Tulane Green Wave

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Tulane national championship t-shirts for 1998 season now for sale

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Well, UCF has started a new trend, it seems.

In the same week UCF has created a stir by declaring a national championship for the 2017 season after completing a 13-0 season with a victory over Auburn in the Peach Bowl, another program from the American Athletic Conference is going back in the archives to declare their own national championship. An officially licensed bookstore is now selling t-shirts honoring Tulane’s 1998 undefeated season. The presale is making it clear these shirts are declaring the Tulane Green Wave the national champions of 1998.

In 1998, Tulane was coached by Tommy Bowden and Rich Rodriguez was the offensive coordinator and Shaun King was the quarterback. The Green Wave climbed to as high as No. 7 in the AP and coaches poll at the end of the season after ending the year with a Liberty Bowl victory over BYU. The 538 points scored by the program was a school record. The only other team to finish the season without a loss that season was Tennessee, the first BCS national champions. Tulane was left out of the BCS bowl lineup despite their perfect record.

Now the attention will shift to Boise State, who should be next in line in trying to claim some national titles for their undefeated seasons. Or maybe Utah? It’s open season on claiming national titles now, so go get them!

Helmet sticker to the college football Reddit community.

QB Tanner Lee leaving Nebraska early for NFL draft

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You can officially add another quarterback to the 2018 NFL draft pool.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday afternoon, Tanner Lee announced that he will be leaving Nebraska in order to make himself available for the April draft.  Lee wrote that his decision came “[a]fter weeks of prayer and consideration with my family.”

A transfer from Tulane, Lee completed his first and what turned out to be only season as NU’s starting quarterback in 2017 after sitting out 2016.  This season, the 6-4, 220-pound Lee threw for 3,143 yards, 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

Lee’s decision, which will surprise some, came a month after Mike Riley was fired and ultimately replaced by Scott Frost.  The system Frost will bring to Lincoln requires a quarterback to have the ability to both pass and run; including his time at Tulane, Lee ran for minus-384 yards in three seasons.  He ran for minus-97 yards this past season for the ‘Huskers.

Alabama and Penn State land two Jim Thorpe Award semifinalists

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Th semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award were unveiled on Monday, and it goes to show how good the defensive secondaries are for Alabama and Penn State. The Crimson Tide and Nittany Lions were the only schools with two semifinalists out of the 13 total players to be announced as semifinalists for the award for the nation’s top defensive back.

Alabama is represented by Minkah Fitzpatrick and Levi Wallace. Alabama has one Jim Thorpe Award winner in the history of the award (first awarded in 1986), with Antonio Langham winning the award in 1993. Penn State is looking for the first Jim Thorpe Award winner in school history. Marcus Allen and Grant Haley have been named semifinalists for the award this year, giving Penn State a chance to have a player win the award.

Other notable players named as a semifinalist include Florida State’s Derwin James and Duke’s Jeremy McDuffie and Ohio State’s Denzel Ward. The Big Ten, SEC, and ACC all have three semifinalists. The winner of the award will be announced during the annual Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 7 on ESPN.

2017 Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalists

Marcus Allen, Penn State
Quin Blanding, Virginia
Jalen Davis, Utah State
DeShon Elliott, Texas
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Grant Haley, Penn State
Derwin James, Florida State
Jeremy McDuffie, Duke
Parry Nickerson, Tulane
Justin Reid, Stanford
Dominick Sanders, Georgia
Levi Wallace, Alabama
Denzel Ward, Ohio State

AAC West undergoes shakeup as Houston, Navy fall in Week 7

Associated Press
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Entering Week 7, Houston and Navy were 1-2 in the AAC West.  Exiting it?  Not so much.

At 2-0, Houston led the conference’s West division.  At 3-1, No. 25 Navy was right behind.  In a span of about a half-hour Saturday, however, both teams put the finishing touches on losses, the former to Tulsa 45-17 and the latter to Memphis 30-27.

The Cougars’ loss, especially the margin, is borderline stunning as the Golden Hurricane came into the contest sporting a 1-5 overall record and a 0-2 mark in conference play.  Just a week ago, Tulsa was taken to the woodshed by West rival Tulane in a 62-28 whooping.

Meanwhile, the Tigers’ win over the Midshipmen, coupled with the Cougars’ loss, pushes the U of M to the top of the division with a 3-1 record in conference play.  While unranked, Memphis could replace Navy in the Top 25 when the new set of rankings are released Sunday afternoon.

Also lurking in the division are SMU, which enters the weekend 1-1 and will leave with the same mark as the Mustangs are on their bye, and Tulane, also 1-1 and will be that way entering Week 8 as they face Conference USA’s Florida International Saturday night.

Blind walk-on long-snaps on extra point in USC win over Western Michigan

Associated Press
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We’re still in Week 1, but there might not be a cooler or more heartfelt moment than what we witnessed at the Coliseum Saturday evening.

A few years back, the Pete Carroll-led USC Trojans football team essentially adopted Jake Olson, a teenage fan at the time suffering from cancer of the retina in his right eye (he lost his left eye when he was less than one year old).  It was subsequently determined that Olson would need the right eye removed; on his final day of sight prior to the surgery that would leave him blind for the rest of his life, he chose to attend a Trojans football practice.

Fast-forward roughly five years, and Olson walked on to the USC football team as a long-snapper in 2015.  He took his first live-drill reps with the Trojans in September of that year, then snapped for the team in the 2016 spring game.  While he didn’t see any game action either year, Saturday, at the end of USC’s closer-than-expected win over Western Michigan, Olson finally got to take his place on the field in an actual game with the rest of his special teams teammates.

That. Is. Awesome.  Again, it’ll be hard to top this scene this season.

And, for those who are curious, Olson is the second legally-blind player to appear in an NCAA football game. The first?  Tulane’s Aaron Golub, who long-snapped on an extra point for the Green Wave in October of 2015.