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Even After A Slow Start, It's OK To Believe In Tulane

The Green Wave shut up a lot of naysayers on Saturday, including this writer.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

"I honestly believe that Curtis Johnson is in way over his head."

This was a comment I made in the wake of the Tulane Green Wave's Halloween night loss to the Cincinnati Bearcats, a game that for all intents and purposes was just a reason to have ESPN visit the city of New Orleans on Halloween.

While I was basing my opinion out of anger and maybe lack of patience and understanding, as well as flashbacks to the Sylvester Croom era at Mississippi State, where the skill sets needed in order to be a head coach was too much, a friend of mine in New Orleans thought differently.

"Don't be so hard on this Green Wave bunch," they told me, "Just give it time."

All too often in college football, especially on social media, we lose our patience with 18-to-22 year-olds.

Instead of understanding that it not only takes time to build a football program, but also time for 18-to-22 year old kids to fully grasp what you're selling as a head coach, we instead vent out frustrations to not only the coaches via social media, but kids that could easily be our sons, cousins, or brothers.

Going into last Saturday's game between versus Houston, I was convinced that the Cougars were going to make the Green Wave look sadder than Rob Ryan at the end of last year's Saints-Patriots game. In my mind, there was no way a team with a quarterback that hadn't thrown a TD on the road since August and missed four games due to injury was going to air it out against one of the nation's stingiest defenses.

But Tanner Lee did, throwing for 237 yards and finding the end zone three times, including a 63-yard TD pass to Dontrell Hillard in the second quarter.

There was no way that the Green Wave could create turnovers off Greg Ward, Jr, the quarterback that had propelled Houston to three straight wins and remain in the AAC race.

But they did, forcing Ward to throw three interceptions, including a costly one to Parry Nickerson to seal the deal.

While it's quite obvious the Green Wave are well out the AAC race, what happened Saturday in Houston could very well have put the rest of the league on notice.

More importantly, it made this doubter eat his words.