When Urban Meyer's suspension was announced, I took one look at Ohio State's schedule and said audibly, "God have mercy on Tulane."
The day is here, and I say again, "God have mercy on Tulane."
This poor team has done no more to deserve what is about about to happen to it than a stray dog laying on the tracks as a freight train approaches, and yet, the result will be the same.
Folks, this one is going to get ugly.
Don't get me wrong, it was always going to be ugly, but with a late and exhausting come-from-behind win over a top-15 opponent last week followed by an unseasonably hot week of practice, there was a chance – albeit slight – of an Ohio State hangover this week. But with Meyer returning from a suspension, that all goes out the window.
I said before the Oregon State game that I wasn't sure you could give me enough points to confidently pick the Beavers in that game, and I have a similar feeling here.
Tulane is so bad, the coaches didn't even bother with much coach speak to pretend that they aren't. Meyer didn't say a single meaningful word about Tulane the entire week. The word "Tulane" wasn't even used in his Monday presser, he didn't speak about the Green Wave on the coaches teleconference, and made no mention of them during his weekly radio show.
The team might as well not exist. And after Ohio State's finished with them on Saturday, it really might cease to exist.
|TIME (ET)||MATCHUP||FAVORITE||TV CHANNEL|
|12:00||NEBRASKA @ #19 MICHIGAN||MICH (-18)||FS1|
|12:00||#23 BOSTON COLLEGE @PURDUE||BC (-7)||ESPN2|
|12:00||#8 NOTRE DAME @ WAKE FOREST||ND (-7.5)||ABC|
|12:00||#2 GEORGIA @ MISSOURI||UGA (-14.5)||ESPN|
|3:30||#3 CLEMSON @ GEORGIA TECH||CLEM (-16)||ABC|
|3:30||TULANE @ #4 OHIO STATE||OSU (-37)||BTN|
|3:30||KANSAS STATE @ #12 WEST VIRGINIA||WVU (-16.5)||ABC|
|3:30||#22 TEXAS A&M @ #1 ALABAMA||BAMA (-26)||CBS|
|4:30||#17 TCU @ TEXAS||TCU (-3)||FOX|
|7:00||#14 MISSISSIPPI STATE @ KENTUCKY||MISS ST. (-9.5)||ESPN2|
|7:30||#24 MICHIGAN STATE @ INDIANA||MSU (-5)||BTN|
|8:00||#7 STANFORD @ #20 OREGON||STAN (-1.5)||ABC|
|8:30||#18 WISCONSIN @ IOWA||WIS (-3)||FOX|
|10:30||ARIZONA STATE @ #10 WASHINGTON||WASH (-18)||ESPN|
Word of the Day: Raze.
THAT 11W PREGAME FIX.
- Game Preview.
- Q&A With Tulane beat writer Joseph Halm.
- 100-Year-Old i Dotter
- 10 Reasons to hate.
- Game Poster.
- Game Trailer.
TWO HEADED MONSTER. I get more and more fascinated by Ohio State's running back rotation every game. I don't recall ever seeing a situation like this where it literally does not matter which running back is in the game.
J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber have truly been a two-headed monster in the Ohio State backfield this season pic.twitter.com/bom3Fnh12J— CFB Film Room (@CFBFilmRoom) September 21, 2018
What do you do when you're an exhausted linebacker in the middle of a drive and Ohio State replaces one of those backs with the other? There's no respite, just a constant barrage from two guys of nearly identical talent levels.
GREEN WAVE PASS RUSH. It sounds like Tulane is going to try its very best to get pressure on Dwayne Haskins on Saturday afternoon. The trouble is, they don't really seem to be very good at it.
After registering zero sacks against UAB, the Tulane defense will try to tackle a much tougher task this Saturday at fourth-ranked Ohio State.
“He’s very accurate and handles himself like a real veteran quarterback,” Tulane coach Willie Fritz said. “He has good command of the offense. We just have to keep pushing and (provide) tight coverage and make him throw a millisecond faster than he wants to.”
The challenge is immense, but Tulane defensive coordinator Jack Curtis said the lack of sacks did not tell the whole story against UAB. The Wave put plenty of pressure on quarterback A.J. Erdely, but he released the ball just before he was hit, including one throwaway when cornerback Donnie Lewis came clean on a blitz.
“On numerous occasions we had the protections beat and had guys coming scot free, and he got rid of it as we were tackling him,” Curtis said. “It’s a tribute to him he was able to get the ball off.”
Forgive me for my lack of confidence in the vaunted Green Wave pass rush. It's just, that sounds a lot like what noted defensive guru Gary Patterson tried to do last week, and here are the results:
Dwayne Haskins came up big when it mattered most against TCU and when the Horned Frogs sent extra rushers pic.twitter.com/JZ0WjSy0Hh— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 17, 2018
I'm just not confident Tulane's defensive scheme is going to a whole lot better than that. But who really knows? maybe Tulane's athletes are a class above TCU's and will make Haskins' life hard on Saturday afternoon. But I would not count on it.
FIVE QUICK WINNERS. Folks, last week was bad. I went 1-4, but even in hindsight, the only pick I feel remotely bad for making was Florida State -3, because I knew better. I'm now at 6-9 (nice) on the year, which is not good. So we'll just have to go 5-0 this week.
Ohio State -37 against Tulane
Look, I'm not going to lead with "you couldn't give me enough points to confidently pick Tulane" then not pick Ohio State to cover in this situation. I swear, one of these times I'll exclude the Buckeyes from this section, but I can't pass on the free win this week after going 1-4 last week.
Navy -6 against SMU
I just do not believe SMU can stop Navy's offense – especially the ground game – with any sort of consistency, nor do I have any faith in an SMU team that still hasn't decided on a quarterback to really threaten the Midshipmen. I just can't see this game being close and think Navy wins by multiple touchdowns.
Wake Forest +7.5 against Notre Dame
Call me a doubter, but I'm just not at all convinced Notre Dame is capable of putting up enough points to win by more than one score against a Power 5 opponent. Wake has a shifty and elusive young quarterback in Sam Hartman and two running backs capable of going for 100-yards on the ground. I like them to put up some points. Meanwhile, Notre Dame hasn't scored more than 24 points in a game all season, facing absolute powerhouses like Ball State and Vanderbilt.
Minnesota +2.5 against Maryland
I stared at this line for about 2 minutes trying to figure out how the hell Maryland is favored against Minnesota and really can't come up with much. I've been really impressed with Minnesota early this year and walk-on starting quarterback Zack Annexstad, and I've been honestly the opposite of impressed with Maryland, save for the opener when the Terps dumped Texas. I honestly think the Gophers win this game pretty comfortably, but I'll take 2.5 points if you're going to give them to me.
Stanford -1.5 against Oregon
This line feels too good to be true. Sure, Oregon and Stanford are both 3-0, but they are vastly different 3-0 records. Oregon has three wins over Bowling Green, Portland State and San Jose State, which are a combined 2-7 on the season, while Stanford has wins against San Diego State and USC, and the Cardinal get perhaps the best running back in the country back this week. It seems like a trap, but if it is, I'm springing it.
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