February is a wasteland for college football fans, at least after the hubbub of National Signing Day has come to a close. September is still very far off but hey, the schedules are out now. Fans from around the country can at least have a slate to break down, dissect and plan for.
For all you Green Wave faithful out there itching to watch your guys get back on the gridiron, we’ll save you the trouble and break it down for you...
Aug. 29th - vs Florida International
The Wave will duel the Panthers for the first time since their defeat in Miami two years ago and the game very much feels like a must-win right off the bat. Tulane will have some heavy hitters waiting for them in the rest of their non-conference docket so getting the home victory over FIU will be important. A season-opening win might be just the moral boost the team needs as they prepare for what will undoubtedly their toughest opponent of the season a week later.
Sept. 7 - @ Auburn
Yikes. This one could be rough. As of late, Tulane hasn’t fared well against the big boy schools but don’t count them out of this one just yet. Auburn wasn’t great last season, finishing at a mediocre 8-5 but their wins over lower-tier teams were impressive. 53-0 over Liberty and 63-9 over Alabama State. It’ll be interesting to see if the Greenies can put up a fight in Jordan-Hare. After facing off against both Ohio State and Oklahoma in the last two seasons, it’s safe to say that Tulane, at the very least, won’t be daunted about the prospect of going up against a Power 5 team.
Sept. 14 - vs Missouri State
Just looking at the nuts and bolts of it, Tulane should win fairly easily. Last year the Wave handed it to the one FCS program they played and we don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t be able to do the same this time. Coming home from what will most likely be a tough defeat, the Green Wave will be looking to bounce back in a big way. Don’t be shocked to see another 30+ point win.
Sept. 19 - vs Houston
In an early AAC bout, the Wave will do battle with one of the conference’s best. This will be prime opportunity for Tulane to possibly get an early leg up in the AAC West. The Cougars have been one of the division’s best teams over the last few years and they handily defeated the Wave in Houston last November. This will not only be a chance to enact revenge for that loss but it could also be a “passing the torch” opportunity. If Tulane pulls this one out, it would go a long way in helping them earn a spot in the conference championship.
Oct. 5 - @ Army
The final non-conference game of the season is bound to be a hard-fought one. Army had a fantastic season last year only losing two games (one was that overtime thriller against Oklahoma). When the Black Knights squared off with the Wave in New Orleans two seasons ago, Tulane was able to escape with the 21-17 win. Don’t necessarily count on the same result this time around in West Point but it could still be close. It’s one last chance for a confidence boost before heading into the heart of AAC play.
Oct. 12 - v Connecticut
UConn has been nothing short of a dumpster fire lately. In 2018 they won just one game and that was to the FCS’s Rhode Island Rams (even in that win the Huskies gave up 49 points). Tulane should take this one easily. Barring any major injuries or other unforeseen forces plaguing the team at this point in the season, expect the Wave to cruise through the Huskies. Oh yeah, and it’s at home.
Oct. 19 - @ Memphis
Everyone should circle this one on their calendars. The Tigers will have a healthy dose of revenge on their minds after completely falling apart against the Wave in a surprising Friday night contest last year. No one really expected Tulane to thrash Memphis quite like they did and you best believe the guys in blue haven’t forgotten it. Despite their lackluster performance in New Orleans last September, the Tigers still have plenty of firepower that will probably be on full display when the Green Wave comes to town. It’ll be fun to see how both teams handle this rematch.
Oct. 26 - @ Navy
In another rematch of what may have been the Wave’s most exciting matchup last season, the Midshipmen are looking to rebound after a poor 3-10 campaign. The ugly record, though, doesn’t give any real indication to what it was like when Tulane and Navy met up. It took everything the Wave had to topple the Mids in the season finale and punch their bowl ticket. Navy seems to always bring it when these two clash. I’ve got my money on another tight one that gets decided in the final minutes.
Nov. 2 - vs Tulsa
Tulsa is that team that just can’t quite seem to break through into the “being competitive” stage in the American. The last two seasons have witnessed them suffer agonizingly close losses to some pretty solid teams. They’re right there and this year could be their breakthrough. For Tulane that means they can’t play as poorly as they did in Tulsa last October. Sure, they still got the win but the Wave shouldn’t bank on the Golden Hurricane being a pushover anymore.
Nov. 16 - @ Temple
Boy, Tulane does not have an friendly road slate this fall. As if traveling to Auburn, Army and Memphis wasn’t tough enough, we slap Temple on top of that list. These Owls are tenacious and won eight games last season. They also gave UCF a real run for their money. The good news for Tulane, though, is that Temple’s losses were buy and large very ugly. Villanova, an FCS team, beat them in the season opener as did Buffalo and Duke. Wave fans should be hoping they get that version of the Owls.
Nov. 23 - vs Central Florida
Okay home games can be tough too. The Knights are ready to go on another tear through the season, especially after losing that Fiesta Bowl to LSU and hearing “see, you don’t belong the playoff conversation” following that loss. Something tells me that most every team they see on their 2019 schedule might fall victim to their disgruntled rage. Tulane just happens to be one of them. We’ll see what sort of team the Knights can field this season but I wouldn’t count on an easy one here. Hopefully Tulane is still healthy and functional at this point because if they aren’t... uh oh.
Nov. 30 - @ SMU
It almost seems poetic that this is the Wave’s season finale. Two years ago this game was the one that kept Tulane out of the bowl picture and last season it was probably their most disheartening defeat. The Mustangs were not good at all but were still able to come into New Orleans and smack the Green Wave around. Let’s just say that Tulane has some sour tastes it wants to get rid of when it comes to SMU. Who knows, maybe another bowl bid will be at steak also.
So there you have it, another Green Wave season is primed and ready to go. Will the Wave be able to take that next step with Willie Fritz now entering his fourth season? The ever-elusive bowl appearance is now checked off the to-do list so you have to believe that this team now has their eyes set squarely on an AAC title. It won’t be easy, of course, but it’s certainly not impossible either.
I won’t drop any predictions yet since kickoff is still so far away, but I will give my best guesses on which games could be the most noteworthy.
Best Chance to Pull an Upset: @ Army
Biggest “Trap Game”: vs Tulsa