Tag Archives: Coaches’ Poll

Duke’s Vote Disappears In Coaches’ Poll

It was fun while it lasted.

After receiving one vote in the coaches’ poll for two consecutive weeks, Duke was nowhere to be found in the “others receiving votes” section of the rankings. Apparently, the Blue Devils dropped in the eyes of our mysterious voter simply by not playing. For the record, Duke has not received a vote in the AP poll this year.

After a banner weekend, the ACC fared well in the writers’ poll. No. 17 Virginia Tech leads the pack, and, most notably, North Carolina jumped four spots to clock in at No. 18 this week after beating Notre Dame 29-24 in Chapel Hill Saturday. Wake Forest rounds out the conference representation at No. 21 after its ugly win over a no-longer-impressive Clemson squad. Florida State earned 38 votes and Georgia Tech racked up 25. In the coaches’ poll–The Chronicle uses the AP’s–Virginia Tech is No. 17, Wake Forest is No. 18 and North Carolina is No. 21. Florida State, Georgia Tech, Boston College and Miami all received votes.

First BCS poll comes out Monday night and the next polls come out next Sunday. The good news for Duke, though, is that it might reprise its role in the bottom section with the small type if it can come out and beat Miami Saturday.

–by Ben Cohen

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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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The Ol’ Ball Coach Leaves a Message

In Tuesday’s Chronicle, former sports editor and current columnist Meredith Shiner writes about a message left on her cell phone by one of the nation’s top college football coaches. She defends Spurrier’s annual top-25 vote for Duke and laments the decision rendered by the American Football Coaches Association to prevent him from casting one this year.

The following is the audio of the message, in its entirety. Enjoy:

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No Top-25 Vote This Year From Spurrier

Like expecting for the sky to be blue and grass to grow green, Duke football fans seemingly could depend on former coach Steve Spurrier cracking open a window to the hallowed halls of college football’s top 25 each August. Out of respect for the university that gave him his first head coaching gig in college, the Ol’ Ball Coach has year after year given his 25th and final vote on the first coaches’ poll to Duke, even when the team has posted dreadful results in the win/loss column.

But in an apparent capitulation to past criticism from the leadership of the American Football Coaches Association and the editorial staff of USA Today, Spurrier appears to have abandoned his customary practice of including the Blue Devils at the bottom his preseason Coaches’ Poll ballot. Duke did not appear in the “Others Receiving Votes” section of the 2008 USA Today/AFCA Preseason Top 25, which was released today. Although only 61 of Division I-A’s 120 coaches are members of this season’s voting panel, Spurrier is listed amongst the group as a voter for the 2008 season.

Although he gave votes to Duke teams in 2005, 2006 and 2007 that combined for a woeful 2-33 record, this year’s Blue Devil team may be by comparison much more deserving of a preseason vote, as new head coach David Cutcliffe could potentially double that cumulative win total. Although they may not have the slot in the top-25 basement like they did before, Spurrier’s outspoken affinity for Duke would make it likely that he’d be amongst the first coaches to usher a deserving Blue Devil team back into the rankings.

-by Will Flaherty

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