Ken Medlin

Duke has a chance to end a half-century of frustration

Posted December 26, 2012
Updated December 27, 2012

Fifty-one years...

Unless you're a geologist or an astronomer, that's a long time. And yet, it's the reality for Duke football. 

The Blue Devils haven't won a bowl game since 1961.

Think about that: Eisenhower was president. Roger Maris was still months away from his home run record. Putting a man on the moon was still an idea out of science fiction, and a young kid in Alabama named David Cutcliffe was only six years old – and the Blue Devils beat Arkansas to win the Cotton Bowl.

Duke fans seeking once-this-generation win Medlin: Duke fans seeking once-this-generation win

The Devils also won the 1954 Orange Bowl, beating Oklahoma, and the 1944 Sugar Bowl against Alabama. The Devils also famously hosted the 1941 Rose Bowl when the fear of a Japanese military attack on California put the game in jeopardy. Can anyone imagine Duke playing on that scale now? Probably not, but it's interesting to note the Blue Devils were once thought of as a football power. 

Imagine that. Duke... a football school...

I point out all these things to illustrate what David Cutcliffe has accomplished at Duke. His was not an easy task. He admits close friends cautioned him on the difficulty of winning at Duke before he took the job. But he came in with a vision, an idea that if Duke could improve its team speed and win a few recruiting battles in North Carolina, the Devils might just become relevant again in football.

Five years later, Cutcliffe has Duke in a bowl game. He broke Duke's 18-year bowl drought, and now he has a chance to end the 51-year postseason winless streak. 

After half a century, these Devils are due.


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  • Gunnstigator Dec 27, 7:05 p.m.

    1961 - SMH...time to appeal to a higher power. :-D

    — Posted by BattlingBishop 5

    K is busy coaching the basketball team:)

    Jokes aside, Go Devils!

  • Sauras69 Dec 27, 5:39 p.m.

    Cincy is going through coaching changes, and this only helps Duke. Coach Cut will out-coach them, and Renfree will fire it up. Duke's best chance is thru the air. If Duke could run just a little, it would give Renfree a little more time to freeze the LB's, and DB's on a play action. Look for 35-45 passes.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Dec 27, 5:33 p.m.

    ^ Followup to my previous post... I didn't read the New Jersey comments before I posted that. And I can't edit my post to remove that part. Oh well.

    Go Duke!

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Dec 27, 5:32 p.m.

    This is a long road trip for the dookies. They have to come all the way from New Jersey to NC for this game.

    And I wouldn't plan on this game ending a half-century of frustration. Duke performed very poorly down the stretch, and didn't beat anybody that was good. The closest they came to doing that was when they held on against Carolina.

    I expect Duke to lose by 17+ tonight. (Hope they can win, though. I just don't see it happening...)

  • weakened back Dec 27, 4:37 p.m.

    i've never seen so much hype made over a py bowl.

  • ebooth0550 Dec 27, 3:44 p.m.

    Check Duke's opponent in the 1954 Orange Bowl...I believe that it was Nebraska, not Oklahoma. I thought that Maryland played Oklahoma that year.

  • NCSU84 Dec 27, 3:17 p.m.

    Go Duke!!

  • Packman24 Dec 27, 3:16 p.m.

    Wishing the Devils lots of luck! Represent the ACC!

  • Lux Libertas Dec 27, 1:32 p.m.

    LOL...looks like The Swoff wrote the headline himself...LOL

    Cincinnatti by 35.

  • heelsforever Dec 27, 12:31 p.m.

    I hope for the sake of the players that finally have the Devils in a bowl game, their fans make... View More

    — Posted by kornfan2448

    It's farther than 2 hours drive from New Jersey to Charlotte.

    — Posted by 4tarheels

    Give it a rest, child.

    Actually the 2012 unc football team (remind me what bowl they are playing... View More

    — Posted by FE

    The Jersey joke has always been in reference to the student body and fans; not the student athletes.




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