Three-Point Stance: Tulane’s potential, UTSA’s opportunity, Texas State


In this edition of Three-Point Stance, Rivals national recruiting analyst Nick Harris takes a dive into three Group of Five issues. He addresses Tulane’s potential future, UTSA’s opportunity and Texas State’s potential savior for its uphill battle.

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1. With Willie Fritz apparently remaining in the fold, Tulane’s potential can skyrocket with a New Year’s Six berth.

Willie Fritz

Willie Fritz (Brett Rojo/USAToday)

For only the second time since 1934, Tulane has reached double-digit wins. That success has Willie Fritz and his Green Wave staring at a New Year’s Six opportunity with a win over UCF this weekend.

The task won’t be easy, as the Green Wave already stumbled against UCF at home earlier this season. But Tulane will have an opportunity to rewrite that result and secure a berth into one of college football’s elite bowl games.

What could an opportunity like that do for a program like Tulane?

The Green Wave already benefit from being in a recruiting hotbed where they are able to pull in some of Louisiana’s notoriously athletic prospects, especially in the New Orleans area. The recruiting efforts have taken an extra step under Fritz as he has capitalized on the geographic advantages that the program used to its advantage during its heyday in the SEC.

A win on Saturday and a commitment from Fritz to stick around at least for one more year (which he has already alluded to) could help lay the foundation for one of the American Athletic Conference’s perennial powerhouse teams after UCF and Cincinnati make their respective departures to the Big 12.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TULANE FANS AT THEWAVEREPORT.COM

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2. Opportunity sits on the doorstep of the Alamodome on Friday night for UTSA.

Jeff Traylor

Jeff Traylor (© Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

In Jeff Traylor‘s second season at UTSA the Roadrunners have an opportunity to secure a second consecutive Conference USA Championship as they will welcome in North Texas to the Alamodome on Friday night.

Traylor sees an opportunity to secure a New Year’s Six bowl bid with a win on Friday night, and while that result will need some help in some other places, it isn’t out of the stretch of imagination. Regardless, for a program that only arrived in the FBS in 2012, it’s incredibly impressive that Traylor has his Roadrunners consistently playing for big postseason opportunities.

A second consecutive conference championship will have UTSA entering the AAC in 2023 with a full head of steam and a potential return from star quarterback Frank Harris, who could go for a potential third straight conference championship.

The ascension from where the Roadrunners sat 10 years ago, compared to when Traylor was hired – and compared to now – is monumental. On that same line of ascension, it’s easy to see UTSA being a mainstay in the conversation of being among the best Group of Five programs in the country.

But first things first: a win on Friday night.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH UTSA FANS AT BIRDSUP.COM

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3. An uphill battle awaits GJ Kinne at Texas State, but the 34-year-old has proven to be up for big challenges in the past.

Texas State ended a roller-coaster coaching search on Thursday by hiring Incarnate Word head coach GJ Kinne, a name that seemed initially too big to land in San Marcos, but the two were able to get a deal done.

Kinne, who is 10-1 in his first and only season as a head coach, previously served as offensive coordinator at UCF and Hawaii before arriving at Incarnate Word in San Antonio last offseason, where a solid foundation had been laid upon his arrival.

However, there will be a lot of early challenges that he will have to face in San Marcos.

The former staff at Texas State obliterated relationships, to say the least, with high school coaches in the state of Texas by continuously recruiting the transfer portal exclusively. But given Kinne’s relationship with the Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) and his family bloodline having ample Texas high school coaching experience, that should be a hurdle that he could clear relatively early. A strong close to the 2023 recruiting cycle would be a solid fresh start.

Additionally, the deficits in facilities are a tough hurdle to clear for Texas State. The Bobcats have to bus to a local high school to practice in an indoor facility and are mostly dealt with dated facilities across the board compared to the other Group of Five programs in Texas. If Kinne can’t secure an investment from Texas State’s administration to upgrade what is available to the program the ceiling is automatically capped.

But given Kinne’s resume both as a player and in his young career as a head coach, his ability to overcome challenges is proven. What does a victory for Kinne look like at a program like Texas State? Getting the Bobcats to a bowl game with the limited resources at hand.



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