A Weak UH Schedule? Perfect!
Wednesday - December 05, 2007
I read about UH athletic director Herman Frazier’s revelation that some of his colleagues from the non-BCS schools have been warning him that the big conferences will do anything within their power to keep the UH out of a lucrative BCS bowl game - even if the Warriors go 12-0!
That’s one of the funniest stories I’ve ever read in the Star-Bulletin sports section, and it was written by veteran sportswriter Dave Reardon. This has been a brilliant season for Mr. Frazier and Coach June Jones.
There is little question that this was, from the beginning, a team that had a date with destiny. It didn’t start like that, because as you recall, there was much consternation over the weakness of the UH’s schedule. Fans were complaining about how Mr. Frazier had botched the scheduling process and there would be hell to pay for his ineptitude.
As it turns out, Mr. Frazier’s expertise in putting it together far exceeded anything any other athletic director in the Western Athletic Conference has been able to assemble. For starters, UH has one of the weakest, if not the weakest schedule in college football this season. There have been many UH teams that won the majority of their games and didn’t receive a bid to any bowl, from any conference.
In retrospect, the “Wacky Wac Conference” is a collection of teams that were Division I from the beginning to a bunch of Division II teams that strived to be Division I schools. Over the last 30 years there are probably few conferences that have experienced more defection than the WAC.
Thanks to Coach Jones and his dedicated and talented staff, as MidWeek goes to press the Warriors stand on the brink of total greatness. They conclude their season against the University of Washington of the powerful Pac-10 in their final regular season game. Every UH dreamer should attend this game, because it is a very important moment in UH sports. We’ve beat UW on other occasions, but now we need to make it a habit and beat them again.
The point is simple. We have arrived at a new scheduling paradigm, thanks to Mr. Frazier. He has proven that UH doesn’t need to have a tough schedule to make national rankings, bowl appearance and a small fortune in television revenue. In the final toll, it doesn’t matter if some of the games we played in the beginning didn’t draw sold-out crowds. The point is, at the end we were - I’m predicting - undefeated, and not because of the name of our opponents.
About the conspiracy theories, non-BCS schools have no real clout in deciding who gets recognized and who is left at the doorstep. What is true is that all non-BCS schools want to be selected to the finale, and the more obtuse rationalizations about the merits of a BCS berth they put forth the more lame they sound.
The probable truth is that the decision on who will play in the bowl games depends on how exciting the team is on the field, how many fans will travel with their team, and if the match up draws a television audience for the advertisers. Simply put, UH scores high on all points - except perhaps how many fans will travel to, say, New Orleans for the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl. That crowd of 50,000 probably helped convince any BCS doubters that the University of Hawaii has to be taken seriously.
So a big mahalo to Herman Frazier, who in a classic act of serendipity has proven that negotiating a weak schedule, for whatever reason, can be far more attractive to conference promoters than a super-strong schedule and a mediocre winning record fraught with injuries and a lack of attendance.
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