UH Warriors Are Moving On Up

Bobby Curran
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Friday - November 24, 2006
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Now that the University of Hawaii football team has cracked the Top 25 in both major polls, other questions arise.

How high can the Warriors go? And of the teams ranked above them, whom could they beat?

How high the Warriors go depends, of course, on continuing to win - one loss and they are out of the polls for the rest of the year. Even if they keep winning, their standing depends entirely on what the teams ranked above them do.

Several of the teams between No. 15 and No. 24 could lose this weekend, allowing Hawaii to move up. Any school ranked No. 14 or higher that loses probably doesn’t fall below UH.

So let’s take a look.

No. 24 Clemson hosts South Carolina. Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks came within a missed field goal of beating Florida at the Swamp, and this is a rivalry game where most anything can happen.

No. 23 BYU is at Utah, their biggest rival. Utah could easily prevail in this one.

No. 22 California hosts a pitiful Stanford team. Even though this is a rivalry game, no way the Bears lose to the overmatched Cardinal.

No. 21 Tennessee hosts Kentucky, and the Volunteers are unlikely to lose to the Wildcats.

No. 20 Wake Forest plays at Maryland, and after a painful home loss to Virginia Tech, may find it tough to get up for this one. Plus the Terrapins are angry after having been knocked out of the polls themselves by getting skewered by Boston College.

No. 19 Nebraska should roll when hosting Colorado.

No. 18 Boston College plays Thursday at Miami, and the Hurricanes have enough talent to win that game.

No. 17 Virginia Tech faces in-state rival Virginia, who beat Miami on the road last week.

No. 16 Rutgers had the wind taken out of their sails when they were rocked by Cincinnati, and they could lose at Syracuse if they can’t put it behind them.

No. 15 Georgia Tech visits archrival Georgia in Athens, and could easily stumble there.

Realistically, Hawaii could move up three or four spots if the Warriors can win and some of these teams lose.

But the other question is, who could Hawaii beat if the Warriors could play these teams? If they could play at Aloha Stadium, the answer might well be all of them. I don’t see anybody on that list stopping the Warriors’offense, and the defense has gotten better and better each week. In fact, the last few weeks have emboldened me.

I’d love to see Arkansas, Texas, or Wisconsin come out here; I believe this UH team could beat any of them.

Here’s a prediction: UH will play UCLA on Christmas Eve in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. That seems to be what most Hawaii fans want, and UCLA has the largest alumni group of the teams in contention to come, and the largest TV market. Wouldn’t you love to see 40,000 plus at Aloha Stadium?

This might be a great year to give a couple of tickets as early Christmas presents. If the Warriors can sweep these remaining three games, they will become the winningest and the best UH team in school history.

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