Tudor Talking about Duke

Caulton Tudor penned quite an interesting piece on what is (more like what is NOT) Duke ‘Football’.

Duke has every right to be as bad in football as it desires, just as it is free to retain coach Ted Roof for years to come.

But please, Duke, stop the football masquerade. Just stop it.

Stop pretending that football matters. It’s transparent. It’s also agonizing. It’s like watching a trapped animal gnaw off a foot.

It’s important to understand that unlike at most colleges, even those in the private sector, there’s no motivation at Duke to become competitive in football. Other than the coaches and the players, no one even cares enough to press the issue.

During much of the past decade, Duke football has been alternately frustrating and depressing.

Now it’s simply irrelevant. It might as well be a moon over Pluto.

Instead of starting by sending you to Tudor’s piece, we are going to send you to Dave Sez’s blog entry and comments that link the piece. (Click here)

I think Tudor’s missing an important aspect for why Duke and AD Joe Aleva don’t push harder for a better football program. It’s not because they have a huge endowment and don’t mind wasting money on football. Not at all. It’s that they simply don’t lose money. Take a look at a post I wrote back in May, 2005, looking at athletic department earnings from the 2003-04 school year. Duke made an amazing $21 million in profit that year, best in the ACC by $15 million! Why change anything? They don’t spend that much on football, but still reap in their share of the ACC’s television contracts, bowl earnings and now the ACC championship game. While their paltry attempts at winning on the field may look pathetic, to an accountant, Duke’s football team is a perfect business. But not trying, they pretty much can’t lose.

Dave Sez continues and offers the following thoughts (with which I respectfully disagree):

So what can be done? What should be done? The only thing that makes sense to me is for the rest of the ACC to step up and try to force Duke’s hand. Maybe set some sort of minimum standard that all ACC programs need to meet to stay as a full conference member. I don’t think it would be crazy to consider kicking Duke’s football team out of the conference, but keep the rest of their teams in. A better solution might be to penalize them for their failures. If they can’t compete with the rest of the conference, why should they get an equal slice of the pie? They aren’t going to bowls, they aren’t an attractive TV team and they certainly aren’t going to be playing the championship game anytime soon. Maybe if the ACC said you must average at least 2 1-AA wins per year over any 4 year period or you only get a half share in the conference. If you average under 1.5, you get a third. Less than one per year? One fourth and so on. At some point, it would no longer be financially advantage for Duke or any other program to slide by.

I ask – why do we care if Duke is more competitive in football? Seriously…

EVERY conference has at least one patsy, if not more than one. With the ACC’s new balance of power and the struggles of our North Carolina teams to attract enough talent to elevate their programs (see this link), then I don’t know why anyone should WANT Duke (or any other team in the ACC) to get better.

Duke has an excellent academic reputation. They serve the ACC extremely well across all fronts. Why not let them also serve us all well by providing easy wins for our football teams? Seriously. As if the ACC actually needs or desires more parity. Isn’t it already tough enough for the 7 or 8 teams in the middle to elevate themselves to the top of the conference? Why would we want to make the creation of another ACC/National power more difficult by pushing Duke to become more competitive?

Let’s let the Blue Devils manage their athletics program the way that they want to. From an enterprise-wide perspective, they serve the ACC very well.

General NCS Football

43 Responses to Tudor Talking about Duke

  1. MatSci94 10/03/2006 at 8:08 AM #

    “EVERY conference has at least one patsy, if not more than one.”

    But they’re not *our* patsy :)…they’re UNC’s.

  2. RAWFS 10/03/2006 at 8:40 AM #

    There are two reasons why Duke’s presence in the ACC is bad:

    1. We’re paying them good money — they get a share from all of the bowl revenues. What’s their contribution the past five years? Bupkis.

    2. Teams that get to play them get a “bye” win in-conference, and that’s unfair to other teams that don’t get the free victory.

  3. class of 74 10/03/2006 at 8:45 AM #

    Duke’s problem is not as much athletic as it is academic. The academic side will not tolerate 50+ substandard student athletes on campus just to compete in ACC football. They don’t like that the basketball program takes a few, but they can tolerate a handful of exceptions not dozens. It has been this way since Doug Knight was president of Duke back in the mid sixties.

  4. RickJ 10/03/2006 at 8:49 AM #

    Very interesting entry – 2 statements really stood out for me:

    “Duke made an amazing $21 million in profit that year, best in the ACC by $15 million!�

    This is just astounding especially when you consider they make almost nothing on football ticket sales.

    “A better solution might be to penalize them for their failures. If they can’t compete with the rest of the conference, why should they get an equal slice of the pie?�

    Do we really want to go here? If I’m Duke and someone want’s to penalize me for football money, I’m going to say why are we doing this for football and not basketball?

  5. Mr O 10/03/2006 at 8:49 AM #

    Hope nobody complains about us getting a share of the money generated by basketball this year. Nobody has ever complained in regards to Clemson, Va Tech, FSU basketball…

    I agree with Jeff. Duke serves the ACC quite well in football by giving each team that is lucky enough to play them a win every year.

    When do we get fortunate enough to get them back on our schedule?

  6. redfred2 10/03/2006 at 9:16 AM #

    Pluto? What’s Pluto? Never heard of it.

    Tudor needs to get with the times.

  7. Pack Laddie 10/03/2006 at 9:33 AM #

    Duke more than makes up for the ACC football bowl share they receive with what they bring in basketball revenue.

    The further you advance in the NCAAs, the more money you bring back to the conference. As Mr. O alluded to , they have done more than their share in hoops.

    Not to mention that the ACC basketball TV contract, which is off the charts, is driven to a large degree by the presence of Duke.

  8. Mr O 10/03/2006 at 9:54 AM #

    I just wish reality would hit Wake Forest and they would go back to being as bad as Duke. Unfortunately, it appears the only way that will happen is if somehow Wake wins 7 or 8 games and Grobe gets hired away. I can see them winning eight games, but I doubt we will be lucky enough for Grobe to be hired away.

  9. Trout 10/03/2006 at 9:56 AM #

    Duke is back on the schedule in 2008. Our Coastal teams for the next 4 years:

    2007: UVA, UNC @Miami
    2008: @Duke, @UNC, Miami
    2009: Duke, UNC, @VT
    2010: @GT, @UNC, VT

  10. Cardiff Giant 10/03/2006 at 10:01 AM #

    This was a shabby hit piece. Ted Roof seems like a good man, and he was placed in an impossible situation. He’s shown that he CAN win games at Duke. Give the man the time he needs to build a program out of the current shambles.

  11. Trout 10/03/2006 at 10:53 AM #

    Not related, but since this is a football thread, I’ll ask. What is the schedule “quirk” that causes teams to play an opponent 2 years in a row on the road (ie, UNC traveling to Miami twice, Clemson @Wake twice). Can someone explain this to me like I’m a 6 year old?

    Also, who does NC State play twice on the road in the ACC?

  12. RickJ 10/03/2006 at 11:10 AM #

    ^Trout – not entirely sure but look at a four year period like this:

    2004 – Miami at UNC
    2005 – UNC at Miami
    2006 – UNC at Miami
    2007 – Miami at UNC

    It is 2 home games for each team in a 4 year period but 2 in a row at Miami.

  13. Woof Wolf 10/03/2006 at 11:12 AM #


    I think because of working the three new teams into the schedules and the rotation on and off the schedule of teams from the other division, some adjustments have to be made so that each team has four home and four road games each year.

  14. Dave 10/03/2006 at 11:25 AM #

    Just to be clear, I have no problem with Duke being bad. I agree that’s probably good to have a patsy or two in the league. I just don’t like that they can basically intentionally freeload off of the rest of the conference. And I don’t like having the worst team in Division 1-A (or close to it) in the ACC. You can suck without sucking THAT bad.

    And you can also maintain academic standards and still field a competitive team. Boston College and Wake Forest (just to name a couple of ACC schools) have higher graduation rates than Duke for their football programs. Notre Dame, Penn State and Vanderbilt too.

  15. Trout 10/03/2006 at 11:29 AM #

    I’ll admit, I would watch Duke play Temple, to settle the debate once and for all.

    I still dont understand why teams have to go on the road 2 times in a row. Taking the 4 year snapshot that Rick showed, why couldnt it be alternating over that 4 year period. What advantage, scheduling wise, does it give the ACC for UNC to play twice in a row at Miami.

  16. Mr O 10/03/2006 at 11:38 AM #

    Trout: Each team has to have four home and four away per year, so maybe alternating with all teams on your schedule just isn’t possible.

  17. redfred2 10/03/2006 at 11:48 AM #


    You really should re-visit the bottom of the comments section on the “Calls for Bunting’s…” thread,

  18. SixPack 10/03/2006 at 12:58 PM #

    Its all very simple ! Remember Steve Spurrier + Pass= Duke Wins !
    Not that Duke can necessarily get that caliber coach again but they need to
    resign themselves to the fact that they are not going to be competitive
    playing conventional toe to toe football.

    Find a 1A assistant or 1AA head coach with a Pass first mentality, a passing
    QB and 3-4 receivers and, at the very least, it would be interesting (might
    also open up the running game as well) !

  19. redfred2 10/03/2006 at 1:46 PM #

    Are you trying to say that teams actually use the forward pass as an offensive weapon? That a pass, like the last second one in last Saturday’s game against BC, can actually be used to offset the talent deficit from the very beginning of a football game?

    That would possibly work for a school like Duke. But that is radical thinking for the, afraid to even try until they’re already behind on the scoreboard, conservative offensive coordinator, or his defensive minded head coach whose pulling back on the reins, in Raleigh.

    If this last game, and the fourth quarter against Akron proved anything, it is that we can move the ball through the air, irregardless of the QB playing the position. The second conference game against a Florida State team should not have to be the time time to start testing, that should have been done in the first App State game, but they had better have some kind of mixed bag put together from here on out.

  20. redfred2 10/03/2006 at 1:49 PM #

    ^Sorry, I saw an opening there, off topic, back to Duke.

  21. cfpack03 10/03/2006 at 2:03 PM #

    fred, you almost got me off on that tangent too. I was going to relate our offensive playcalling to Schottenheimer’s gutless playcalling last Sunday. The Chargers threw in front of the of scrimmage only 9 times in the 2nd half… 9. They got ahead then just tried to run out the clock, and failed of course. Sure, it was the Raven’s D but you HAVE to give Rivers the chance to shred up their secondary. We all know he could have. Relatedly, I want to see us throw vertical more and often.
    But I’ll save that post for another topic

  22. BJD95 10/03/2006 at 2:07 PM #

    Duke has never succeeded (at least in modern times) without a wide-open, pass-happy offense. They would be wise to find a Mike Leach disciple. They would still lose, but at least be watchable.

  23. class of 74 10/03/2006 at 2:36 PM #

    You go one of two paths: wishbone (like the service academies) or pass happy like Texas Tech. As long as they continue their academic rigidity and don’t commit totally to one approach offensively, they will remain in the football hell of their own creation.

  24. Woof Wolf 10/03/2006 at 3:06 PM #

    Could we get Wake ane Duke to swap divisions?

  25. packbackr04 10/03/2006 at 3:21 PM #

    cfpack^^ i thought the exact same thing on sunday… Schott just shut the Offense down. And he had no reason to, the O played very well in the first half. they had the ravens guessing and then Schott went all Marc Trestman on us and cost the chargers a shot to win that football game

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