COLUMBUS – Jerry. Jerry. Jerry.
It is a little known fact, and probably not one Tulane University brags a lot about. But Jerry Springer — host of the famous – some people would say infamous – syndicated television show with his name on it is a Tulane graduate.
Yep. Right in there with noted heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey as a Tulane alumnus, you have Gerald Norman Springer, Class of 1965. Majored in political science.
Maybe an even bigger surprise comes from Tulane’s football past.
The Green Wave goes into its game at Ohio State on Saturday with only two winning seasons since 1998. But once there was a time when they were very competitive in what is now the conference of national champions.
From 1933 to 1964, Tulane played in the Southeastern Conference and had a winning record in 18 of those 32 seasons.
Going back even more, Tulane played in the Rose Bowl after the 1931 season and won the Sugar Bowl after the 1934 season.
The Green Wave’s most recent moment in the national spotlight is being celebrated on its twentieth anniversary this year.
In 1998, with Tommy Bowden as its coach, Tulane went through the regular season undefeated and won the Liberty Bowl.
That season was the first year of the Bowl Championship Series, which matched the two top teams against each other for the national championship. Tulane and Tennessee were the only undefeated major college teams, but strength of schedule dropped the Green Wave to tenth in the BCS standings and Tennessee and Florida State played for the championship.
The highlights have been few and far between since then. And it is hard to see how Saturday’s game at Ohio Stadium will look a whole lot different than the Buckeyes’ 77-31 win over Oregon State and its 52-3 win over Rutgers in their first two home games this season.
Tulane (1-2) has beaten lower division Nicholls State and lost to Wake Forest and Alabama-Birmingham. Ohio State (3-0) is coming off a 40-28 win over TCU, probably the most impressive win by a Big Ten team so far this season.
Anyone who wants to see more of OSU back-up quarterback Tate Martell will probably get close to two quarters of him Saturday.
The same goes for the other guys listed with the second team on the Buckeyes’ depth chart and maybe a few players whose names don’t even appear on that chart.
Even the loss of All-American defensive end Nick Bosa, who had surgery to repair a core muscle injury earlier this week, shouldn’t slow down Ohio State. It might be a problem next week at Penn State, but not Saturday.
You might even see Ohio State working on some things it could need to improve before going to Penn State next week.
Ohio State ranks No. 3 nationally in total offense at 608.7 yards a game. That number and some others could get a little bigger Saturday.
And there should be another big number on the scoreboard for OSU.
The prediction: Ohio State 52, Tulane 7
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414.