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Ken Medlin

More positives than negatives in Duke bowl loss

Posted December 28, 2012

— Duke should have won their bowl game.

If you place the emphasis on the word "should," as in "Duke SHOULD have won their bowl game," a negative connotation might come to mind - one that suggests missed opportunities.

But if you change the emphasis to the word "Duke," an entirely new line of thinking becomes available. DUKE should have won their bowl game. Considering that hasn't happened since JFK was President-Elect, it's pretty meaningful. Duke and Cincinnati battle in Belk Bowl Slideshow: Duke and Cincinnati battle in Belk Bowl

Duke no longer has to play a perfect game to beat a good team. Cincinnati wound up being a 10-win team, the kind of team that has throttled Duke teams of the past. But this Duke team essentially had the Bearcats defeated before a goal line fumble and a bit of bad pass defense dramatically changed the outcome.

As Nietzsche once said, "He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying." Duke is now somewhere in the walking, running and climbing phase in terms of football. But they've come a long way in a relatively short time. And while their loss to Cincinnati may be the very definition of heart-breaking, it also underscores how competitive this team has become now.

I'll let outgoing senior wide receiver Conner Vernon sum it all up: "Duke football is relevant again," he said.

Well put, Conner.

Lessons learned in bowl loss for Duke Medlin: Lessons learned in bowl loss for Duke

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  • StunGunn Dec 30, 2012

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    I always wondered why K thrives finding smart basketball players, yet any coach at Duke has struggled to find talented football players who can meet the rigorous academic standards of Duke. What you wrote makes sense, though, and I tend to forget how many more players it takes to make a football team than it does for a basketball team. You should be proud of what Cut has accomplished at Duke, and I can't imagine any other coach doing a better job.

    I wish there was a way to have a level playing field: standard SAT scores and academic records should be required at ALL schools. Until that happens, and I don't believe it ever will, the Dukes and Wakes, and now maybe Carolina after the NCAA investigation, will be at a disadvantage.

    There has to be a better way than the current so-called "student"/athlete, which clearly isn't working. Let students be students and athletes be athletes. Offer scholarships that the athlete can utilize at a future date in the event that their athletic aspirations aren't fulfilled. Offer something, anything, because this current model just doesn't work.

  • rushbot Dec 29, 2012

    I have been a Duke fan for a couple of years now (about 15 years, I moved here in 93 and just believe in the concept of the student playing athletics vs the concept at other schools where it is athletes playing at academics) and I did not see much to be happy about..It is challenging for K to find 12 tall super athletic students, but he still succeeds..it is darn near impossible of Coach Cut to find 50 or 60 because he competes with the service academies, Stanford, Vandy, and the Ivies, plus all the rest of the big time programs who can attract smart big guys..The D was terrible this year and shows no sign of improvement..I am not convinced he ought to keep his D staff..I also don't see them doing well via the air next year..perhaps it is time for the read option..

  • StunGunn Dec 29, 2012

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    Hokie, if I knew how to pick lotto numbers, Id be posting from the Carribean! I've tried everything sports related - the starting five of the '05 and '09 UNC NC teams, Canes' jersey numbers, a combination of jersey numbers of my favorite players in football and basketball and hockey, and nothing, zero, zip, nada.

  • StunGunn Dec 29, 2012

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    No worries! There's a lot more guys that post here, so folks think I'm a guy. In a strange way, it's a compliment:)

  • Rollin Like PDoobie Dec 28, 2012

    Sorry JG, I won't make that mistake again!

  • Rollin Like PDoobie Dec 28, 2012

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    I am totally oblivious to the facts! What I meant to say is that I respect Mrs. Gunn's opinion. Gosh, I feel bad now!

  • BattlingBishop 5 Dec 28, 2012

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    Congrats, Hokie!

  • BattlingBishop 5 Dec 28, 2012

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    I'll pull for all ACC teams except GA Tech. How's that?

  • heelsforever Dec 28, 2012

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    You don't REALLY think they forfeited games last season, do you?

  • VT1994Hokie Dec 28, 2012

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    JGunn. I had to go back and double check. To keep check on teams in the ACC like you have over the past years, I give huge kudos to you. You beat most all on this Sportsfan. I will ask you for your top lottery numbers one day in the near future.

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