SB Nation football research genius and expert analyst Bill Connelly is previewing the ACC this week.
FSU trips to N.C. State on October 6. Here's an excerpt from 2012 N.C. State Football Preview: Risk, Reward And Gallstones
The Football Outsiders Almanac 2012 gives the Wolfpack a 63 percent chance of finishing bowl eligible this fall. With a schedule that features four Top 40 teams away from home, setting the bar too far above seven wins would probably be a bad idea, so let's just say that 7-5 would be peachy keen. O'Brien probably can't afford another bowl-free season, but that shouldn't be too much of a concern this year.
A lot of things needed to go right for N.C. State to end up with eight wins in 2011; not only did the Wolfpack benefit from 3.6 points' worth of turnovers luck per game last fall (one of the highest totals in the country), but they also lucked into playing Clemson when Sammy Watkins was hurt, and while their own play had something to do with it, they benefited from an incredible late-game collapse by Maryland. If either of those games goes the other way late, then N.C. State doesn't finish bowl-eligible, doesn't benefit from a lovely Belk Bowl performance ... and probably spends part of their offseason looking for a new coach.
Lucky or not, however, Tom O'Brien will field a beautifully experienced team this fall, one that should be good enough to overcome a potential turnaround in luck and still make the postseason for the third straight year. It's hard for me to see the Wolfpack making any sort of charge toward the Atlantic title, and it won't surprise anybody if they hit another slump and finish 5-7 or something; but with Amerson, Glennon and company, they should be entertaining and just good enough to keep O'Brien employed for another season.
Please make sure to read the entire thing, as the offensive and defensive sections are particularly excellent.
This game could be tougher than you think. Florida State will be coming off two very emotional games. One it really cares about (Clemson) and one that the other team is going to be incredibly jacked to play (USF). And a team with an NFL QB is always dangerous.
Raleigh can be a difficult place to play. Still, FSU should win this game. I think State is slightly better than Bill projects, but not a great team.