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Duke needs seven wins ... promise

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

Let's clear something up. Duke needs seven wins to become bowl eligible.

I've answered this before, but I'll answer it again since the question continues to come up. I've double-checked with an ACC official and Duke's sports information office, and both have said the Blue Devils need seven wins this year to become bowl eligible.

NC Central is a provisional FCS school. Only one FCS win counts toward bowl eligibility, and NC Central isn't even at that level. The Richmond game is irrelevant because Duke didn't win it. So Duke needs three more wins to reach the postseason. They have chances at Virginia, at North Carolina, against Georgia Tech, at Miami and against Wake Forest.

Their best chances are this weekend in Charlottesville, Nov. 7 in Chapel Hill and in the season finale at home against the Deacs.

Duke is a much better football team since David Cutcliffe took over, and it's helping this year that teams like UNC and NC State aren't what we thought they'd be. To think that Duke could complete an in-state sweep this year would've been almost comical in August, but while the Blue Devils have gotten better, everyone else on Tobacco Road seems to have taken a step back.

If Duke is going to reach the postseason this year, it really is going to have to prove it's the best team in the state in 2009. And judging by how the first half of the season has gone, that could very well be the case.