Despite two losses to Virginia Tech and North Carolina at the end of the season, the Duke Blue Devils (9-3, 5-3 in ACC) are still expected to go to a good bowl game. The Music City Bowl and the Belk Bowl seem to be the most likely destinations for David Cutcliffe's squad this season, so who will they play once they get there?
Tennessee is pretty much guaranteed a berth in the Music City Bowl because of their close proximity to Nashville, and they will be paired with a mid-level ACC team. Duke, UNC, and NC State are all logical choices based on their close location to Tennessee, but the Tar Heels played the Vols there in 2010, and Duke is a much better team than than the Wolfpack. If the Devils decide to go to the Music City Bowl, Tennessee will be their opponent.
The Belk Bowl seems like a better option for Duke considering the game is in Charlotte, which means they'd face an ACC team. South Carolina is a logical choice because of their close location to Charlotte as well, creating an interesting matchup that would have a strong local appeal.
The only thing standing in the way of a Duke-South Carolina matchup is that the SEC will probably send a better team to the Belk Bowl than the Gamecocks. One of the best options for them would be LSU, who will draw a large following no matter where they play. Playing a marquee program like LSU would get Duke fans excited and perhaps draw a bigger crowd than either Tennessee or South Carolina would.
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