Sunday, November 29, 2009

SMU vs Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl

Okay, okay, I know I bore my readers to death with SMU and Hawaii news whenever relevant. I'm sorry for that, but what can I do? Not only do I love the small schools, but UH and SMU are my two favorite small schools to push.

For the same reason... pretty much.

I was always enchanted by the story of the "Pony Express" and the death penalty, and how SMU were once this titanic program. The reason you probably don't know they exist (unless you were alive in the early 1980's) is because since the late 80's they've been a joke of a program.

On the other side of fence are the Hawaii Warriors (who if you were alive in the early 1980's you refer to as the Rainbow Warriors) who were one of the worst programs in college football until June Jones came over and made the program a force; remember when they made the BCS in 2007 and got crushed by Georgia? Ouch. But Colt Brennan was then, is now, and forever will be considered one of the greatest college football quarterbacks of all time. At least by this blogger.

After that 2007 loss, Jones ditched Hawaii to go to SMU. To sum up the reason why: he figured he reached the ceiling at Hawaii as it seemed unlikely that the AD was going to allow the program to have the resources that their competition in the WAC (0r the wealthy and starved SMU for that matter) have.

In 2008 Hawaii (with Jones' players) had an alright season but lost in the Hawaii Bowl to Notre Dame in the game we all remember as "the one that saved Charlie Weis' job," or "the one that gave Notre Dame an excuse to let Charlie Weis stay another year because there were no good coaches available," or my favorite; "the one where Jimmy Clausen performed well enough to lead people to believe that Weis could win with him in 2009." That same 2008 season SMU went winless in Conference-USA, but no one expected it to be any different; SMU was in that bad shape.

This past spring there was a lot of talk about Hawaii being lost without Jones and Jones being lost without Hawaii.

That hasn't been the case in 2009 at all, and it may lead to the surprise treat of the Bowl season.

SMU have been impressive. They're not great, but they've been a lock for Bowl game since Halloween in most peoples eyes. Hawaii were pretty bad early on, but they've definitely turned it around, beating Navy this past week, leaving them a win against Wisconsin away from being Bowl eligible yet again.

Hawaii Bowl representatives were at the SMU-Tulane game on Saturday afternoon, and at this point it's a lock for SMU to be in that game. The only thing that could keep the Ponies out of it is a more attractive bowl offer (which may come from the Armed Forces Bowl... though I'm not sure how attractive that is outside of easy transportation). At the risk of sounding extremely corny, and making a lot of my friends want to beat me up, I still have to say that I think Jones and SMU will be saying "Aloha" to the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.
As for that Hawaii vs Wisconsin game that will decide whether or not Hawaii are eligible; that will be a little tougher. Wisconsin are 8-3 and undefeated in out of conference play this year (Wofford, Fresno State, Northern Illinois: FS and NI are on Hawaii's level). If there's anything positive we can take from this game from a Hawaii standpoint, it's that Wisconsin are already Bowl eligible and the game is in Hawaii.

So let's go Warriors. The Jones vs Hawaii story would make everyone's Christmas Eve a lot better.

And let's face it, if it's SMU vs Hawaii you'll watch, if it's SMU vs Fresno State or Nevada, then who cares?

Please Hawaii. Please win.
And by the way... both Hawaii and SMU are in my Top 5 College Football Jerseys.

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