Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Hawaii's Schedule Hurting Credibility

by nsc

It is not often that a team begins the season 8-0 as Hawaii has. The problem is that Hawaii is viewed as a team who has scheduled down in order to get to where they are today. With remaining home games against Fresno State, Boise State, Washington and a road game at Nevada Hawaii does have a chance to run the table and finish 12-0 this season. The question is: Will that be enough to get the Warriors into a BCS game? If the BCS rankings have anything to say about it the answer is a difinitive no and would you really be able to argue this decision? Could you make the argument that a school who has played two Division 1AA schools and has a schedule littered with teams who have won two games or less should be a BCS qualifier? Here in lays the problem with the Warriors. They have all the talent in the world on offense and their defense does just enough to get them wins. But these wins are coming against sub-par competition. Even if the Warriors knock off the Broncos of Boise State later this season and finish the year undefeated a marquee win against a WAC school does not speak volumes to the rest of the college football world. At the same time what does going undefeated with such a soft schedule say to the rest of college football?

Pat Hill has always believed to be the best you have to beat the best. In Fresno the Bulldogs take on schools from across the nation and have received rave reviews from all directions. Although Fresno State has struggled against BCS competition the past two seasons the Dogs are still viewed as a team that has the talent to knock anyone off at any point in the season. Fresno State has not began a season 6-0 since 2001, yet every season they are considered a team who has the opportunity to make a BCS run. The reason behind this is the Bulldogs schedule up when they play out of conference. Instead of continually playing Div. 1AA oponents the Bulldogs take on the elite teams in the nation. In 2005 the Dogs played Oregon and USC. IN 2006 the Dogs played Oregon and LSU. In 2007 the Dogs once again played Oregon but this time add Texas A&M and Kansas State to the schedule. 2008 will have it's challenges as well as Fresno State will play UCLA and Kansas State on the road while Wisconsin travels to Fresno. With an out of conference schedule such as this Fresno State sets them selves up to be a part of the national picture if they ever make any kind of run. That is the reason why in 2001 the Dogs shot up the charts so quickly before their devastating loss to Boise State. Wins over Wisconsin, Colorado, and Oregon State will help a team's image to voters, something Hawaii is struggling to do in 2007.

Hawaii has had a magical start to the 2007 season. They have eaked out close wins over both San Jose State and La. Tech in overtime. The Warriors have destroyed all other teams they have played to this point. But looking back at their schedule if the Warriors had lost any of these games they would not have been considered a threat in the BCS picture. In contrast let's take a look at Fresno State's 2005 season. The Dogs lost their second game of the year 37-34 to Oregon. From that point on Fresno State ran off seven wins in a row and traveled to USC with the #16 ranking in the nation. Had Fresno State pulled off the monumental upset at USC they very well could have qualified for a BCS game at the end of the season even with one loss on their record. What it all comes down to in college football is credibility. Fresno State may have been down for the past few seasons but the nation has the view that Fresno State is the type of mid-major that can challenge you. Boise State is slowly achieving this same status after their upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl last season. Hawaii however continually lags in the nation's eyes.

Hawaii has built an offense that most teams (including BCS schools) cannot stop. The Warriors continually pressure defenses into making decisions on who they are going to cover play after play. The reason Hawaii averages 50 points a game is because they take advantage of mismatches all over the field. The Warriors try to get a LB to cover one of their speedy receivers, something that is nearly impossible to do. Unfortunately Hawaii will never get credit for being a great team unless they beat someone of worth in the process. The Warriors schedule in 2007 has left fans of opposing teams upset. These fans have no desire to see a team schedule the way the Warriors have and be rewarded by achieving the BCS dollars. If this were to happen it would prove that a team's schedule doesn't matter. Instead all that matters is making it through the season undefeated. With that thought in mind teams such as Fresno State look ridiculous for playing the teams they do because there is no reward in the end. Hawaii may go undefeated this season and quite possibly will qualify for a BCS bowl. However, until Hawaii makes a statement against a team the nation respects they will always be the team that took the easy road. And as well know the easy road never garnered any team respect regardless of what sport is being played.


Shannon said...

So, beating Arizona State, Purdue, Michigan State, Alabama don't register on the "we played somebody" schedule-o-meter? This schedule was not planned to go this way, it is just the way it turned out. our schedule next year @ Florida, @ Oregon State, Weber State at home, Washington State at home, Cincinnati at Home. Hmmmm? seems like this years schedule was/is an anomoly. They chips fell this way, the fans in Hawaii arent proud/happy about this schedule, neither is the players or coaches. I mean who wants to be a laughingstock?

SF State Gators said...

Yeah this was really the worst possible year to screw up the schedule, this may be the best Hawai'i team in a decade and yet they won't be able to prove themselves to anyone.

Shannon said...

You couldn't have said it better. I really admire Fresno State for their scheduling practices, i cheer for them when they play anyone other than Hawaii. Now Boise? Can't stand those yayhoos!

nsc said...

Shannon I understand what happened to Hawaii this season with respect to scheduling. I wrote this just as an idea as to why the national attention is not with Hawaii. I didn't write it to knock them for what happened. I was just being honest with respect to the way Hawaii is viewed right now that is all.

Anonymous said...

nsc -- no offense taken. You called it right on the mark.

-Bleeds Green

Anonymous said...

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