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Tulane checks into preseason AP Poll for first time in program history

The Green Wave land at #24 in the preseason poll after storybook 2022 season involving Cotton Bowl victory.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 02 Goodyear Cotton Bowl Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2023 preseason AP Poll was officially released Monday, signifying that college football is right around the corner.

Scrolling down the Top 25 list, there is one name that had never appeared in a preseason AP Poll before. Preseason recognition is uncharted territory for the Tulane Green Wave, which garnered a No. 24 ranking in the initial poll.

Tulane is fresh off a 12-2 season which featured a thrilling Cotton Bowl victory over USC, the program’s first AAC championship, and a final ranking of No. 9. It was the third-highest final ranking in Tulane history, as the Green Wave previously claimed the No. 5 spot in 1939 and the No. 7 position in 1998. However, Tulane wasn’t recognized in the preseason AP Poll in either of the following seasons.

Expectations are loftier than ever heading into this season as the 2023 iteration of the Green Wave comes equipped with eighth-year head coach Willie Fritz along with eight returning All-AAC selections from 2022. Tulane also checked in as preseason favorites in a new-look AAC which expanded its membership to 14 teams on July 1.

No other program in the AAC qualified for a Top 25 appearance, but the UTSA Roadrunners received 64 votes in the preseason poll — checking in four spots away from No. 25. UTSA never appeared in a preseason or final AP Poll in its first 11 years holding FBS status, but the Roadrunners dabbled in the rankings over the last two years during back-to-back Conference USA title seasons. UTSA left the CUSA for the AAC this offseason, aiming to capture its third consecutive conference championship in a new league.

The only two AAC teams to receive preseason AP votes, Tulane and UTSA, meet in New Orleans for a highly-anticipated matchup on Nov. 25, the final week of the regular season. The 2023 AAC Championship Game will be held the following week at the site of the team with the conference’s best record.

The full preseason AP Top 25 is as follows:

2023 Preseason AP Top 25

Ranking Team 2022 Record
Ranking Team 2022 Record
1 Georgia 15-0
2 Michigan 13-1
3 Ohio State 11-2
4 Alabama 11-2
5 LSU 10-4
6 USC 11-3
7 Penn State 11-2
8 Florida State 10-3
9 Clemson 11-3
10 Washington 11-2
11 Texas 8-5
12 Tennessee 11-2
13 Notre Dame 9-4
14 Utah 10-4
15 Oregon 10-3
16 Kansas State 10-4
17 TCU 13-2
18 Oregon State 10-3
19 Wisconsin 7-6
20 Oklahoma 6-7
21 North Carolina 9-5
22 Ole Miss 8-5
23 Texas A&M 5-7
24 Tulane 12-2
25 Iowa 8-5

Others receiving votes: Texas Tech 101, South Carolina 73, UCLA 66, UTSA 64, Arkansas 22, Boise St. 17, Pittsburgh 16, Kentucky 14, Louisville 10, Troy 10, Kansas 10, Auburn 7, Minnesota 6, Toledo 4, Duke 4, Mississippi St. 4, Florida 4, Illinois 3, Baylor 3, Coastal Carolina 3, South Alabama 1, NC State 1, James Madison 1, Liberty 1.