Monday, June 21, 2010

Retrospective (#25-#21)

I’ve only been following Tulane football since I arrived on campus in the late 80’s. Sure,it has been a span of mostly challenging football. But ultimately, we follow Tulane football not because of the off-field angst- but for a chance for some diversion and fun. So, I decided to put together a list of the top games I can recall. Obviously, we are in sort of a dead spot for Tulane athletics- baseball mercifully over and football mercifully yet to begin. So it is definitely time for a retrospective.

I was surprised how it easy it was to come up with 25 entries of pretty entertaining afternoons and evenings. There perhaps is a lesson: no matter how bad a programs is, it is still fun in batches. Admittedly, it is a question of expectations- but here are 25 examples, counting backwards over a series of posts, of either good or great or fun days following the Wave since 1987 (ed. note: before we start, any guesses what opponent appears the most on the list?).

#25 Tulane 27, Navy 25 (October 2, 1993)

Buddy Teevins only appearance on this list. Depressingly, this was probably the high point of his best season (3-9). After blowing a 4th quarter 24-13 lead, the Wave got the ball back with about three minutes left. Bart Baldwin drilled the game winning FG from 43 yards as time expired. It was the Wave’s football centennial- and the best win of the Teevins era.

#24 TCU 38, Tulane 35 (September 1, 2003)

First of four losses on my list- this one to the Horned Frogs. Down 31-7 to pre-season ranked TCU and their marvelously named quality quarterback Tye Gunn, the Wave scored 28 fourth quarter points, but failed to cover a last ditch on-side kick. J.P. Losman was 25 of 42 for 303 yards.

#23 Louisville 35, Tulane 32 (October 28, 2000)

Another wildly entertaining loss. As the USA Today wrote:
The Cardinals survived an aerial assault as Tulane's Patrick Ramsey and J.P. Losman attempted a combined 72 passes. Ramsey was 34-of-54 for 388 yards and two touchdowns and Losman was 9-of-18 for 87 yards and a score.
I was actually at this game in Louisville. The best game of Ramsey’s career when you consider there was no pass protection whatsoever. The Lousiville QB Dave Ragone might have been the best qb in C-USA history-and the Wave gave them all they could handle.

The 2000 team was not a bad outfit. Any dismissal of Scelfo as an idiot ought to be forced to account for this group’s consistent ability to play over its head. With Ramsey’s big number ability, they played a ton of entertaining games.

#22 Tulane 38, UL-Lafayette 37 (October 7, 2000)

Ramsey was an amazing 31-of-46 for 403 yards- but the Wave had to block a late XP to keep from losing a 21-point lead. Looking at the box score of this game and the proceeding Louisville tilt, I am reminded what a nice player Adrian Burnette was- first team all C-USA this year (2000). Again, this 2000 team gave you your money’s worth.

#21 Tulane 45, Rice 31 (November 17, 2007)

Covered so, so optimistically on Frank Helps You Think It All Out, this is the high point of the Toledo era- coming right after a nifty win over UTEP. Forte had five touchdowns, 194 yards rushing. Tulane played well, led most of the fourth quarter by multiple scores and, for the second straight game, pretty much handled a mediocre C-USA outfit- suggesting they were ascending past said mediocrity.

Unfortunately, one of my fave C-USA players Chase Clement threw for 345 yards- and in the end, the discovery of a lethal C-USA quarterback meant that Rice was the one rising.