Blue Devils ranked No. 25

Nov. 17, 2013 @ 12:42 PM

Duke football surpassed yet another milestone under coach David Cutcliffe on Sunday morning.

The Blue Devils are ranked No. 25 in the newest Associated Press poll and also came in at No. 24 in the USA Today Coaches poll.

It’s the first time Duke has been ranked among the nation’s top 25 football teams since 1994, when the team went 8-4.

The Blue Devils had been receiving votes for the top 25 since their 13-10 win at then-No. 16 Virginia Tech on Oct. 26. Saturday’s resounding 48-30 win over No. 24 Miami caused voters to drop the Hurricanes and vault Duke into the poll.

With Duke’s entry into the poll, only Temple, Southern Methodist and Indiana have gone more weeks without being ranked among teams playing in BCS automatic qualifier conferences.

Duke had gone 313 weeks without appearing in the AP poll.

When Duke (8-2, 4-2 in the ACC) takes the field on Saturday at Wake Forest (noon, ESPN2), the Blue Devils will be playing as a ranked team for the first time since Jan. 2, 1995. On that day, Duke lost 34-20 to Wisconsin in the Hall of Fame Bowl in Tampa, Fla.

As for where the Blue Devils will play when this bowl season arrives next month, the options are many.

Duke remains very much in the running for the ACC Coastal Division championship and a berth in the Dec. 7 ACC Championship Game at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.

If the Blue Devils win Saturday at Wake Forest and at North Carolina on Nov. 30, they will face No. 2 Florida State for the ACC title and a spot in the Jan. 3 Orange Bowl.

Representatives from the Russell Athletic, Chick-fil-A and Belk bowls were at Wallace Wade Stadium for Saturday’s win over Miami.

Albert Tarica of Atlanta’s Chick-fil-A Bowl said his bowl is impressed with Duke and that his relationship with Cutcliffe is strong going back to Cutcliffe’s visits to the bowl as an assistant with Tennessee and Mississippi’s head coach.

Bowl officials walked through Duke’s tailgating area on Saturday talking with fans and inquiring about their plans to travel. Duke has men’s basketball games on Dec. 28 (at home with Eastern Michigan at 2 p.m.) and Dec. 31 (against Elon at Greensboro Coliseum at 1 p.m.).

The Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando and the Belk Bowl in Charlotte will both be played on Dec. 28. The Belk Bowl kicks off at 3:45 p.m., while the Russell Athletic is at 6:45 p.m.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl is Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. Tarica said the bowl, played at the Georgia Dome, is sold out. But that includes the 36,000 tickets the participating conferences (SEC and ACC) have committed to purchase.

Tickets from those allotments will be put on sale to fans of the participating teams.

Duke will play in bowls in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history. The Blue Devils sold around 20,000 tickets for their 48-34 loss to Cincinnati in last year's Belk Bowl, a figure that Tarica said Chick-fil-A officials were pleased to know.