It's time for Mardi Gras at BotC, so we've once again turned to our pals at Underdog Dynasty. Our guest today is UD's main AAC writer, Nick Simon (@nicksimon832).
Jon: First off, on a scale of 1-10, how badly does the fanbase want the Big 12 to extend an invite?
Nick: From a general stance, every fanbase in the AAC would like to see their school move up, so of course Tulane fans would say 10. From a realistic stance, it's not really feasible for the school to move up in the next few years.
Jon: How about the administration? Any sense of their enthusiasm beyond the obvious financial benefits?
Nick: Tulane just hired former Northern Iowa athletic director Troy Dannen as their new AD this past December. Dannen's main goal so far has been to re-energize a dormant fanbase and establish themselves as a competitive force all across athletics. While joining the Big 12 at this very moment is very unlikely, the administration wants to put the school in a position where 3-4 years from now, they'll be a serious contender.
Jon: We'll get to the things which the suits will focus on -- money, academics, and success -- in a minute. What wacky benefits which the administrations don't care about at all would Tulane bring to the Big 12?
Nick: NEW ORLEANS, DUH.
Jon: If Tulane joined, who do you think they'd quickly form rivalries with? What Big 12 cities are you most excited about potentially visiting?
Nick: Considering they're right next door in Louisiana, it'd wouldn't be too far of a drive for Big 12 fans to travel to New Orleans and vice versa, so they could form rivalries with a number of Texas schools should it happen. Let's go big and say UT.
Jon: Why do WE want to come visit Tulane? What's your fanbase REALLY like (warts and all)?
Nick: NEW ORLEANS, DUH. Outside of the city itself, there's a slow growing excitement around the football program with brand new Yulman Stadium and the hiring of Willie Fritz. With so many negative things since'98, Green Wave fans/students have been waiting for a reason to step out the shadows.
Jon: And now, the big one. Pretend we're the Big 12 Board of Directors. Why should we invite the Green Wave as opposed to anyone else? SELL US.
Nick: A list:
- On top of the yearly trip to New Orleans which every Big 12 fan would enjoy, you're establishing a recruiting footprint within fertile grounds of Louisiana, so you'd have an opportunity to pry away some nice recruits from the SEC.
- As mentioned before, the current administration seems to be dedicated to expanding and improving athletics given how much money has been pumped into various programs in the last few years on top of the coaches they've hired.
- Compared to other potential new schools, it's the second closest one only to Memphis.
- Number 41 in the most recent Best Colleges ranking by U.S. News and World Report.
The float's rumbling down Saint Charles Avenue. Is Tulane worth some beads, or will you need a few dozen more Sazeracs to join the parade? KSUEMAW! is in the latter camp, and we'll hear from him in a bit. Monday, you'll all need to keep Panjandrum away from the site, because we'll be talking about Colorado State.