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ACC's better champ: FSU or Duke?

4/7/2015

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.

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.

Edge: FSU

Better postseason

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

Edge: Duke

Spoiler role

FSU: Ended the SEC’s run of national championships by knocking off Auburn

Duke: Never got its shot at undefeated Kentucky

Edge: FSU

One and dones

FSU: Jeremy Pruitt

Duke: Jahlil Okafor and Justise Winslow

Edge: Duke

Freshman superstar

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.

Edge: FSU

Secret weapon

FSU: Red Lightning

Duke: Cameron Crazies

Edge: Duke

Big-moment hero

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

Edge: Duke

Title-game scandal

FSU: Dameyune Craig had their signals

Duke: Bo Ryan’s mad about free throws

EDGE: FSU

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

Edge: FSU

Unheralded hero

FSU: Rashad Greene had 9 catches for 147 yards in the championship game

Duke: Grayson Allen had 16 points off the bench to beat Wisconsin

Edge: Duke

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

Edge: FSU

Title inspiration

FSU: Lil Boosie

Duke:One Shining Moment

Edge: FSU

Coach’s strength

FSU: Fastest talker in college football

Duke: Adapted to one-and-done system

Edge: Duke

Title-game comeback

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

Edge: FSU

Post-title celebration

FSU: Skipped White House visit

Duke: Bonfires and dancing

Edge: Duke

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.