Over at The New York Times’ excellent college sports blog, The Quad, the authors have been counting down Division-I football teams, from the bottom up. On Tuesday, the countdown hit No. 108: Duke.
“Duke football is the Quasimodo to Duke basketball’s Esmeralda, a yearly embarrassment for a university that seems to do everything else right,” writes Paul Myerberg. “However, good news is on the horizon: hiring the new coach David Cutcliffe to replace the eternally outmanned Ted Roof was a coup. Cutcliffe knows what it takes to win in a major conference as an underdog from his time at Mississippi…Nobody expects a miracle, but at least the potential is there again for Duke to challenge for a winning season.”
Duke’s players to watch? Wide receiver Eron Riley, quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, middle linebacker Michael Tauiliili and defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase. The Quad predicts a 3-9 season for the Blue Devils, with its “dream season” at 4-8 and its “nightmare” season at 1-11. As we wrote earlier, we’ll save our football predictions for August, but the “dream” season is probably more successful than 4-8, and the “nightmare” season is, well, 0-12–but that’s unlikely.
One point of contention: if Duke finishes 3-9, wouldn’t it be ranked higher than No. 108?
–by Ben Cohen