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Duke football has been down for a long time, but unquestionably things have improved. David Cutcliffe is in the middle a superb turnaround job with the Devils.

This coming season, he will have a lot of young talent, but still more talent than Duke is used to. They may still be a year away from being seriously competitive; still it won't surprise us if they are ahead of schedule.

As for the rest of the ACC, expansion was supposed to improve the quality of football. That hasn't happened yet, but a number of teams are looking up.

However, leave it to Cutcliffe to bring some perspective. None of the conference boosting nonsense from Cut; he gets down to brass tacks:

"I don't think we've fallen behind [the SEC].I'm going to be real blunt: I don't think we've ever been ahead of the SEC or even with them, to this point. I think it's in reverse - I think the ACC is moving upward in that model. The SEC has an older football tradition, a little stronger fan bases. I think you close the gap, you get into intense fan bases, intense growth in the interest in your sport. I think we're headed in the right direction.''

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