Category Archives: Polls

After Loss, Duke Still Gets Coaches’ Poll Vote

The day after the Blue Devils lost to Georgia Tech 27-0, Duke received a vote in the coaches’ poll. Again.

Last week, the mysterious coach was justified in handing the 3-1 Blue Devils a No. 25 tally. An AP voter once told us that the trick to voting is sneaking in one or two unparalleled choices: no one remembers a bad prediction, and the voter looks great if the team validates the vote. That is, if Duke had gone down to Atlanta and stomped the Yellow Jackets, it might have been ranked this week.

But a vote now? After a 27-0 loss? There are more than 25 teams better than the Blue Devils–this weekend proved that.

“Oh Lord, I don’t know who would do that,” head coach David Cutcliffe said Sunday.

Cutcliffe immediately suspected the coach he named last Sunday: South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, who made his name at Duke. But Spurrier told The Chronicle he wasn’t the culprit last week.

“He must be in a real good mood, he beat Ole Miss yesterday, so maybe he didn’t see our score,” Cutcliffe said of Spurrier. “But whoever did it didn’t see our score yesterday. It’s much appreciated, and we’ll try to live up to it next time out.”

–by Ben Cohen


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Update: Spurrier Did Not Vote For Duke

Contrary to what may be popular suspicion, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier did not vote for Duke in this week’s coaches’ poll, Director of Media Relations Steve Fink confirmed in an e-mail to The Chronicle.

Now that the most likely suspect has denied the vote, we’ll keep digging. Up next: Tennessee head coach Philip Fulmer, who has obvious ties to the Duke program through David Cutcliffe.

Again, feel free to drop your guesses in the comments section below.

–by Ben Cohen

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Duke Earns Vote In Coaches Poll

Before the season, Grant Teaff, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, asked Steve Spurrier not to rank Duke No. 25 in his preseason Coaches Poll, as the South Carolina head coach typically did, and Spurrier obliged.

Now, Duke is back in the Coaches Poll—in the fifth week of the season.

The Blue Devils earned one vote at No. 25 in the latest poll, the first time Duke has been in the “others receiving votes” category after the preseason poll since… well, we have no idea. The last time Duke was legitimately ranked was in 1994, when it went to a bowl.

We’ll work on getting some more information about the vote but, in the meantime, any guesses to the mysterious coach? For the record, the coaches don’t reveal their ballots until the last week of the season. Our guess? Spurrier, of course. Here’s a link to a list of voters, and feel free to drop any guesses in the comments section below.

UPDATE: Just asked Cutcliffe about it on his weekly teleconference. His comments:

“It might be a good friend or it may be Coach Spurrier who did it again, as he did in the past,” Cutcliffe said. “Those things don’t mean a lot, other than if somebody is sincere in the vote, that there is some respect that  is being earned. All that is short-lived if you don’t take care of your business. We’re more interested in just becoming a better football team.”

—by Ben Cohen


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Inside Lacrosse Ranks Duke 6th In 2009

Doesn’t it seem like the men’s lacrosse just ended last week? Inside Lacrosse, the mecca for college lacrosse online coverage, just released its first poll…for next season. What’s even more surprising, though, is that Duke is ranked No. 6. ACC foes Virginia and Maryland occupy the top two spots.

The Blue Devils held the No. 1 slot for most of this season and garnered the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament before losing to No. 5 Johns Hopkins in the Final Four. They lose the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer in Matt Danowski, in addition to goalie Dan Loftus and defensemen Nick O’Hara and Tony McDevitt, but will still have plenty of talent, especially if Zack Greer and Brad Ross use their extra years of eligibility at Duke (more on that later).

Where do you think Duke should be ranked?

–by Ben Cohen

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Duke Ranked No. 51 in Football…Coaches

We’re late to the party, but on April 10, The Sporting News’ Tom Dienhart ranked the best coaches in BCS conferences, placing first-year Duke head coach David Cutcliffe No. 51 of 66 coaches and No. 9 of 12 in the ACC. Should Cutcliffe “talk the talk and walk the walk” at Duke, as Tennessee running back Arian Foster told The Chronicle he did in Knoxville, he could be even higher next year, especially given Duke’s futility in the conference over the last few years.

“Think Ole Miss still regrets canning him? Coach Cut is a master offensive tactician, but questions remain about his ability to recruit,” Dienhart writes. “And if there’s one thing Duke needs, it’s a coach who can burn up the recruiting trail. At least Cutcliffe will benefit from an improved commitment to football by university honchos.”

In the national poll, Cutcliffe was put ahead of other household names, like Notre Dame’s Charlie Weis and Nebraska’s Bo Pelini. In the ACC, he is ranked ahead of Maryland’s Ralph Friedgen, Boston College’s Jeff Jagodizinski and Miami’s Randy Shannon. Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe led the pack in the ACC, while USC’s Pete Carroll took top honors overall.

Is Cutcliffe’s preseason rank merited? Where would you rank him among ACC coaches?

–by Ben Cohen

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Blue Devils Movin’ On Up

In his latest preseason college basketball rankings (that’s right, this isn’t the first), Sports Illustrated’s Luke Winn ranked Duke No. 4 in the country, a step-up from his last poll, in which the Blue Devils were ninth. The only thing they have done in the time between polls is lose Taylor King to Villanova, but Winn writes that his mea culpa had more to do with his reevaluation of the team than anything else.

“It’s hard to argue that they’re not as legitimate of a Final Four contender as a few of the teams that were slotted ahead of them,” he writes. “Sophomore Kyle Singler and junior Gerald Henderson are the nation’s best pair of wings, and while the backcourt duo of Greg Paulus and Jon Scheyer aren’t exactly Derrick Rose and Chris Douglas-Roberts, they should score about 27 points per game combined and hit better than 40 percent of their threes, which isn’t bad.”

Is Duke correctly ranked at No. 4? Where should the Blue Devils be?

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OK, That’s Better

On the same day that Harris Interactive released a poll decreeing Duke the most popular team in the country, The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg finished his two-part series on why Duke is hated. Of course, the Blue Devils are relevant in Steinberg’s D.C. Sports blog because the men’s basketball team lost in Washington D.C. over the weekend and the women advanced to the Sweet 16 from College Park, Md.

So which is it? Is Duke loved or hated? Which would you rather have?

–by Ben Cohen

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