Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Prediction Thursday- Marshall

Lost amid the holiday hubbub, a pretty important game looms for the Tulane Green Wave Saturday up at Marshall. Let’s take a second to remember where we were back in August:
From an off-season prediction standpoint, this off-season has been a hard one for the Tulane faithful. Forecasters have been brutal to the Green Wave. A bevy of national publications pick Tulane to be truly horrible. Sports Illustrated reportedly has them dead last- in the entire country! The Orlando Sentinal has them 116 out of 120 BCS Division outfits. Lindy, Athlon, TSN, USA Today and Phil Steele have Tulane picked for last in C-USA West.
A fifth win, and a third conference victory, would be a pretty nifty turnaround from a team widely viewed as the very worst in the country.

The New York post fails to share the optimism, listing the Herd -9 over Tulane this morning.

If you avail yourself of the link above that takes you to the blog article that quote comes from, you will see I pooh-poohed the idea of a finish that horrid. I pointed out that no one with decent quarterbacking, which Tulane absolutely had in Ryan Griffin, could be rock bottom.

Unfortunately, Tulane’s problems now begin at quarterback. Heck, I don’t know who is going to play? And with a reserve, possibly three deep (DJ Ponder I guess?), doing the pitching, the defense a burnt out wreck- we need to entertain the idea Tulane is back at rock bottom.

None of the major second half story lines have been encouraging, eating at the vitals of the early success. The defense seems tired- and the lack of reinforcements from the bench is glaring from a team whose recruiting had supposedly picked up (where are those guys?). Good helpful play at quarterback has disappeared, the wide receivers are poor. Only the tailback seems capable of a decent cartoon offensive number.

Marshall isn’t great. But they seem to have a few more players- particularly on defense. They Herd has won three of their last four- defeating UTEP, UAB, Memphis- holding all three under 17.

That is probably where Tulane is on offense right now too- rock bottom in C-USA. Add in the zapped defense- and this engaged Marshall team ought to roll comfortably here. So Marshall -9 over Tulane to run the ATS mark to 8-4.

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