Listen each week as David Glenn releases his N.C. College Football Rankings!

He’ll rank the top 5 college football seasons in the state.  These rankings are NOT designed to predict who would beat whom. Instead, they ask and answer:

Which N.C.-based teams, from all NCAA divisions, have put together the most special seasons thus far?

 

NC College Football Rankings (Week of Oct. 8)

1. NC State (5-0, 2-0 ACC, #20 AP poll)

Sixth-year HC  Dave Doeren (3-9, 8-5, 7-6, 7-6; 9-4/6-2 ACC/T25 finish in 2017; four straight bowls) — beat James Madison 24-13; beat Georgia St 41-7; West Virginia (BTT/PPD); won 37-20 at Marshall; beat Virginia 35-21; beat Boston College 28-23; OPEN; at Clemson; at Syracuse; Florida State (BTT); Wake Forest (BTT); at Louisville; at UNC (BTT); ECU (midseason schedule addition to replace WVU)

QB Ryan Finley (130-187-1621, 10 TD passes, only 3 INT, 324 passing ypg by far most in ACC) and the Wolfpack passing offense are the closest thing to a “Sure Thing” that the ACC has to offer this year outside of the top-5 Clemson Tigers; WR Kelvin Harmon is #1 in the ACC with 107 receiving ypg AND Jakobi Meyers/Emeka Emezie also are in/near ACC top 10 in receiving yards; thanks to RB duo of senior Reggie Gallaspy (89-324-7 TDs, 65 ypg) and freshman Ricky Person Jr (37-205, 68 ypg) and some blockers getting healthy, the running game has come along nicely, too; on defense, after the entire front left for the NFL, LB Germaine Pratt, DE James Smith-Williams and DT Larell Murchison have emerged as playmakers; NOT great on special teams (blocked punt for TD helped make BC game interesting late), so that’s something to watch moving forward, but you can’t argue with a 5-0 start that included four double-digit victories
NEXT: open week, then at top-5 and 5-0 Clemson in ACC play on Oct 20 at Death Valley

2. Elon (4-1, 2-0 CAA, #5 FCS poll)

Second-year HC Curt Cignetti (8-4/6-2 CAA/Top 25/FCS Playoffs in 2017) — lost 34-14 at South Florida; beat #21 Furman 45-7; at William&Mary/PPD; won 31-22 at Charleston Southern; beat New Hampshire 30-9 (BTT-Family Weekend); won 27-24 at #2 James Madison (first W over top-5 opponent in program history!); at Delaware; Richmond; OPEN; Rhode Island; Towson; at Maine; nickname=Phoenix; based in Elon (just east of Greensboro); FCS

QB Davis Cheek (196 passing ypg, 66% completion rate), RB Malcolm Summers (118 rushing ypg), LT CJ TOO-GOOD!!, WR Kortez Weeks (almost 80 ypg), LB Warren Messer, LB Matt Baker, DE Marcus Willoughby
NEXT: at Delaware in CAA play on Saturday; the Blue Hens have won both previous meetings between the schools

3. Appalachian State (4-1, 2-0 Sun Belt)

Sixth-year HC Scott Satterfield (4-8, 7-5, 11-2, 10-3, 9-4/7-1 Sun Belt; three straight bowls/victories) — lost 45-38 (OT) at Penn State; won 45-9 at Charlotte; Southern Miss/PPD; beat Gardner-Webb 72-7; beat South Alabama 52-7; OPEN; won 35-9 at Arkansas State (Tues); Louisiana (BTT); at Georgia Southern (Thurs); at Coastal Carolina; at Texas State; Georgia State; Troy

Almost shocked Penn State at Happy Valley and have annihilated everyone in their path since then; former QB Taylor Lamb deserves a lot of credit for his track record as a four-year starter, but new guy Zac Thomas (throwing for 208 ypg with 10TD/3INT and rushing for 47 ypg and 6 rushing TDs) actually does some things better than Lamb did; RB Jalin Moore was averaging almost 100 yards per game on the ground before suffering an ugly ankle injury at Arkansas St; WR Corey Sutton averaging 70 receiving ypg with 4 TDs; we didn’t know quite as much about the App St defense for a while because their three opponents after PSU weren’t very good offensively, but they shut those three down (only 8 ppg!) and then limited high-powered Arkansas St to only 9 points on their own field; DB Clifton Duck a playmaker on defense and special teams (18 yards per punt return)
NEXT: open weekend (after Tuesday night national TV win); then host Louisiana on Family Weekend in Sun Belt play with Big Tailgate Tour on hand

4. Duke (4-1, 0-1 ACC)

Eleventh-year HC David Cutcliffe (4-8, 5-7, 3-9, 3-9, 6-7, 10-4/6-2 in 2013, 9-4, 8-5, 4-8, 7-6/3-5 ACC in 2017; 5 bowls in last 6 years) — beat Army 34-14 (Fri); won 21-7 at Northwestern; won 40-27 at Baylor; beat NC Central 55-13; lost 31-14 at home to Virginia Tech; OPEN; at Georgia Tech; Virginia; at Pittsburgh; at Miami; UNC; at Clemson; Wake Forest

Good to see Daniel Jones back at QB after his fractured clavicle, but VT’s defense just overwhelmed Duke’s OL, and VT’s wide receivers just made play after play vs Blue Devils’ defensive backs; that added up to Devils’ first loss of the season; Duke still a good defensive team with legit shot at 9 wins
NEXT: at Georgia Tech and triple option in ACC play on Saturday; Yellow Jackets have played leaky defense but also can put up big numbers offensively

5. North Carolina A&T (5-1, 2-1 MEAC, #10 FCS poll)

First-year HC Sam Washington (followed retired Rod Broadway) — beat #6 Jacksonville State 20-17; won 28-23 at ECU (Sun); beat Gardner-Webb 45-6; OPEN; lost 16-13 at home to Morgan State; beat SC State 31-16 (Thurs); won 34-6 at Delaware St; Florida A&M; at Bethune-Cookman; Norfolk State; at Savannah State; at NC Central (BTT)

Offense struggling a bit compared to recent seasons, but defense still rock-solid; senior QB Lamar Raynard (6-4/195 from High Point Andrews) not having great senior season thus far; RB Marquell Cartwright (5-8/203 from High Point Andrews) rushing for almost 100 ypg; junior DE Darryl Johnson Jr, sophomore DB Mac McCain III (Greensboro Dudley; grandfather, the late Franklin McCain, was one of the four N.C. A&T students who were a part of the famous 1960 Woolworth lunch-counter sit-in protest that is credited for starting the modern-day Civil Rights Movement … The historic foursome was later nicknamed the Greensboro Four and are forever shrined in American history)
NEXT: host Florida A&M in MEAC play on Saturday

Honorable Mentions:

Campbell (5-1, 0-0 Big South, FCS) — 6th-year HC Mike Minter (3-9, 5-7, 5-6, 5-5, 6-5/5-3 Pioneer in 2017; now scholarship/Big South program) — beat Chowan 49-26 (BTT-Thurs); won 13-8 at Georgetown; lost 58-21 at home to Coastal Carolina (Hurricane Florence moved game up to Wed and home); beat Shaw 42-0; beat North Alabama 30-7; beat Wagner 49-3; OPEN; at Monmouth; Gardner-Webb; at Kennesaw State; at Presbyterian; Charleston Southern

Davidson (5-1, 2-1 Pioneer, FCS) — 1st-year HC Scott Abell (formerly six seasons at Washington&Lee) — beat Brevard 34-13; beat Chowan 49-28; beat Guilford 91-61 (Thurs; NCAA record for total yards); lost 42-21 at Dayton; won 40-35 at Valparaiso; beat Jacksonville 44-37; Morehead St; at Marist; Stetson; OPEN; at San Diego; Butler

Lenoir-Rhyne (5-1, 4-0 South Atlantic, D2)

First-year HC Drew Cronic (former Furman OC; Georgia native and former UGa player) — lost 36-32 at West Alabama (Thurs); won 51-24 at North Greenville; beat Mars Hill 59-27 (Thurs); won 31-24 at Wingate; beat Tusculum 35-10; won 34-21 at Newberry; Limestone; at Fort Valley State; UNC Pembroke; at Carson-Newman; Catawba

Fayetteville State (3-1, 3-0 CIAA, D2)

Third-year HC Richard Hayes Jr (4-6, 6-5/5-2 CIAA in 2017) — won 32-0 at Lincoln-PA; lost 27-13 at Wingate; Benedict/PPD; ECSU/PPD; won 40-38 at Chowan; won 29-16 at Shaw; JC Smith; at St Augustine’s; Livingstone; Winston-Salem St

NC Wesleyan (3-1, 2-0 USA South, D3)

Beat Thomas More 35-28; lost 59-21 at Shenandoah; at Bridgewater-VA/PPD; OPEN; beat LaGrange 35-14; won 38-0 at Greensboro; Averett; at Brevard; Methodist; Huntingdon; at Maryville

 

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