Legendary sportswriter Wendell Barnhouse recently left the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and is now a correspondent for Big 12 Sports.com. With 30 years experience of observing the college scene, his expertise is unmatched. In the spirit of Steve Harvey's Bottom Ten, Wendell will provide us a capsule look at college football's less fortunate. Over the next 25 days, Wendell will count down the Bottom 25 teams in Division I-A football.
No. 24 Duke
Location: Durham, N.C.
Nickname: Blue Devils.
Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference, Coastal Division.
Coach: David Cutcliffe, first season, 44-29 overall in five seasons. Division I-A history: 443-451-31 in 95 seasons, .496 winning percentage.
Last bowl season: 1994.
Best record last five years: 4-8 in 2003.
Rank(ed) because: Over the last 10 seasons, Duke is the worst program in a Bowl Championship Series conference. Since 1998, Duke has had three winless seasons and only 13 victories over Division I-A teams. The Blue Devils have lost 25 consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference games.
Negative number: Zero. The number of players on the roster who have won an ACC game as a Blue Devil.
Possible victory: Aug. 30 vs. James Madison or Sept. 13 vs. Navy. Duke has four home games to open the season. The lowest hanging fruit in that foursome would be the season opener and the visit by the Midshipmen.
Biggest blowout: Nov. 15 at Clemson. The Tigers figure to be in the thick of the ACC Atlantic Division race. The chance of a gimme victory in Death Valley could translate into a long day for the Blue Devils.
Is there hope?: Former coach Ted Roof assembled a roster that has some talent. Cutcliffe's charge is to remove the stigma of losing. Cutcliffe proved he could be a successful head coach in five seasons at Ole Miss. Winning in the ACC — even at Duke — is a reasonable goal for a coach who won in the Southeastern Conference.
Thanks to the Helmet Project.