Duke has a chance to end a half-century of frustration
Posted December 26, 2012
Updated December 27, 2012
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.
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.