Duke has another very good year, but comes up just short in the Sun Bowl.


There are some teams in the ACC, where I don’t understand how they get so little out of their talent. Then there is Duke and David Cutcliffe. Duke should not have averaged 9.5 wins the last two seasons. The talent is improved, but they shouldn’t be able to play right there with Texas A&M last year and a very good Arizona St. team this year in their bowl games. That’s what David Cutcliffe does. He makes Duke better than the sum of their parts says it should be. Last year 10-4, this year 9-4.

If you’re David Cutcliffe though, you are aren’t playing for a nice season, (been there done that). You are playing to get over the hump, and Duke just hasn’t quite been able to do that. Saturday was a 36-31 heartbreaking loss to Arizona State. Duke had the ball with under a minute, inside the 20 and chance to get a program defining win. It didn’t happen. Arizona St. made an interception in the endzone. With Duke, the question is clear. They’ve made progress. They’ve improved. They are a respected football program, but they haven’t got that signature win that really turns heads nationally. How do they get there?

Duke just needs to keep doing what they’re doing. Facility upgrades are coming. There is investment in the program from the university. Recruiting gets a little bit better each season. I used to think what we are seeing right now with the Duke program, would be the ceiling. I don’t think so anymore. No they aren’t going compete for a national titles, but Duke can be more than just a perennial bowl team.

As long as David Cutcliffe is at Duke, they can compete for the Coastal Division titles year in and year out. This can be a top 25 team most years. I never though that would be possible at Duke.

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