Tulane head coach Bob Toledo believes the Green Wave is turning the corner. On Wednesday, Toledo admitted he’ll be disappointed if Tulane doesn’t qualify for a bowl game this year.
To do so, the Green Wave will have to win seven game because of the thirteen game schedule that ends with a trip to Hawaii.
Toledo said, "I've talked about this to a lot of people. In the past, we said we wanted to become competitive. I believe that last year we were as competitive as we've been since I've been here and we lost several games that we felt we could have won and that would have got us to seven or eight wins. Well, I don't think it's any good any longer to just be competitive. I want to win and our players want to win. Our goal now is to win a conference championship and go to a bowl game this year. Anything short of going to a bowl will not be good in my opinion. We're looking forward to that."
(on agreeing to play at Hawaii) "They approached Rick Dickson and he asked me if I wanted to go to Hawai'i. I said `Hell yea. Are you kidding me? Why not?' And so I said, `Let's go! I'll accept that. Bring 'em on!' Then he said, `Well, you've got to win seven games.' I said `Bring 'em on, baby! Let's win seven.' But I think it's great. I played over there six times. I coached the Hula Bowl over there, an All-Star game. I've had some great experiences. That's a great place. A tough place to play. And we're going to leave on Tuesday so it's not a vacation. It's not a bowl game. It's an important football game for us and I hope we already have seven wins before we get there. But if not, we've got to go and win that football game."
(on the progress of the program) "Two year ago, as you know, we played 18 freshmen. Last year, we played 20 freshmen. So we've played a lot of young guys. Actually, we only have 12 seniors on our football team right now and I would venture to say that maybe half to two-thirds of them will contribute this year. But we are really a sophomore/junior football team. It's a young team, but it's no longer an inexperienced team. It's no longer a weak football team. I'm really pleased with the progress we've made. We feel that with the off-season program and the recruiting that we're starting to develop some pretty good quality depth. That is kind of what has really hurt us in the past. We've had some pretty good players, those guys get hurt and we don't really have a lot of people to step up and contribute from there. I feel good about that now."
"It's time for us to do something. I've tried to build this program on a solid foundation. It's a tougher job than I thought it was going to be. We've had some high points but we've also had some low points, and it's just time to put up. I'll be disappointed, to be honest with you, if we don't get to a bowl game. And that's me speaking."
Tulane opens against Southeastern Louisiana. A week later, the Green Wave will host Tulsa in the conference opener.