Duke’s bowl possibilities took a hit after the Blue Devils lost their second straight game.
While the projections from national outlets didn’t take a major shift against the Blue Devils following last week’s 48-14 loss in Virginia, the loss to UNC on Saturday caused Duke’s fortunes to plummet in the eyes of prognosticators.
Duke is still projected to make a bowl game, but the Blue Devils will be one of the last ACC teams selected, according to the projections.
Gone are the Pinstripe, Belk and Military Bowls that made up a majority of Duke’s expected landing spots in recent weeks. The national media now thinks the Blue Devils will be headed for the Birmingham Bowl.
Four of the nine projections that have Duke in a bowl have the Blue Devils headed to Birmingham on January 2. Two of them have Duke playing Cincinnati in a rematch of the 2012 Belk Bowl won by the Bearcats. That list includes CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm, who, after leaving Duke out of his projections the last two weeks added the Blue Devils as his choice for Birmingham this time around.
Three outlets have Duke returning to the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit.
The other two possibilities for Duke are the Sun Bowl, according to an unusually optimistic pick from Bleacher Report and the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl.
The Gasparilla Bowl is in Tampa. Duke has played their twice, losing to Wisconsin in the 1994 Hall of Fame Bowl and winning the 1971 regular season opener there over Florida.
Duke won the Quick Lane Bowl in 2017 and lost the Sun Bowl in 2014.
The Belk Bowl was Duke’s only previous game against Cincinnati. The Blue Devils are 1-0-1 against Cal with a tie in 1963 and a win the previous year. Duke has never played Eastern Michigan