Warriors, stadium ready for Huskies

Bobby Curran
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Friday - November 30, 2007
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I’ve been saying all year that I’d bet against any team in the country going undefeated - it’s incredibly hard to do. Now that Hawaii is the last team standing, I’m ready to hedge that bet.

Only the University of Washington stands between a perfect season and BCS bid. So many people in the Warrior nation have invested emotionally in this team that the possibility of a loss seems unimaginable. After dispatching Boise State in front of the largest crowd to watch a college football game at Aloha Stadium, it’s hard to dismiss the notion that the Warriors are destiny’s children.

But it won’t be easy. The Huskies are 4-8; that record has been compiled against what the Sagarin ratings say is the nation’s toughest schedule. Not only are the Huskies big and physical, they have a hugely gifted QB in Jake Locker - think Tim Tebow - who runs better than he throws, and RB Louis Rankin, who has 1,149 rushing yards. I was hoping that UW might make an M&M trip (mopeds and mai tais), but Tyrone Willingham won’t bring the Huskies in until Friday. They’ll stay an extra day after the game to give their players a taste of Hawaii. Additionally, a couple of local boys on the defensive line for UW ought to heat things up.

On balance, Hawaii appears to be the better team. Considering its veteran leadership, and with so much on the line, expect the Warriors to play hard and well.

Kudos to the Aloha Stadium staff and HPD. That was the best and most-organized handling of a sell-out crowd I’ve ever seen. Traffic was a non-factor, the parking lot was orderly, and the crowd control and security were flawless.

On the upper deck of Aloha Stadium during a sold-out game the structure actually sways. That used to spook me; now it just means the joint is jumping.

The crowd at the Boise State game provided a real advantage to the home team, and players and coaches acknowledged as much after the fact. Never before has UH had as much to play for, and this Saturday should be a big-time college environment.

It seems that the concern of UH fans about the well-being of their Boise compatriots after last week’s national reporting of loutish behavior by drunken fans at Aloha Stadium extended well beyond those immersed in college football. When my son Max’s preschool teacher was served before a patient customer at a local fast food restaurant on Saturday, she immediately pointed out the error to the young man behind the counter.

“That lady could be a visitor from Boise,” she joked.“Actually I am,” replied the customer, who then went on to assure everyone that she and her family had been treated well during their memorable trip to Hawaii and that the only complaint they had was the score.

UH is doing considerable work internally to plan for the eventuality of a BCS bid, but will make no announcement about tickets or travel packages until immediately after a Hawaii win on Saturday night.

Go Warriors!

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