I certainly thought the piece from the front page deserved its own thread, however, mods feel free to move it to the Phase section of Duke Football if you feel it appropriate.
I think Barry Jacobs brings up some good points about Duke Football and its progress or lack there off under David Cutcliffe. However, I think to look at things from a statistical stand point at this point do little to paint a picture of the improvement. He is right that there is little statistical evidence to point toward improvement but I'm not a fan of comparing statistics. I think statistics are something we can look at down the road when Cutcliffe has made this program a bit more sustainable and I think he will do just that.
I wrote a piece on my blog last week about how I think Duke Football needs a new measuring stick aside from just counting wins and loses. Now I realize that wins and loses are the ultimate benchmark but at this state the program needs time to build and grow. I've watch lots of Duke football for a while and aside from the Spurrier years all three of them, and the one lightening in a bottle year under Goldsmith, and everything in between and after. Under Cutcliffe is the first time I see the program as whole, the product on the field and around the field making forward progress.
I'm not super excited about the statistical drop off that this season has brought, especially on the offensive side of the ball but the team as a whole just looks more like a quality team. There is some speed and considering how young the team is they can only get better.
Perhaps I'm just looking at the team through some seriously tented Duke Blue colored glasses, and I certainly don't mean to insinuate that I know more than Barry Jacobs on the topic, but from my strict fan point of view I'm happy with the progress and will continue to be watching, cheering, and writing about Duke Football. I mean if I could watch the Barry Wilson, Carl Franks and Ted Roof years, I can't wait it out until Cutcliffe does what he came to do.
My take on Mr. Jacobs' article is that it's a sign of Duke's progress that he didn't trot out a retread of his annual suggestion that Duke abandon Division I football altogether. I'm more impressed with his "bottom line" assessment than the one he offers a couple of lines below that.
Every week I read the other teams comments about Duke and it's usually the same thing about how “this isn't the same Duke team. Or you can't overlook this Duke team anymore. Not an easy win.” For a while there I could only expect to beat a quality ACC opponent only if we snuck up on someone. Now, when Duke does get that signature ACC win I know it will be a legitimate one. I guess what I am trying to say here is that it's not going to get any easier this-on-out.
If we do not start (please note that I think we will) winning more games what will Cut's or the administration's plan then be? If we have all these other areas that are ideal for success in college football what would the next step be?
Roof wanted more time but wasn't even close to getting Duke to where Cut has them now. I'd like to see at least two more years before I'd make a move if I'm Kevin White. In an extreme case where they do nothing next year (ie win 0-3 games) then perhaps you rush that talk. But I'm optimistic and I'll think Cut will get it done.