League Coaches Pick Tulane Third In C-USA West

The Green Wave, which is the only C-USA team which will take on all six of the league's new members in 2005, ranked behind UTEP, which garnered 68 points, and Houston, which totaled 59. Tulane's 46 points ranked ahead of fellow West Division foes Tulsa (31), Rice (27) and SMU (21).

MEMPHIS – Conference USA head coaches selected Tulane to finish third in the league's West Division in the new two-division format, according to the C-USA preseason poll released Monday.

The Green Wave, which is the only C-USA team which will take on all six of the league's new members in 2005, ranked behind UTEP, which garnered 68 points, and Houston, which totaled 59. Tulane's 46 points ranked ahead of fellow West Division foes Tulsa (31), Rice (27) and SMU (21).

Southern Miss, Tulane's season-opening opponent, was the favorite in the East Division with 64 points, edging out UAB (60 points). Memphis was the No. 3 team in the East, followed by Marshall (35) with East Carolina and UCF tying for fifth with 19 points each.

"I think the most important poll is where you finish at the end of the year," said Green Wave head coach Chris Scelfo, who enters his seventh season at the helm of the Tulane program in 2005. "If you look at our side of the league, it's very competitive top to bottom. UTEP, certainly the way they finished, is deserving of being ranked high, and Houston has a lot of players returning."

Scelfo, Tulane quarterback Lester Ricard and linebacker Antonio Mason are in Memphis attending the league's annual preseason media day. Live coverage of the media day, including interviews with the Green Wave contingent will be broadcast on College Sports Television Tuesday from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Central) and will be available on line at www.ConferenceUSA.com.

Scelfo, who said the media day marks the "official" end of summer, said that although the make-up of the league has changed for 2005, some aspects remain the same.

"Our league has not changed from a strength standpoint, it's more geographic," Scelfo said. "One thing that has remained the same in C-USA is you've got to come out each week and play as well and as hard as you can to win."

The Green Wave opens the 2005 season on Sunday, Sept. 4 versus Southern Miss in Hattiesburg in a nationally-televised (ESPN2) game which kicks off at 3 p.m. (Central). After an open date, Tulane will play host to Mississippi State on Sept. 17 before meeting the first of its six new C-USA opponents on Saturday, Sept. 24 in Dallas when it takes on SMU in the Mustangs' first league game.

"As the only team in C-USA which will play every new member of the league, there's a learning curve for us throughout the entire schedule but we're looking forward to the challenge," Scelfo said.

The Green Wave, which return 17 starters for 2005, including eight each on offense and defense, welcomes its 2005 freshman class next Monday, Aug. 8 with the returning players back on campus the following day. The first full-team workout will be held Wednesday, Aug. 10. A complete preseason schedule will be announced later this week.

Season tickets for the 2005 season, including the complete six-game home schedule, are on sale now through the Tulane Athletics Ticket Office at 504-861-WAVE or on-line at www.TulaneGreenWave.com. Cost of an adult ticket for the entire season is just $150 while the WOW Café & Wingery Family Pack, which admits two adults and two children to every home game, is just $200.

-- Roll Wave --


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