DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — David Cutcliffe learned under Bear Bryant, helped bring a national title to Tennessee and developed the Manning brothers into Super Bowl MVPs.
And his biggest coaching accomplishment might be guiding Duke — yes, Duke — to the ACC championship game.
The 20th-ranked Blue Devils (10-2) play No. 1 Florida State (12-0) on Saturday night in Charlotte with a BCS berth on the line.
Not long ago, that would have seemed preposterous to those outside the program.
But not to Cutcliffe, recently voted the ACC's coach of the year again.
He says his three-year plan from a few years ago had the Blue Devils playing for a league title by now.
Cutcliffe says it "creates a hunger" and "once you like something a lot, you're going to defend it more."