Left photo: Robert Mayer/US Presswire
Lost Lettermen is counting down and ranking all 124 FBS college football teams from best to worst by comparing each to a well-known song. We will examine one team per day through the summer in the lead up to the 2012 season. Today’s team: The Duke Blue Devils.
2011 Record: 3-9
Head Coach: David Cutcliffe
Returning Starters: 15 (7 offense, 8 defense)
Key Players: QB Sean Renfree, WR Conner Vernon
9/8: @ Stanford
9/15: NC Central
9/29: @ Wake Forest
10/13: @ Virginia Tech
10/20: North Carolina
10/27: @ Florida St.
11/17: @ Georgia Tech
11/24: Miami (Fla.)
It’s been almost two decades since Duke has had a winning football season. That statement alone spells coaching changes but, for David Cutcliffe, he’s been able to retain his position for five years. Cutcliffe has compiled a 15-33 mark so far with Duke and, during his tenure, the Blue Devils have had a better winning percentage than any of the program’s previous five coaches. Senior quarterback Sean Renfree has only one real go-to target in Conner Vernon and, with a lack of depth and experience at wide receiver, Cutcliffe might have to rely more on his defense if he wants to win this season. Considering the nature of the Blue Devils’ schedule and a non-existent running attack, all the defense in the world won’t save the program from another lackluster season.
Duke’s eight conference games come against teams who all reached bowl eligibility in 2012. Not to mention, the Blue Devils travel out West to play Stanford in mid-September. It’s safe to say Cutcliffe won’t have a winning campaign this upcoming year and, once again, Duke will find itself in the basement of the ACC. The program reminds us of The Fugees’ slow cover song, “Killing Me Softly.” With Duke being a basketball school, though, we can’t say anyone is really taking notice of the team’s pains on the gridiron.
FBS 124 Countdown