Now 5-1 on the season, Duke is getting some love in the polls.
In the latest rankings, the Blue Devils received three votes in the Associated Press poll and 10 points in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll after beating Virginia 42-17 Saturday and moving within one game of the team’s first bowl berth since 1994. John Silver, who covers Connecticut for the Journal Inquirer, accounted for all three votes in the AP poll, ranking Duke No. 23 on his ballot.
“To me, the last three or four spots in the AP poll can go to any number of teams,” Silver wrote in an e-mail to The Chronicle. “I try to find rising and perhaps under-the-radar teams for those spots.”
The last time Duke received any votes in either poll was in 2010 when it received three points in the Nov. 1 Coaches’ Poll. Prior to that the Blue Devils last registered votes in a 2008 Coaches’ poll. Before that they were given courtesy votes in the Coaches’ Poll by former Duke head coach and current South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, who gave them 25th place votes in the 2005, 2006 and 2007 preseason polls.
The last time the Blue Devils were actually ranked in the AP poll was January 2, 1995 when they played in their last bowl game—a 34-20 loss to Wisconsin.
“People aren’t used to thinking about Duke. I know coach Spurrier has always thought about us along the way—maybe we got a vote from him if he’s still a voter,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. “It doesn’t really matter to me, but for our kids it’s great because they’ll pay attention to that and take pride in that.”
Two ACC teams were ranked in this week’s AP Poll with Florida State slipping to No. 11 after losing to N.C. State and Clemson coming in at No. 16. With the upset, N.C. State received 17 votes as the fourth and final member of the ACC to appear in the rankings. Michigan clocked in at No. 25 this weekend with 82 votes.
“Certainly, there is a ton to quibble with, but I would rather put them on the ballot early than have to make up for it this week if Duke beats [Virginia] Tech in Blacksburg,” Silver wrote. “In that case they would be 6-1, 3-0 [in the ACC], and you will see them ranked.”