Assessing the Wolfpack's 2016 season

Prior to the start of the season, if you told N.C. State fans that they would be playing Mississippi State in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, you would probably get an excited reaction from Wolfpack nation.

That’s where N.C. State finds themselves, but the reaction might be tempered. NCSU stumbled to a 3-5 mark in the ACC, with their three wins coming against Boston College, Syracuse and Wake Forest. Those three conference teams combined to win three ACC games, all against each other. That combined with four wins against one of the softest non-conference slates in the country led to a 7-5 record that lacks pizazz.

Their regular season seemed to have them ticketed to a less desirable bowl, with speculation centered on a possible Christmas spent in Shreveport, La., for the Camping World Independence Bowl. The ACC bowl mechanisms though allowed for NCSU to sneak into the Belk Bowl over Virginia Tech, and it gives the Pack one last chance to leave a positive lasting impression on the 2015 season.

Ticket sales have gone well, with the Pack already…