Don’t blame me, I’m not the one who brought it up. Someone else associated the Blue Devils with the “B” word. Some other guy included them in a conversation about…BOWLS. So, since he brought it up, I’ll go ahead and ask the question: Can Duke football get to a bowl this season?
In an article for 247Sports, Brad Crawford gives his early-season bowl projections and includes the Blue Devils. He has them taking on Memphis in the Fenway Bowl in Boston. So, blame him for bringing up the “B” word after only two games of the season. But after what we’ve seen from head coach Mike Elko’s team so far, a prediction like this can’t be considered far fetched.
The road ahead
Duke is currently 2-0 with upcoming non-conference games against North Carolina A&T, who is an FCS school, and Kansas. Wins over these teams would put them two-thirds of the way to the needed six wins to be bowl eligible. The Blue Devils should handle N.C. A&T without too much trouble, but Kansas is much improved and the game is on the road. Although it won’t be as physical, I still expect the Jayhawks to be a battle like Northwestern, but see the Blue Devils coming away with a win. That will bring us to the ACC season.
This is where it gets a bit sticky. I think North Carolina, Miami, Pitt, and Wake Forest are going to be difficult matchups for the Blue Devils as of right now. But from what I’ve seen so far from Virginia, Georgia Tech, Boston College, and Virginia Tech, I think these are teams they are more than capable of beating. They may not get a win over all four, but I can see them beating three of the four. Judging from their performance in those first two games, this Duke team is capable of getting six wins.
A long way yet to go
It is still so early in the season. So much can change and usually does. But a few weeks ago if you talked of the Blue Devils being in a bowl, you’d probably be including the words “remember when” and “hopefully someday.” Preseason predictions from various sources forecast a lot of gloom and doom for 2022. Now when you see ACC power rankings, the Blue Devils are in the middle of the pack instead of last. Talk of a bowl game is not premature.
I guess I had better answer my question. Yes, the Duke Blue Devils can definitely make it to a bowl game this season. They need to stay healthy and continue to improve as they move through their schedule. If they do that, I think there is an excellent chance they’ll make it to a bowl.