Two days after Tulane beat Southern Miss, 21-7, on Oct. 4, 1998, to improve to 4-0, the Green Wave were ranked 24th in the Week 6 AP Top 25, their first AP appearance in 19 years. Tulane climbed to 23rd in the Week 7 poll and climbed in each of the remaining nine polls in 1998, peaking at seventh in the final Top 25.
The Green Wave wasn't ranked in the preseason Top 25 the following year, nor where they ranked at any point during the 1999 season or any of the next 19 seasons. Twenty-one years later, Tulane is still seeking a return to the Top 25, though they're finally within striking distance.
One day after a miraculous comeback win over Houston in Week 4, Tulane received one vote in the Week 5 rankings, their first vote since 1998. They also received one vote in Week 6 (after a bye) before exploding into the Top 25 picture with 25 votes, good enough for 30th.
"It's a culture change around here,” linebacker Lawrence Graham said after the Army win. “We have high expectations for a conference championship, and we don't go into a game thinking we're going to lose anything. We plan to dominate the rest of the season."
UPDATED: FBS Rankings, No. 1 to No. 130
Even with a (likely) domination of UConn in Week 7, Tulane needs a lot of unlikely help to earn that elusive Top-25 ranking in Week 8. Minnesota (26th), Missouri (27th), App State (28th), and Washington (29th) are favored in their Week 7 games, as is Cincinnati (25th), Memphis (23rd), and Baylor (22nd). Still, the Green Wave are on the verge of their first Top-25 ranking in 20 seasons.