2018 Tulsa Golden Hurricane Season Win Total Picks and Predictions for NCAA Football
2017 Record: 2-10
2018 Las Vegas Season Win Total: 4.5*
2018 Season Win Total Picks NCAA Football: 'Over'
I'm wondering if Tulsa wishes it had stayed in Conference USA. The Golden Hurricanes have had a rocky road since joining the AAC, with last year serving as their second 2-10 season in four years. And if you look at the trajectory of the program, coach Phil Montgomery is following the same path as the man he replaced, Bill Blankenship.
Blankenship had a decent first year, going 8-5 and taking a three-point loss in their bowl game. Montgomery went 6-7 and also lost by three points in a bowl game in his rookie season. Blankenship exploded for an 11-3 season in 2012 that is similar to the 10-3 mark that Montgomery mustered in his second year. Then Blankenship had a massive letdown, going 3-9 in Year 3. Montgomery did the same, guiding Tulsa to a 2-10 season in his third season.
So, actually, Montgomery has been worse than Blankenship to this point in his career. Now we'll see if Tulsa brass will keep their current coach if he has a similar season to the one that got Blankenship fired (2-10).
Montgomery has 15 starters back from last season's sloppy 2-10 squad. There is a load of experience on the offensive side, with five three- and four-year starters, including three on the offensive line. This team desperately needs a quarterback to emerge out of Luke Skipper or Chad President. They were both pretty terrible last year, though, so if Montgomery wants to keep his job then one of those guys needs to show marked improvement.
Tulsa had one of the worst defenses in the country last year. They were No. 127 in total defense and No. 120 in scoring, yielding 37.5 points per game. The Golden Hurricanes had to play a lot of young guys on this side of the ball last fall. But half of their starting defense is now juniors that earned serious minutes last season.
Last year Tulsa had to replace just a TON of talent and experience from the 2016 team. It didn't go well. But now with a more experienced bunch they should be ready to hit the ground running, and they should match last year's win total in the first three weeks by taking down Central Arkansas and Arkansas State.
The biggest scheduling hurdle for the Golden Hurricane is their road slate. Tulsa may not win a road game all year. They play nonconference games at Texas and Arkansas. And in league play they go to Temple and to Houston, both on nationally-televised Thursday games. They also have to play at Memphis and at Navy.
Fortunately for Tulsa, though, is the fact that they could get to a bowl game simply by winning their home contests. They host weaker AAC teams like SMU, Connecticut and Tulane. And retooling South Florida has to come all the way out to Oklahoma for a Friday night contest.
Tulsa lost five games by a touchdown or less last year and three games by four points or less. If they get a little luck in tight games this year then they should easily beat this total. They will get the two nonconference wins and then they just need to pick off three teams in conference play. I think Tulsa will threaten six wins this season, and I like them 'over'.
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