“At some point in an individual battle, the other guy says, ‘I don’t want to go anymore, I’ve had enough.’ The same thing with a team. At some point that team says, ‘No, wait a minute. That’s too much for us to handle.’ That’s called tapping out. We will never see this here. That’s a culture. That’s a mindset.” — Urban Meyer, 2012
Heading into his seventh season as Ohio State’s head coach, Urban Meyer has successfully implemented the desired culture and mindset in every aspect of the Ohio State football program. Competition throughout every position group reigns supreme, and the bluest of blue-chip recruits are always on the way in the form of reinforcements.
Throughout the spring and summer, I want to review the upcoming 2018 Ohio State football opponents, using the theme of competition as the baseline. While Ohio State has had more challenging schedules in the past, there are several games on the schedule that could potentially trip the Buckeyes up and end their goal of repeating as B1G champions.
These articles will examine the 2018 opponents, from least concerning to most concerning, based on various factors that I will list in the respective articles. As always, I encourage interaction, either through the comments section below, or directly @ChipMinnich. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I look forward to writing them.
10. Tulane Green Wave (5-7 in 2017)
On September 22nd, 2018, the Tulane Green Wave will face the Ohio State Buckeyes for the first time ever. A member of the American Athletic Conference, the Green Wave come into the 2018 season with optimism, knowing that they were literally only inches from a bowl berth in 2017. In addition to the last-second goal-line loss to SMU, Tulane also lost by two to Navy, six to USF, and by one point to Cincinnati.
Tulane head coach Willie Fritz was recently awarded a two-year contract extension through the 2023 season. Fritz has been at Tulane the past two seasons and has been successful in his previous coaching stops at Central Missouri, Sam Houston State, and Georgia Southern. Fritz has gained a reputation as the type of coach who can turn around struggling programs, and the Green Wave are welcoming in a recruiting class that ranked third in the AAC.
Why did I rank Tulane as a game of low concern?
The talent differential between the two programs is glaring. Yes, I realize that I just pointed out that Tulane has a well-respected recruiting class coming in, but so do the Buckeyes. While Tulane will try to keep pace with Ohio State, the Buckeyes should be able to play most of their backups liberally throughout the second half, possibly even before halftime.
As the fourth game on the schedule for both teams, Tulane will likely come into Columbus with a 2-1 record, or possibly 3-0, but the Buckeyes have too much speed and depth for the Green Wave to try and match.
Ohio State will be coming off of what should be a challenging game against TCU, and could be looking ahead to a big game at Penn State on September 29th. Meyer will be battling complacency concerns with his team, making sure that the Buckeyes are focused on the task at hand when Tulane comes into Ohio Stadium.