On Saturday, the Ole Miss Rebels are set to take the field against a dangerous Tulane Green Wave opponent that took the then No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners to the brink of a major upset in Week 1 of the college football season.
In that game, the Sooners barely escaped with a 40-35 win, needing a fourth-down stop late in the fourth quarter to take down the Green Wave.
Recognizing the challenge ahead, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin warned his team of the potential threat that Tulane faces, praising the talent on their team, and even dubbing them as an SEC-caliber team.
"I told our kids today, if you don't know about conference and you just watch film and watch them play, this is an SEC opponent," Kiffin said.
Tulane, who was a charter SEC member alongside Georgia Tech and Sewanee, took Kiffin's comments to heart, creating a helmet decal that signified their three past SEC titles in 1934, 1939 and 1949.
While it may seem at a glance like Kiffin was attempting to be hyperbolic with the media, he may not be entirely wrong.
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The Green Wave has quickly amassed an extremely talented roster, complete with a Power 5 talent at quarterback and a host of playmakers at the skill positions.
Kiffin would go on to praise Willie Fritz's team, who is coming off of a 69-20 win over Morgan State last Saturday.
"(Tulane) is a really good team, very talented, very well-coached. And that's not coach-speak. . .you can see it on film," Kiffin told the media this week. "They go to Norman and go down to the last play of the game. Watching, they have really good players. Like a lot of times, these Alabama, Louisiana schools . . . there are a lot of players there in the state. They can't all go to Alabama, Auburn or LSU, so we see them all over the place, really. They're good-looking kids."
Either way, Tulane has looked impressive, and their matchup with the Rebels at Vaught-Hemmingway stadium should say a lot about the direction of the program one way or the other.
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