The University of Tulsa takes a break from conference play following their much needed bye week. A historic visit to South Bend, Ind., is around the corner. Bring on the Fighting Irish!
Are we getting ahead of ourselves? No chance. The TU/ND match-up has sexy written all over it.
Notre Dame once dominated college football. Those days appear in the rearview. Make no mistakes about it; a victory over the Fighting Irish would leap to the top of "TU Athletics Points of Pride."
Let's take a peak at several of the football related high marks according to their web site, TulsaHurricane.com.
The top mention is joining Conference USA on July 1, 2005. You cannot tell me a win against Notre Dame on NBC in front of millions would not supersede joining a conference with minimal bowl ties.
Another PoP brags about the Golden Hurricane increasing national exposure to the city of Tulsa though nationally televised events. It's true. All those silly weeknight games damaged the normal flow of football season, but households across America saw Tulsa under the bright lights.
Kudos to Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham for tackling the Notre Dame game. A national football audience will watch, but can TU score the upset? Surely this exposure will trump a weeknight C-USA contest on ESPN 8.
Not sure how this one fits under the PoP section, but did you know the Golden Hurricane was not always named as such?
In the past, Tulsa had been named "Kendallites," "Presbyterians," "Tigers," "Orange and Black," "Tulsans," and "Yellow Jackets." Then we almost got "Golden Tornadoes" which would have been roughly 1,000 times better.
For the match-up with the "Fighting Irish" I propose a one-week nickname change for TU. I mean, we are constantly tinkering with new uniforms so why not introduce a one-time nickname change.
Let's run onto the field under the watchful eye of "Touchdown Jesus" as either the "Fighting Hurricane" or "Golden Tornadoes." Who thinks this is a bad idea?
Tulsa has appeared in five bowl games in the last six years. This includes four straight from 2005-2009. The AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl and the GMAC Bowl served as the backdrop for TU's bowl berths.
Now, you're telling me the Notre Dame game is not slightly more significant than these lesser bowls? No offense to the lesser bowls of course.
There have been several TU football players who went on to enjoy success at the NFL level: David Alexander, Steve August, Don Blackmon, Dennis Byrd, Steve Largent, Ralph McGill, Jerry Ostroski, Drew Pearson, Ray Rhodes, Bob St. Clair, Howard Twilley and Gus Frerotte. The degree of success varies.
You never know, but chances of a current player having the same success are slim. On the bright side, not many of the Notre Dame players are highly touted either.
Lovie Smith and Ray Rhodes hold a distinction the university should be proud of. Both earned head coaching positions in the National Football League. Smith led the Chicago Bears to the Super Bowl in 2007.
It is hard to envision Head Coach Todd Graham enjoying the same success at the next level. He is a college coach, which is no knock on him.
Also, Smith and Rhodes are both African-American and Graham certainly cannot replicate that aspect.
To recap. This is the most important game in the history of TU football. That is not an overstatement.
A win over the Fighting Irish earns tons of hype. The upset would be replayed on highlights for years to come. Even a close loss might garner a modicum of respect.
A blow-out loss will be devastating.
Tune in on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 1:30pm. NBC is the channel. Notre Dame is the place. Let's topple the PoP list with a resounding victory over the Irish. What say you?
This is shaping up to be a nice weekend for fight fans. On Friday night, the XFL returns to the Million Dollar Elm Casino. Several area fighters make up the action-packed card including a rematch between Chelsea Colarelli and Amber Powell.
Also, legendary Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ace Royce Gracie will be on hand for the festivities. For those novice mixed martial arts fans, Royce Gracie is to MMA what Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were to basketball.
They did not create the sport, but they brought many eyes and appreciation to their game. They also changed the way the game was played.
Serious MMA fans have the opportunity of a lifetime on Saturday. Royce Gracie is holding a seminar at Apollo's Mixed Martial Arts, 51st and Mingo. Call 627-7070 to reserve your spot.
Later on the same day, another MMA seminar takes place a few miles up the road at Team Nogueira's gym, 68th and Memorial. Call 615-3360 to reserve a spot and learn from former Pride and current UFC light heavyweight fighter Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
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