Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Handing out the Grades: Duke

With the end of each college football season, there comes the hiring and firings as schools evaluate their program and whether they meet their expectations. Hiring a new coach is a dicey process and making the right or wrong hire will determine the success of the program over the next 10 years. Let’s look at this winter’s changes and hand out the grades.

Duke (1-11)
- The Blue Devils, the laughing stock of the ACC, since probably the Spurrier days, will once again try and turn things around as they fired head coach Ted Roof. Roof was a whopping 6-45 during his tenure, and the move pretty much was the first time I knew that Duke’s head coach was Ted Roof.

The Blue Devils will turn the reins of the program over to David Cutcliffe, who comes over from Tennessee after spending the last two years molding quarterback Erik Ainge, as the offensive coordinator. Cutcliffe has previous head coaching experience, as he was chosen to turn around the struggling Mississippi program. He actually turned the Mississippi program around, making a few bowl games, but was fired after the first signs of trouble. Duke shouldn’t have as short of a leash as a program that has been that bad for that long.

Will David Cutcliffe be able to turn around the Blue Devils? Could anyone turn around this program? If anything, Cutcliffe will find the ACC an easier conference to compete in and it should be slightly easier to recruit than in the deep south. That being said, Duke has a lot further to go to reach mediocrity than Mississippi ever did. But Cutcliffe is an offensive coach, and Duke hasn’t had an offense for years.

Grade: B

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