David Cutcliffe has done the impossible. David Cutcliffe has made Duke relevant. I don’t just meaning ACC relevant, I mean nationally relevant. CBSSportsline has a story on Duke football. Conner Vernon is appearing on ESPN’s CFBDaily.
All because Duke is bowl eligible for the first time in 18 years and at 6-2 (3-1) and currently leading the ACC’s Coastal Division.
How did they get bowl eligible? Look away UNC fans…
When Cutcliffe arrived at Duke in 2008, let’s face it Duke football was a national laughingstock. There were 6 wins the previous 5 seasons. That a coach with Cutcliffe’s resume (Head Coach at Ole Miss with a 60% winning percentage, OC at Tennessee, Coach and mentor to Peyton and Eli Manning) would come to Duke was a little surprising. I felt at the time it was major coup for Duke University to pull in a coach such as Cutcliffe, but I wasn’t sure he could resurrect the program to anything more than a 4 or 5 win team.
He did it this year. He’s gotten Duke University to make real financial commitments to football and coached a Duke team that played in front of a sellout at home. That’s a miracle in itself. Heck Clemson and Duke is slated for primetime 7 pm on ESPN2 next weekend. That’s unbelievable to me. For that I’m saying just hand the ACC COY to him today. Don’t wait around until the end of the season… I thought maybe if Miami won the ACC title, I could be convinced that Al Golden should get the ACC COY Title. That would be an incredible accomplishment, but Cutcliffe would still get my vote even then.
There’s something refreshing about seeing Duke football in 2012. The long suffering program and fans are just enjoying every minute this season and well they should. It almost has a NCAA basketball tournament cinderella quality to it. Just the way the pure emotion that the Duke players and fans showed on Saturday to clinch their bowl spot was enough to almost make the bowl system seem meaningful, and that’s saying something.
David Cutcliffe made Duke football fun. That’s your ACC Coach of the Year.