For the first time in the history of the 24th-ranked Duke Blue Devils’ football team, they won 10 games.
In fact, after a 2-2 start, the Blue Devils won eight consecutive games, which included wins over two traditional powers, the Miami Hurricanes and Virginia Tech Hokies. Largely because of those wins, the Blue Devils won the ACC’s Coastal Division and played for the ACC Championship. The Blue Devils were blown out 45-7 by the top-ranked Florida State Seminoles, but still had a fantastic season.
The Chick-fil-A is one of the ACC’s premiere bowls and usually takes the second or third best team in the conference. With the Seminoles playing the Auburn Tigers in the BCS National Championship Game and the league’s second-best team, the 12th-ranked Clemson Tigers taking on the seventh-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in the Orange Bowl, the Blue Devils were the logical choice to take on the 21st-ranked Texas A&M Aggies in the game.
However, several reports indicate the bowl would have rather paired the Aggies with the Hurricanes or Hokies.
According to Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan, “there was no doubt in our minds” about Duke and “there was nothing that went on behind the scenes” about putting another team in ahead of Duke.
The Blue Devils and Aggies will kick-off at 8:00 pm EST on New Year’s Eve.