Green Wave fans: It’s never too early for fall fever

As Memorial Day approaches, what better time to think about the start of college football?

For Tulane University, it is a fresh start in a new league, the American Athletic Conference. It is certainly a step up from Conference USA, but perhaps not as big a step as many think.

There’s no need to read all the preview magazines. Just see below:

Tulane’s opener is Thursday night, Aug. 28 at Tulsa. Last year, Tulane beat Tulsa (14-7) for the first time since 1968. Tulsa went 3-9 and fired offensive coordinator Greg Peterson. The Golden Hurricane promoted Denver Johnson to take over the offense.

Georgia Tech and Tulane play for the first time since 1982 when they open Yulman Stadium Sept. 6. Georgia Tech’s best win was at Duke. In the season finale, the Jackets lost to archrival Georgia 41-34 in overtime. Starting quarterback Vad Lee transferred to James Madison. The speedy Justin Thomas will run Tech’s option attack.

One week later, Tulane hosts Southeastern. The Lions won nine consecutive games, including one in the FBS playoffs. And, quarterback Bryan Bennett (16 rush TDs/21 passing TDs) returns.

Sept. 20, Tulane visits ACC Coastal Division champion Duke. The Blue Devils won their last eight regular-season games, then lost to Texas A&M 52-48 in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The Blue Devils return starting quarterback Anthony Boone.

Rutgers appears on the Tulane schedule Sept. 27 in New Jersey. The Scarlet Knights join the Big 10 in time for the 2014 season. Rutgers beat Tulane 24-12 at the Superdome in the 2012 season opener.

Connecticut comes to Yulman Stadium on Oct. 11. The Huskies are NCAA champs in men’s and women’s hoops. But their football program is rebuilding – again. U-Conn lost its first nine, won its last three. Notre Dame assistant Bob Diaco takes over as head coach.

One week later, Tulane travels to Central Florida. The Knights beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Central Florida reached a BCS game in its 18th season in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Only Boise State did it faster.

On Halloween night, the University of Cincinnati visits Yulman Stadium. Last season, the Bearcats won nine, then lost the Belk Bowl to North Carolina. Former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville led the Bearcats to nine wins. One of his quarterbacks is Karr’s Munchie Legaux. He is coming off a serious knee injury. Quarterback Gunner Kiel threw for 300 yards in the spring game. Kiel will finally get a chance to play in the state of Louisiana. He originally committed to LSU, before switching to Notre Dame. Les Miles then questioned Kiel’s temerity, saying “to step into our stadium takes a different breed of cat.”

Tulane starts November at Houston. The Green Wave has a Cougar problem. Houston has won 10 in a row in the series.

Nov. 15, Tulane hosts Memphis. The Tigers expect to make a big leap forward with third-year head coach Justin Fuente and 6-6 quarterback Patrick Lynch.

On Nov. 22, Tulane plays at East Carolina. ECU will be trying to avenge a 36-33, three-overtime loss to the Green Wave.

Tulane closes the season Dec. 6 at Yulman Stadium against Temple. If you like your outdoor football cold, you may get your wish.

Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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