When you consider that Tulsa, Oklahoma is smack dab in the heart of Tornado Alley, why did their University football team pick a hurricane as their mascot instead? And how exactly does a hurricane become “golden?” Is that for category fives only?
Category four hurricanes are “silver?”
Ridiculously stupid nickname aside, Tulsa can play some college football. In 2010, they had a really nice balanced offense that was 6th overall in the nation; 15th in rushing, 13th in passing. The only problem was the defense, especially the pass defense, which was dead last nationally.
Basically, even you and I could find a way to gain passing yards against them. But they had a wonderful season all things considered. The defense found a way to force turnovers and stop opponents enough when they had to. The G.H. went 10-3, 6-2 in Conference USA
2010 was: one of the better campaigns in school history as they absolutely crushed Hawaii in their home bowl game 62-35 and their offense scored at will all season. Tulsa also upset Notre Dame in the Declan Sullivan game, which was the lowest point of a low year in South Bend, while also serving as the biggest win in school history for Tulsa. The Irish started to turn their season around quickly after that game. The Golden Hurricane (wow, I just get so annoyed having to type that team name over and over) return 15 starters, so reaching their first C-USA title since ’05 seems reasonable.
BMOCs: QB G.J. Kinne, dual threat who led the team in rushing, while also throwing for 31 TDs against just 10 INTs. He’s a good bet to repeat as Conference Player of the Year. Willie Green could be the school’s next 1,000 yard rusher. LBs Shawn Jackson and Curnelius Arnick can make plays. CB J.D Ratliff (is that the name of a guest star on 1980s hit series “Dallas?) enters from the junior college ranks where he was the nation’s leading interceptor. Hey someone, needs to try and stop the pass year, eh?
2011 will be fruitful if: The new coaching regime settles in nicely. Bill Blankenship takes over for Todd Graham. The defense continues it’s pattern of getting turnovers at opportune times and the secondary becomes more “ball hawkish.” They’ll need to in order to overcome the massive chunks of yards, they’ll constantly be surrendering.
And the offense will once again have to be all-stars, and even more in order to upset the tougher teams on their non-conference schedule.
2011 will be awful if: Their in-state rivals Oklahoma and Oklahoma State slaughter them in September and the Golden Hurricane lose their confidence because of it. The team shows leadership voids due to the coaching regime change.
Bottom Line: There’s a lot of talent returning, and the conference is weak enough that they should go back to a bowl game. But forget anything close to last year’s ten wins- the schedule is much more difficult this time around.
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