Getting Excited About ULM Warhawk Football

ULM Warhawk Football

So, why should we be enthusiastic about the 2007 ULM football season? Here are 10 reasons why we can all get excited about this year's team.

10. Tulsa -- ESPN2 --National Television. ESPN serves more than 90 million households. What better opportunity to get the word out that these Warhawks are "for real?"

9. Clemson Tigers and Texas A&M Aggies. Are you kidding me? No. Here's something to think about -- There is little argument about the disparities in talent between ULM and A&M and ULM and Clemson; however, both Warhawks' games either closely follow or are closely followed by big, "mark-your-calendar-in-red-ink" dates for the opponent. Texas A&M's game with ULM follows two yawners against 1-AA Montana St and WAC BCS-wannabe Fresno State, and immediately precedes a Thursday night game against "The U" (the Miami Hurricanes) in which Texas A&M has a short week AND has to travel to Miami (FL) for a Thursday night game. Look for A&M to be 2-0 with blowouts against its first two opponents. Don't be surprised if you find Texas A&M's crowd and players blanketing the blogs and chat rooms to discuss the Texas A&M-Miami game BEFORE the Aggies play ULM.

Clemson's game against the Warhawks follows a BIG Monday night contest for the Tigers in which Tommy Bowden ("the son") squares off with Bobby Bowden ("the dad") as Clemson plays Florida State which is also the opening game for both schools ... just FIVE days before the Clemson-ULM game. Clemson was 3-5 against teams with winning records and lost four of their last five games in 2006, including a big loss against Kentucky in their 2006 bowl game. Look for Florida State to win big against the Tigers, leaving a coach (Tommy Bowden) on increasingly shaky ground with less than five days to regroup and prepare for the Warhawks.

I'm not emphatically suggesting that ULM will win either game, much less win both, but I am saying watch these two games closely. Clemson has a new, unproven QB who has only appeared in five games (JR Cullen Harper) and has never won a game under center, led by a coach that is struggling who doesn't have the support of the AD. And which A&M will show up? The Aggie team that shut down the Texas Longhorns last November in Austin or the team that gave up 40-something points to an average University of California team in the Holiday Bowl. Expect an upset -- or two?

8. New and Upgraded Facilities. Have you seen the ULM's new Pro-Play monofilament fiber surface in Malone Stadium? Some would argue that the new $850,000 Pro-Play playing surface is perhaps the best playing surface in Division 1A football. Aside from its impressive looks, the new clear-coated sand infill has three significant benefits over older synthetic systems that use the ground-up black rubber infill: 1) it will not absorb heat like the ground-up black rubber, making for a cooler playing surface (up to 10 degree difference); 2) it will not compact over time, saving on future maintenance; and 3) it does not fly up during use nor migrate, meaning it will stay in place better, not clog drainage systems, become an eye irritant during play, or get tracked into locker rooms. And importantly, it's fast -- very, very fast. And ULM is just getting started -- still to come is a $200,000 facelift to Malone Stadium that includes renovated locker rooms, upgrades to the locker room, and other improvements.

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