Can Tulane get back into the AAC West race?

The Impact of a Big Win

After Tulane’s huge win last week, there is an abundance of confidence building after a week off. Tulane pulled off one of the most exciting finishes against Army to defeat the Knights in the waning seconds.

This win represents a major jump for the program. Trailing 21-17 late in the 4th quarter gave little hope for the Greenie fans. In fact, the fans have seen these shortcomings before. Close outings, but no win to show for the effort. However, this time was different. QB Jonathan Banks lead a 19 play 75-yard drive with this score with 23 ticks left.

Tulane’s win in the last seconds was a moment of glory for a fan base that has had little to cheer about for years. From here on, anything is possible. Above all, it shows that the near miss against Navy just two weeks before was not a fluke. Tulane football is for real. And the season is just getting started.

How the Conference is Shaping Up

Navy is now 4-0 and 3-0 in the AAC West. If Tulane can compete with Navy, then any game going forward should be competitive. Navy still has some tough games coming in the AAC. The Midshipmen face a tough Air Force team this Saturday at home. After, they face Memphis on the road and #25 ranked UCF at home on Oct.21st.

Tulane will get Tulsa this week at Yulman Stadium, who have been struggling as of late. Tulsa was picked to compete for the title in the preseason predictions. The Golden Hurricanes have yet to show their worth yet. Of course, the Green Wave have to play #18 South Florida too and Memphis.

Memphis came into last week’s game against UCF undefeated at 3-0. But UCF thumped them 40-13 in dominating fashion. Memphis has a pretty soft schedule on the road playing UConn, Tulsa, and Houston upcoming.

Tulane is going to want either Houston or SMU to knock off Navy to give them a chance at the AAC West. Tulane has only one loss against Navy, so they would lose the tiebreaker. Also, don’t count out Houston just yet. Houston has only played one AAC game against Temple and won 20-13. Remember Houston beat both Oklahoma and Louisville just last year. In 2015, Houston also beat Florida St. in the Peach Bowl.

Houston has no doubt put the AAC on the map. Now it looks to be the favorite USF with new coach Charlie Strong. The AAC West is gonna be very competitive in 2017. SMU is another team that have started out of the gate fast surprisingly. SMU has started out 4-1 and play Houston on the road this Saturday. It’s been a long time since SMU has won much of anything. Saturday will prove one way or another.

What This Means for Tulane

Regardless, Tulane has a great opportunity to be competitive this year in the AAC. The Green Wave has shown progress in the four games so far. The option offense seems to be the best choice to become competitive quickly. Coach Willie Fritz has the team heading in the right direction.

Be that as it may, there’s another person that is just as happy. Athletic Director Troy Dannen who was brought in recently had this to say after the win.

“This win showed everybody outside the program that the tide is turning for Tulane football. We’ve seen the culture change inside the program. Now everyone else can see it.”

Main Photo

Tulane’s last minute win against Army puts them in good standing in the AAC (Photo by Daniel Kucin Jr./Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)