July 8, 2014

What they're saying: national mags expect drop for Tulane

In modern sports, just about every team chafes under a perceived lack of respect from outsiders and channels that anger into an intense desire to prove all the doubters wrong.

Often, that feeling is fiction. For Tulane, which is coming off its first bowl game in 11 years, perception equals reality. With the Green Wave upgrading to the American Athletic Conference from Conference USA under third-year coach Curtis Johnson, the major preseason magazines expect them to fall well below .500 again and finish near the bottom of their new league.

A tour of the major preseason college football magazines would be terribly depressing if you believed these guys knew what they were talking about.

Phil Steele's had sold out at the Metairie newsstand (the only one that still exists in metro New Orleans) I visited, but Athlon's, Lindy's and USA Today Sports were in stock. It is hard to find a positive word about Tulane's immediate future in any of them.

Athlon's ranks Tulane 99th out of 128 FBS teams, picks the Wave ninth out of 11 teams in the American and forecasts a 3-9 finish with a 2-6 conference record. Ouch. Tulane rates no higher than ninth in the league at six of the seven positions the magazine lists, with defensive back (fourth) the obvious exception.

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