They have been the most consistent and dominant program in all of college basketball over the past 2+ decades. The names change, of course, but the high rate of success does not. All-Americans, top rated recruiting classes, national tv exposure and highly ranked teams while getting an Ivy League caliber education at "the Harvard of the south". You name it and, chances are, Duke has had plenty of it for quite some time. That (and Dick Vitale publicly slobbing all over them) has made them the envy of almost all other programs and the bain of almost all other programs fans existence.
This may not change in the near future, but this season, the next week in particular, may give all "Dook" haters, rivals and antagonist something to cheer about. You see, this is not a typical team for the Blue Devils, as far as rate of dominance on the hardwood. Going into Saturday's game against FSU (a team known for upsetting them), Duke is ranked 18th in the country. Games against Pitt and Cuse loom next week. To my eye, there is a good chance (30%) that they will lose all 3 of these games. I think it is a likelihood (plus 50%) that they lose 2 of the 3 and a near certainty (plus 95%) that they lose at least 1 of the 3. Again, to my eye. I say this because
A: the caliber of team they will have to face in the Carrier Dome
B: the board work, defensive acumen and strong post presence has Pitt looking like a nightmare-ish matchup for Duke (I think Duke matches up better with Cuse, fwiw)
C: FSU has upset Duke even in typical years, which this is not.
If the median outcome were to come to pass (Duke losing 2 of 3), when the polls come out 10 days from now, the Duke Blue Devils could have "nr" next to their name and be on the "arv" list. I want to make clear that I don't write this rooting for one outcome or the other, but as a fan of college sports who sees a real possibility for something to happen that hasn't happened since God knows when. It's been a decade since Duke was out of the top 10. When was the last time they were unranked? That would surely send the talking heads scurrying for the archives! Now, let's not get ahead of ourselves. There's a lot of hoops to be played between here and there, and we might not get "there" at all. But it is in the realm of possibility. Something you can plausibly see happening, especially if one of those loses comes Sat vs FSU. Even if it doesn't, can their ranking survived being swept by Pitt & Cuse? The whole point of this post is to provoke that thought. It may seem a little far fetched (I would disagree) but if it happens, that storyline will light up the sports world.
Something atypical may be in the offing.