Are there even hurricanes in Tulsa? Most of America would probably say no, but college football fans know that there are definitely signs of an impending BCS storm within Oklahoma. Boasting an overall record of 7—1 in a tough Big 12 conference, the University of Oklahoma seems to be in perfect position to make a late push for the National Championship game.
However, the real storm's formation is centered in a town northeast of Norman. The University of Tulsa Golden Hurricane are undefeated, ranked No. 18 in the latest BCS standings, and will face their toughest remaining opponent this weekend: the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville, AR. Why all of a sudden is the wind blowing in the right direction for Tulsa's football program, and when will the rest of the country take notice of their high-powered offense?
The last time that the Golden Hurricane entered a week ranked was seventeen years ago. If Tulsa beats Arkansas this weekend, it will be the first time since 1976. Playmakers like WR Brennan Marion and QB David Johnson have played a huge part in making Tulsa the number one offense in the nation, scoring an average of 56.6 points per game and posting a mean of 624.7 yards per.
Why is Tulsa being overlooked? Boise State, also undefeated and in what most would consider to be a weaker conference (the WAC as opposed to C-USA), has a higher BCS ranking than Tulsa. Boise State has been in the national spotlight before, plays a tougher out-of-conference schedule, is the main football program in the state of Idaho and wins its home games on blue turf. Tulsa has long been in the shadow of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. Both programs have a loss, but are ranked ahead of the Golden Hurricane.
The University of Tulsa is not in search of an identity; the institution took care of that a long time ago. In 1922, the school adopted the nickname Golden Hurricane after quite a few unsuccessful tries: Kendallites, Presbyterians, Tigers, Orange and Black, Yellow Jackets, and the most creative of the bunch—Tulsans!—did not have lasting value with Tulsa's die-hard fans. Tulsa was predicted to have a strong season and its coach wanted to pick a nickname that would embody the school's ability to roar through opponents. Golden Tornadoes was the obvious first choice, but that name had been reserved by Georgia Tech. Golden Hurricane was second best. We're not sure how they decided to go from plural to singular, but this year's squad is playing like a team of one.
The Golden Hurricane has intentions to go undefeated and sweep up the competition in a BCS bowl game.