There is a strong and consistent movement underway in the addition of the Tulane Green Wave into the Big Twelve conference, especially and only if the conference goes from ten to fourteen teams. With Brigham Young and Houston leading the way if the expansion is for just two teams, Tulane has become a less than shocking thirteenth or fourteenth university if the league goes to that size. There are various reasons for the Green Wave to garner support for their inclusion, but the most significant one is the academic prestige of getting another major research school into the league.
By any measure, Tulane doesn’t score well in athletics or fan base. But in academics, research and teaching, the school is a juggernaut.
As one of 62 members of the distinguished Association of American Universities (AAU), Tulane is considered one of the top research institutions in the country. At the moment, the Big 12 claims only three AAU members in Texas, Kansas and Iowa State. That pales in comparison to the other Power 5 conferences. The Big Ten boasts 13 AAU members. The Pac-12 owns eight. The ACC holds five. Even the SEC has four.
The fact that the university presidents of the Big Twelve make the decisions on expansion (the vote), Tulane becomes a player. These leaders would like to see the conference grow academically as well as athletically. With only Texas, Kansas, and Iowa State as the only AAU members, the addition of Tulane would bring the league up to four AAU schools.
Again, per ESPN:
As Boren said, the Big 12 will look to reinforce its competitive profile on the field through expansion. That’s why Houston and BYU seem to be the favorites to join the league.
But in this process, the Big 12 might aim to bolster its academic profile as well. And no school available would do more for that than the Green Wave.
Along with Buffalo and Rice, Tulane is one of just three AAU institutions that compete at the FBS level yet don’t reside in a Power 5 conference.
Big Twelve fans, Tulane is a viable selection into the league. It brings the Deep South into the Big Twelve picture with New Orleans as a hub city. The Green Wave would have time to expand their stadium or as would be hoped, the more important games would be played in the Super Bowl.
Dismiss Tulane is you must, but this expansion might surprise many with the Tulane Green Wave in a Power Five league very soon
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