From fame to lame: The story of 2023 Tulane football

Ole Miss v Tulane
Ole Miss v Tulane / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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This time last year, few teams were as likable as the Tulane Green Wave. They were set to take on the blue-blooded USC (which was led by Heisman-winning quarterback Caleb Williams) in the timeless Cotton Bowl.

Expectedly, in spite of entering the game with an impressive 11-2 record that included a dub over the Big 12-winning Kansas State Wildcats, the consensus was that they had virtually no shot at snatching victory on such a daunting stage. But, just as they had done all season, they defied the odds, winning 46-45 in the final moments of a come-from-behind thriller.

That day, Tulane not only won the game, but also the hearts of college football fans nationwide by completing the perfect underdog story—a story so perfect, in fact, that many (such as myself) feared it would be nearly impossible to adequately follow up in 2023.

Boy, how wrong we were about that.

Today, the Green Wave once again sit at 11-2, heading into a bowl game against a Power 5 squad. If they prevail, it’ll make for just their third time ever hitting 12 wins in a season. Combining that with this already being their first time hitting double-digit win counts in back-to-back seasons produces about as adequate of a sequel to 2022 as we could’ve ever hoped for.

However, just because one team can finish with the same record as another doesn’t mean it looked just as good en route to doing so. When keeping that in mind, it becomes evident that 2023 Tulane, instead of being another slept-on powerhouse, has actually been one of the fakest teams we’ve seen in college football this year.