With Jacoby Brissett expected to start for the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, N.C. State will have four former quarterbacks starting in the NFL this week.
Only three other schools – Miami (in 1993), Michigan (in 2004) and Southern California (in 2009) – have had four former quarterbacks start in the NFL in the same season. USC, in 2009, is the only other college to have four former quarterbacks start in the same week.
That’s impressive company to keep.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Herald Sun
This cements N.C. State’s claim as the current “Quarterback U.” in college football.
Philip Rivers (Los Angeles Chargers), Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) and Mike Glennon (Chicago Bears) all started in Week 1. Brissett’s start with the Colts, after being traded at the end of the preseason by the New England Patriots, means that one-eighth of the NFL’s starting quarterbacks graduated from N.C. State.
That’s good for N.C. State, even with Wilson’s complicated exit in Wisconsin in 2011. But it also raises the question: What exactly does N.C. State have to show for all of that NFL talent?
The long answer: More overall wins, more bowl trips and more bowl wins than the school historically produces.
The short, sobering answer: no titles (ACC or otherwise) and fewer conference wins than the school historically produces.
In 11 seasons with Brissett (2014-15), Glennon (2011-12), Wilson (2008-10) or Rivers (2000-03) as the starter, N.C. State compiled an 84-57 overall record and 42-46 mark in ACC play.
N.C. State has never won a national title and hasn’t won an ACC title since 1979. Wilson came the closest in 2010 but N.C. State stumbled in the regular-season finale at Maryland, costing the Wolfpack a division title and spot in the ACC championship game.
In Rivers’ sophomore season, N.C. State beat ACC champion Florida State – the only team to do so – but lost to Georgia Tech, Virginia and Maryland. Glennon beat the eventual ACC champion in 2011 (Clemson) and 2012 (Florida State) but N.C. State could finish no better than 4-4 in league play.
On the down side, N.C. State won 47.7 percent of its ACC games with the NFL quartet but has won 49.8 percent (171-172-8) without them.
And while N.C. State couldn’t win even a conference title, Miami, Michigan and USC each won at least one national title (two each for USC and Miami) with their respective NFL quartets.
On the bright side, with Rivers-Wilson-Glennon-Brissett, N.C. State won 59.6 percent of its games. The school’s record winning percentage without those four quarterbacks is 49.4 percent (500-512-55).
Also, N.C. State went 6-4 in 10 bowl games (in 11 seasons) with its quartet of quarterbacks. The Wolfpack made 20 bowl appearances (in 53 seasons) between 1947 and 1999 and compiled a 10-9-1 record in those games.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio
N.C. State will have four former quarterbacks starting in the NFL this week. It will be the fourth time in NFL history a school has had four NFL quarterbacks start in the same season. The other three:
Miami (1993 NFL season): Jim Kelly (Buffalo), Vinny Testaverde (Cleveland), Bernie Kosar (Cleveland and Dallas) and Craig Erickson (Tampa Bay)
Michigan (2004): Tom Brady (New England), Brian Griese (Tampa Bay), Drew Henson (Dallas), John Navarre (Arizona)
Southern California (2009): Carson Palmer (Cincinnati), Matt Cassel (Kansas City), Mark Sanchez (N.Y. Jets), Matt Leinart (Arizona)
Source: Tim Peeler, N.C. State