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ACC expansion is one of the main reasons it has become harder for Duke to consistently generate as many ACC championships and NCAA tournament berths in recent years.

The worst year for Duke Athletics in 3 decades?

Despite Duke rowing reaching its first-ever NCAA championship and baseball returning to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1961, a combination of bad timing, down-trending programs and off-years from the usual heavyweights made 2016 a year to forget.

Duke lost to Wake Forest for the first time since 2011 in Week 2 and is now favored by ESPN's Football Power Index to win two games the rest of the season.

Righting the ship

Instead of looking like a team on its way to another bowl, the Blue Devils find their season teetering and the progress they have made to get to this point is in jeopardy.

Duke has benefited from a permanent Atlantic Division crossover opponent in Wake Forest that has gone just 4-20 in ACC play since 2013.

Tougher scheduling overdue for Duke football

ACC officials robbed Duke of a win in last year’s controversial finish against Miami, but some might say the league owed the Blue Devils a few more obstacles than most teams. The reason why? The conference has also gifted head coach David Cutcliffe and company several victories in recent years at the expense of the Hurricanes with its current scheduling format.

North Carolina’s Justin Jackson is one of several college basketball standouts who will return to school after testing the NBA Draft waters thanks to NCAA regulations put in place in 2015.

Playing the offseason waiting game

With the rule changes, players are provided greater flexibility because they are allowed to wait 10 days after the combine—held this year from May 10 to May 15—to withdraw from the draft pool and return to college as long as they don’t hire an agent.