Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Florida State-Duke has been lopsided
By Andrea Adelson
You would be hard-pressed to find many college football series as lopsided as the one between Florida State and Duke.
The teams have met 18 times, and the Blue Devils have lost all 18 times. By a lot. Florida State has outscored Duke 901 to 279, averaging slightly more than 50 points per game while Duke has averaged 15.5. None of the meetings have been decided by fewer than 19 points.
To put into context how dominant Florida State has been, ESPN Stats & Information dug up a few other one-sided series nationally. Indiana beat Penn State this year for the first time in 17 meetings. Oklahoma won the first 20 meetings against Baylor before losing in 2011. Tennessee won 22 straight against Vanderbilt from 1983-2004 and 26 straight over Kentucky from 1985-2010.
But each of these series has featured at least one breakthrough win. Will this be the year it happens for Duke?
To get an idea of what potentially awaits in the ACC championship game Saturday, let us take a look at the previous meetings between Florida State and Duke by the numbers.
0: Duke is the only ACC team that is winless against Florida State. Only one other ACC team is winless against another league member, with a minimum of five games played. Virginia is 0-5 against Boston College. Not nearly as futile.
1: Previous meetings between the two as ranked teams. It happened Oct. 29, 1994. No. 9 Florida State beat No. 16 Duke 59-20 in Tallahassee.
2: Florida State wins in 2006 and 2007 were vacated due to NCAA penalties.
6: Number of games in the series the Blue Devils have lost by 40 or more points.
49: The Seminoles' largest margin of victory, accomplished three times.
70: The most points scored in the series, a 70-26 victory in 1995.
Here is one more number to remember. Florida State is a 29-point favorite over Duke. But Seminoles beware. As ESPN Stats & Information notes, No. 2 West Virginia was a 28-point favorite and a win away from playing for the BCS national championship when it lost at home to 4-7 Pittsburgh to close the 2007 regular season.
"In the back of our minds we do know that there's people not giving us a chance," Duke cornerback Ross Cockrell said. "We know that we were picked last in the ACC at the beginning of the season. We understand all those things, but at the end of the day it's the guys in the locker room that have a belief in each other that's propelled us forward."