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Dr. Saturday

The Hot Seat: It’s Duke, with a twist

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday

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Welcome to the Hot Seat, where this week, there's nothing hot about the seat we're talking about. Unless that seat is about David Cutcliffe's reputation. Then it's pretty hot because what happening right now in Durham is impressive.

The last time Duke had eight wins was 1994. They could hit eight wins on Saturday with two games to go.

The Blue Devils face a reeling Miami team at home who just lost big to Virginia Tech in a monsoon on their home turf. That was Miami's second straight loss, and the first full game without star running back Duke Johnson, who was lost for the season against Florida State with an ankle injury.

Yes, this is an opportunity, even if the Blue Devils are a field goal underdog at the moment. Would you take Miami over them right now?

And as crazy as it sounds, 10 wins is achievable too. After consecutive losses to Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh, Duke has won five straight and ends the season with trips to Wake Forest and North Carolina. Both are eminently winnable.

Because of the Georgia Tech loss, Duke doesn't control its own destiny in the Coastal Division. And that may not be a bad thing. An appearance in the ACC title game would likely mean a loss to Florida State. 10 wins and no trip equals a likely top 25 ranking. The last time that Duke finished the season ranked was 1962.

The credit goes to coach David Cutcliffe, the former Ole Miss head coach and Tennessee assistant who didn't leave for the Volunteer state after Lane Kiffin's departure. If he had, we're probably not talking about a 7-2 Blue Devil team right now. And if this keeps this up, he'll be an even bigger name come the offseason. And the massive frontrunner for ACC Coach of the Year.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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