Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Sigh of Relief

If you want to, you could look down your nose and mock Tulane’s 42-32 win over I-AA McNeese State. Certainly, a huge sigh of relief swept certain quarters of New Orleans when the result when final.

But, not here at Frank Helps You Think It All Out. If it would have been catastrophic to lose to the Cowboys, it is not cynical to be very, very relieved at the passing of the trial. How many catastrophic losses in your life have you avoided and not felt more than a little emotional charge? It is human nature- and no victory versus a corresponding real disastrous, humiliating loss should draw a completely cynical response.

And it would have been a real trial to lose. I’m not sure Coach Toledo would have been able to survive it and an associated 1-11 death spiral. And the last thing this program needs right now is another coaching change, another lost recruiting class, another sign of instability. You might laugh and say Tulane avoided rock bottom. True, but rock bottom is a bad place to be institutionally. There is a big cultural difference between hopeless rock bottom and having something to build to on- Anderson and Willaims, say?- even if slight.

So, good job Tulane!

Plus, it was a little better win in retrospect than at first glance. The Wave never was in danger of losing- took the lead in the second quarter for good, had a second half lead of three scores (42-25). McNeese never had the ball in the fourth quarter with a chance to go ahead- and a cosmetic score made the game look closer than it really was.

Yes, the Tulane defense continued to be shockingly terrible. But the Wave’s top two players- the aforementioned Williams and Anderson- were unstoppable. This is potentially important because with the bad C-USA defenses that litter the remaining schedule, there could be some more wins, or a least non-embarrassing games that feature reasons to go to the Dome (editor’s note: very close to being cynical).

I’m not sure Army presents that much harder of a test. Yes, of course, there is last year’s disaster. But the Wave and Andre Anderson should be able to run the ball here- and another 160 yard rushing day should have them in this? Plus, how dialed in is Army for the Wave here? More on that for Prediction Thursday.

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