The best era of football for every current ACC school

Looking back at the best era of every ACC football team.

Duke v Louisville
Duke v Louisville / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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North Carolina State Wolfpack: Dave Doeren's Current Tenure(2013-Present)

Just like their bitter rivals at Chapel Hill, the North Carolina State Wolfpack doesn't have a rich tradition in football. However, they have had great years and little runs throughout the program's history. Lou Holtz took NC State to four bowl games during his stay from 1972 to 1975, winning a Peach Bowl and a Liberty Bowl. Dick Sheridan came over in 1986 and turned a 3-8 squad into an 8-3-1 team in his first year. From 1986 to 1992, Sheridan's teams went to six bowl games, won two of them, and suffered only one losing season.

Chuck Amato had success in Raleigh as soon as he stepped into Raleigh in 2000. Between Y2K to 2006, Amato's squads went to five bowl games and won four of them. Amato only went through one losing season, which was his last in 2006. So NC State has had some good runs. However, I believe that the best run the school has had on the gridiron is the current era under Dave Doeren. No other head coach in Wolfpack history has been as consistently successful in their tenure as Doeren.

Doeren took over for Tom O'Brien before the 2013 season. Doeren's first year in Raleigh was a rough one, as the Wolfpack went 3-9. The next year, things were back at a respectable level for NC State. The Wolfpack became bowl-eligible with a 7-5 mark and won that year's St. Petersburg Bowl against UCF. After that, North Carolina State would appear in the postseason for the next four years. They won the 2016 Independence Bowl in a blowout over Vanderbilt and the 2017 Sun Bowl in another drubbing, this time over Arizona State. This would also mark the first time the program would end a season ranked in a poll. They ranked 23rd in the AP poll and 24th in the College Football Playoff poll.

In 2018, despite an embarrassing loss to Texas A&M in the Gator Bowl, the Wolfpack still finished a respectful 9-4. After a 4-8 hiccup in 2019, NC State got back on track. Even though Covid reduced their regular season to just eleven games, the Pack ended the year at 8-4 and ranked 23rd in the final College Football Playoff poll. In 2021, NC State ended the year ranked in both the AP and CFP final polls as they went 9-3. The last two years have been eight and nine-win seasons, respectively. NC State has been consistently one of the best teams in the ACC since Doeren's arrival and you can possibly expect more to come as this chapter hasn't been fully written yet.