- David M. Hale, College football
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For the second time in 15 months, the ACC is celebrating a national championship in a high-profile sport — this time with Duke taking home the men’s basketball title after beating Wisconsin last night. It was an impressive run for the Blue Devils, but not necessarily as impressive as the one Florida State went on in football during the 2013-14 season. We posed the question on Twitter as to which season was better, and we got a pretty decent debate on both sides.
@DavidHaleESPN FSU because of dominance all yr & the epic comeback late, Heisman QB. End SEC streak. Duke 2 me wasn't huge underdog going in
— Chris Sharp (@ChrisTrillSharp) April 7, 2015
@DavidHaleESPN Duke had 1 senior and still won. Fsu was expected to win. Everyone expected kentucky to win and they didn't Duke did
- Justin (@JustinPorupski) April 7, 2015
So, to settle the debate, let’s do a little side-by-side comparison…
Better regular season
FSU: 12-0, won every game by at least two touchdowns.
Duke: Lost three times, didn’t win the conference.
FSU: Toppled Duke in ACC title game, edged Auburn in final BCS championship
Duke: Lost to Notre Dame in ACC tournament but had to negotiate six win-or-go-home games in the NCAA tournament
FSU: Ended the SEC’s run of national championships by knocking off Auburn
Duke: Never got its shot at undefeated Kentucky
One and dones
FSU: Jameis Winston, a projected No. 1 overall draft pick, threw for 237 yards, two TDs and led the game-winning drive in the BCS title game
Duke: Okafor, a projected No. 1 overall draft pick, scored just 10 points against Wisconsin in the championship game but had two late buckets that helped turn the game.
FSU: Red Lightning
Duke: Cameron Crazies
FSU: Kermit Whitfield’s 100-yard kick return for a touchdown with 6:24 left in the national championship game
Duke: Tyus Jones’ 23 points — including eight in the final 4:08 — with just one turnover against Wisconsin
Dealing with big men
FSU: Kelvin Benjamin hauls in game-winning TD
Duke: Frank Kaminsky just 2-of-6 from the field in the final 9 minutes
Handling their nemesis
FSU: Trumped Clemson, Miami and Florida by a combined 129-35
Duke: Beat North Carolina twice, but the Tar Heels blew second-half leads in both
FSU: Trailed 21-3 in the second quarter, finished comeback with a TD drive in final 1:19
Duke: Trailed by nine in the second half, finished the game on a 12-5 run
As you can see, it’s a close call, but when we add it all up, FSU’s title trumps Duke’s by an 8-7 margin. And you can’t argue with math.
ACC's better champ: FSU football or Duke basketball? Both teams made great use of freshmen and got unexpected contributions along the way.