When Chuck Amato was fired from NC State after a horrendous 2006-2007 season, it appeared that NC State football would have a three to four year rebuilding plan to get back on track and transform into a winning program.
Little did the Wolfpack know that their savior would arrive from conference rival Boston College, and immediately turn the Pack into a bowl team in two years and a potential ACC title team in just three.
Tom O'Brien arrived in Raleigh from Boston College straight off of a ten win season.
It seemed like a very stupid decision to leave a talented BC team with star quarterback Matt Ryan returning to go to a North Carolina State team fresh off losing most of its stars, especially on defense, just two years earlier.
Amato had not been recruiting as well as he previously had been either, so O'Brien didn't have a whole lot of new talent to work with.
As O'Brien's former team got off to an 8-0 start, the Wolfpack struggled out of the starting blocks, starting the season with an abysmal 1-5 record, their only win coming against Wofford.
It looked as though O'Brien had made a very bad decision to spur Boston College at this point.
The Wolfpack's season was not done at that point though. The troops rallied around their coach and won their next four games, including a win at Miami. Then promptly dropped the next two, finishing with an embarrassing 38-0 defeat at the hands of the Maryland Terrapins.
Boston College meanwhile enjoyed an 11-3 season, defeating NC State as well.
However last year brought hope to the NC State faithful. After another bad start (2-6), things did appear to be heading down a bad road.
However, Russell Wilson's emergence, along with defensive improvements and four straight wins. NC State was one half and a Russell Wilson knee injury from having their first winning season in three years.
Well, before Rutgers pulled off a come from behind victory in their Papajohns.com Bowl game.
O'Brien has been progressing similarly as he did while at Boston College. After two 4-7 season at Boston College he lead them to an 8-3 year and a bowl birth, which wouldn't be an unreasonable expectation of what the Wolfpack should do this season.
O'Brien's recruiting classes aren't filled with blue chip guys, but he gets more out of his lesser recruits than almost anybody in the nation.
Take a look at Russell Wilson. He was just a 5'11", two-star QB coming out of high school in Virginia and now he is first team All-ACC as a freshmen. That is dynamite coaching and evaluation of talent right there.
Did O'Brien make the right decision to come to Raleigh and coach the Wolfpack?
We'll see how Boston College holds up in the next few years, but NC State certainly has a very promising season ahead of them and many more great seasons ahead.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!