Duke Football

August 29, 2012

I am a Duke Football fan.  I am not terribly happy about it, but that’s life.  In a perfect world I would be like the vast majority of Duke fans, bleeding blue during basketball season and then conveniently rooting for their hometown teams come September.  Unfortunately for me I am not from Georgia, Texas or LA so I don’t have the luxury of a second team.  I am a born and bred Duke fan so come football season I just have to put my head down and hope for the best.  Unfortunately the “best” has rarely even approached mediocrity.

Here is a quick rundown of Duke’s gridiron achievements starting with their last bowl win:

1961-Cotton Bowl Classic Champs
This was the last great Duke team.  They won a major bowl game and were also ACC champions.  I don’t know too many details since this game happened the year after my parents were born, but it seems impressive.

1962-Conference Champions
Evidently in 1962 winning the ACC didn’t necessarily guarantee a bowl bid.  this once again shows how far back into college football history you have to go to find Duke football triumphs.

1989-Share of ACC title and Lost in All-America Bowl
This was the last very good Duke team.  We were coached by a relatively young Steve Spurrier.  And still managed to lose to Texas Tech by a score of 49-21 in the bowl game

1995-Lost the Hall of Fame Bowl
The last postseason play of any sort for Duke.  I was six.  I am now 22.

 

As you can see the recent history of Duke football is not littered with success.  In fact the middle part of the 2000’s was as depressing a stretch of football as I can possibly imagine.  During a 3 season stretch from 2005-2007 Duke won exactly two games, and was rarely competitive against ACC opponents.  Excitement about Duke football was at an all-time low (That is saying something) and attendance was embarrassing.

In 2008, my freshman year at Duke, David Cutcliffe was hired as the new football coach.  This was widely hailed as a brilliant move by the athletic department, and it has payed off to some extent.  Duke has won at least 3 games every year and nearly qualified for a bowl game with 5 wins in 2009.  They have also been competitive in almost all of their games which is a huge step up from the recent past.  More importantly, Duke football is now surrounded by a sense of hope and expectations.  Not very much hope mind you, but some.  It’s nice going in to a new season and thinking, “Maybe this is the year.”

 

In fairness, this year probably isn’t the year.  Duke has an unreasonably hard schedule and the jackasses as SI.com pick Duke to finish 4-8.  Regardless, Raw Thoughts is going to be following the Blue Devils every step of the way this season.  I went to all the games as a student but this year is going to be different.  Now that I am too old for undergraduate past-times like “getting drunk” and “having fun” I should be able to focus my full energies on football.  So starting with this week’s game against FIU there will be some Raw Thoughts recapping every home game, and whichever of the road games I manage to mooch a ticket to.  Maybe all Duke football needs to get to the top of the mountain is an unreliable and occasionally (at best) funny blogger chronicling their season.  (Probably not though)

 

 

Alex King for Heisman

Today I am also unveiling the official Alex King Heisman Watch.  For those of you who don’t know, King played four years at Duke, starting on the practice squad, and is now the starting punter for Texas.  He is also a founding member of the Raw Thoughts Advisory Board.  I realize that punters rarely win Heismans but this has been a weird year and I feel like anything can happen.  If college football can get a playoff and women can join Augusta, then nothing is too far-fetched.  So check back here every week for stats and updates on everyone’s favorite punter.

 

 

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