Duke football has been close on a number of occasions to reaching the top ten and being a real BCS contender. In the seasons where they’ve been close, it has been a loss to a low-level ACC team that ruins their dreams. This example points to how equal the ACC bottom teams are, and how this is an opportunity every season for one of them to have a big year. Head coach David Cutcliffe has done a good job of recruiting and his Blue Devils always seem to be in close games. Whether or not they can win those close games will determine the fate of their 2018 campaign.
The Blue Devils will be one of the more intriguing stories to watch for in 2018. They boast a team that is capable of 10 wins with their strength of schedule; on the flip side things could just as easily go wrong and they could be looking at 10 losses. David Cutcliffe has his work cut out for him as this schedule features all teams with a chance to finish the season as a top 40 team in the country. One of the core problems with the ACC is it is wide open for one of the bottom dwellers to put together an eight or nine-win season thanks to everyone being about equal except for the few teams at the top. With the exception of Clemson and NC Central, Duke’s win probability will be between 40 and 60 percent in every other game; this essentially is saying these games are a coin toss. A large part of the success will be determined by the play of quarterback Daniel Jones and halfback Brittian Brown. If these guys can have big years and lead an explosive offense, they will be a lot closer to nine wins than three. Our predictions play the safe side and have them with an even six wins and six losses.
Record: Wins 6, Losses 6
Week 1: Duke 30, Army 20 (W)
Week 2: Duke 23, Northwestern 14 (W)
Week 3: Duke 31, Baylor 28 (W)
Week 4: Duke 38, NC Central 10 (W)
Week 5: Bye
Week 6: Duke 19, Virginia Tech 30 (L)
Week 7: Duke 13, Georgia Tech 25 (L)
Week 8: Duke 28, Virginia 21 (W)
Week 9: Duke 20, Pitt 27 (L)
Week 10: Duke 21, Miami Fl 24 (L)
Week 11: Duke 33, North Carolina 17 (W)
Week 12: Duke 23, Clemson 33 (L)
Week 13: Duke 21, Wake Forest 33 (L)