Does completely land-locked Tulsa really get a lot of hurricanes? And how exactly does one have a hurricane of the golden variety? I guess those are some pretty strong storms to come all the way from the Gulf of Mexico into Oklahoma.
Such is the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, who are becoming one of the more interesting college football programs in C-USA. This year, quarterback Cody Green (a Nebraska Cornhuskers transfer) looks to carry on the recent tradition of G.J. Kinne, David Johnson and Paul Smith.
2011 was: one of the better years in school history; producing one of the most exciting to watch offenses in the country. Tulsa finished 8-4, 6-2 in conference. They might not be that all great, but Conference USA is weak enough this year that they could easily duplicate that mark this year
2012 will go smoothly if: The defense handles the transition keeps momentum going with 7 returning starters and finds a way to improve the 117th ranked pass defense. (To be fair, they stopped the run very effectively, and built big leads early, teams had to pass against them as they were in catch up mode early and often) Even more important will be how new starting QB Green steps in for Kinne and runs the offense.
2012 will be rough if: Breaking in the new starters on offense leads to issue, however I still think they’ll score; a lot. The defense was a pleasant surprise last season, and it should be solid again too. With 44 wins the past five seasons, good enough for 20th nationally, there’s no reason to think that’ll stop in 2012; there’s turnover, but that much turnover.
BMOCs: Green, RB Ja’Terian Douglas, C Trnet Dupy, LB Shawn Jackson
All-name team: RB Trey Watts (talk about a name with street cred) likewise for WR Keyarris Garrett. C Billy Lafortune rocks too
Bottom Line: There are some question marks on both sides of the ball, but I don’t think the problems are severe enough to keep this team from a winning season. They’ll probably finish in the 5-7 to 7-5 range as a weak Conference USA helps them out quite a bit in padding their record. And I don’t mean that in a very critical way; this is one of the more underrated programs in the nation, and thee 2012 version should follow suit.
Rankings: Athlon- 66 Lindy’s- 74
All the 77s
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too