Opponent Watch 2019: Tulane

“I think it shows the respect, coaches, players got across the country for the AAC. Obviously a guy leaving West Virginia, to what we like to refer to as another Power-6 job is a big deal. It’s a great conference, it really is. It’s great facility-wise. It’s great for me to have people from Tulane travel with us and see the facilities the other schools have, and they’re all in big market areas. Which I think helps you in recruiting. All our games are on national TV, which is neat. So yeah, it brought a little notoriety to the conference,” said Tulane head coach Willie Fritz.

Tulane is returning almost everyone from a bowl winning team. They will be interesting to watch to see if they can hit that next level next year.

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Do you think a conference with a .313 winning percentage in bowl records is really something that garners respect from coaches and players across the country? Personally I don’t think it does with the possible exception of AAC schools wanting to be more. Outside that universe I think the AAC is considered a runner up which is why we need to get out.

Fritz is obviously trying to build his team and conference up, but there’s no chance a coach leaves a P5 program for Tulane. There’s only 3, maybe 4, schools that would be able to poach a P5 coach in the American.

Agreed. Fritz is wishful thinking.

Tulane Green Wave

Head coach : Willie Fritz (16-21, fourth year)

2018 record and S&P+ ranking : 7-6 (90th)

Projected 2019 record and S&P+ ranking : 5-7 (98th)

Five key points :

1. Add another feather to the Fritz Rebuild cap: in his third year in New Orleans, Tulane made just its second bowl in 16 seasons.
2. Tulane’s offensive ratings plummeted, but the Green Wave eked out bowl eligibility due to its young defense.
3. While QB Justin McMillan brought a little improvement, QB and OL are still question marks as a new OC takes over.
4. The aggressive Tulane defense has a thrilling corps of sophomores, and if it can replace a couple of key DBs, further improvement is a possibility.
5. The win total improved in each of Fritz’s first three years, but with three top-30 teams on the schedule, improving to eight or more wins will be awfully tricky. Another bowl is a fair goal, though.

Tulane going heavy on Louisiana talent.

“Anderson is the fourth Louisiana product to make a commitment to Tulane in recent weeks, following Destrehan defensive end Noah Taliancich, Kentwood defensive back Cornelius Dyson and Metairie Park Country Day quarterback Justin Ibieta.”

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Keep in mind, it’s TooLame.

Outlook: Much like he’s done at previous coaching stops throughout his career, Fritz has managed to turn around a struggling Tulane program.

The next challenge is to capture back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1997-98. A change in offensive scheme and key player exits along with a challenging schedule that includes nonconference games at Auburn and much improved Army could make it hard to reach seven wins.

2019 Schedule

Aug. 29 FIU

Sept. 7 at Auburn

Sept. 14 Missouri State

Sept. 19 Houston

Oct. 5 at Army

Oct. 12 UConn

Oct. 19 at Memphis

Oct. 26 at Navy

Nov. 2 Tulsa

Nov. 16 at Temple

Nov. 23 UCF

Nov. 30 at SMU

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The JoeTalk pawdcast from Underdog Dynasty previewing Tulane.

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Fritz, who brought in Hall to diversify an offense that had underperformed, liked the cohesion between him and McMillan in the spring.

“Justin’s a gym rat,” Fritz said. “He loves football, and coach Hall is a big-time gym rat, too. I really think he’s got a good understanding of what we’re doing.”

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