's especially difficult to predict the future when the majority of their own fans have been saying all year that if Gio plays we win, otherwise we lose. It's like the success of the season is more dependent on one running back than it is on the head coach's ability to coach. What's going to happen if Bernard tears an ACL or decides at the end of the season that he's going in the NFL draft?

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