The world — except maybe for some LSU fans — will be against us tomorrow. Tulane is one of those teams that everyone has a soft spot for, whether it’s because they got totally jobbed in 1998 or because their uniforms are absolutely fire, or because New Orleans is a party.
Of course, that’s likely not going to do them much good on the football field.
The Kansas State Wildcats (2-0, rv/rv) host the Tulane Green Wave (2-0, 0-0 AAC).
Coming off their big win over Missouri, the Cats prepare to face a foe they’ve only encountered once before. Tulane leads the series 1-0, thanks to the infamous 1988 game. The Wildcats, coming in on an 18-game winless streak, took the lead late and the coaches left the press box to come celebrate ending the streak on the field... leaving the defense with no direction, which allowed Tulane to score and win 20-16. (They followed that up by blowing a 21-point lead to Louisiana Tech the following week. It was a bad time, y’all.)
Tulane, of course, used to be in the SEC, but as conference television networks have made clear with nonsense like the SEC and Big Ten networks both airing classic 1971 Sooner-Husker content, it’s not what conference you’re in when you play the game. Feel free to chant S-E-C when K-State does something good, because Tulane was a founding member.
The Green Wave are led by Willie Fritz, who we all know as the former Blinn JC coach who prepared Michael Bishop to come to Manhattan. Fritz parlayed that experience into 13 years at Central Missouri, including a playoff appearance in 2002 and an MIAA title in 2003, both very tough asks in a conference with Northwest Missouri State and Pittsburg State. Sam Houston State snatched him up; he won two Southland titles and took the Bearkats to the FCS Championship game in both 2011 and 2012, losing both times to North Dakota State.
That earned Fritz the Georgia Southern job, where in two years he won one Sun Belt crown before being hired by the Green Wave in 2016. Tulane hasn’t been great, although they did tie for the AAC West title in 2018, but he has managed to get his squad to three bowl games, which isn’t terrible in a league where they’ve been having to contend with Cincinnati, UCF, Houston, and Memphis. Fritz has a career record of 187-112 at four-year schools.
Last year was a disaster, though, by far the worst season of Fritz’s career. It started with promise, as Tulane had to play a home game in Norman due to Hurricane Ida and hung with the Sooners to the end before losing 40-35. But that was the first of four games against ranked teams, plus catching Houston and UCF when they were unranked, and the wheels just fell off as the Green Wave lurched to a 2-10 finish.
They’ve already equaled that win total this season, although their wins have come at the expense of Massachusetts and Alcorn State so they’re not particularly informative.
Saturday, September 17, 2:00pm CT at Bill Snyder Family Stadium (50,000) in Manhattan, Kansas.
There are still a few seats available through the ticket office, although all that’s left are scattered single seats and standing room. Quite a few seats are available on the secondary market, some as low as $25 for not-bad seats.
If you’re headed to the game from Kansas City, be aware that I-70 is under construction in Topeka, and if you’re coming in from southern Johnson County K-10 is also down to one lane each way for seven miles near Eudora for bridge work.
K-State opened as a 16.5 point favorite, but per our friends at DraftKings the line is now -14 with a 49.5 over. That adds up to a 32-18 Wildcat Victory. The money line is +480 for Tulane, -630 for the Cats.
The game will not be available over standard television or cable networks. See below.
As always, Wyatt Thompson, Stan Weber, and Matt Walters will be on hand on the K-State Sports Network as well as via satellite on SiriusXM 200/SXM App 954.
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