By Dave Reardon
Harris Poll voter and former UH head coach Bob Wagner is now the athletic director at Kamehameha-Hawaii, on the Big Island. He graciously agreed to share some thoughts with UH Sports Extra.
It’s great to see UH having an outstanding season. It’s also interesting to see that despite all the criticism of their soft schedule it may have been a blessing for them. You would think that if they had opened at Florida instead of LA Tech that they would barely be in the top 25 or maybe not even be ranked right now. I think what is happening with their season and also that of Ohio State and Arizona State is going to make a lot of people question how they should do their non conference schedule if they want to get to a BCS game. All three were accused of having soft non conference schedules but look where they are in the rankings.
When I did my football/family sabbatical the fall after I left UH I remember visiting with John Cooper (the OSU head coach at the time) during an Ohio State practice about scheduling. At that time he mentioned that the last Ohio State team that won a National Championship was in 1968. He said no one could tell him who they played non conference. He mentioned at that time that they were planning to play the Bowling Green’s, Kent State’s, etc., in state D 1 teams that could benefit financially and that were as good as a Rice or an SMU but were very beatable. It looks like Jim Tressel may have inherited one of his schedules this year. Also, with teams playing more regular season games (more non conference games) softer non conference schedules become more important in keeping people healthy for league play.
Getting back to UH in hindsite it probably couldn’t have been set up any better for them. The extra bye(s) gives them a chance to get people healthy for their stretch run, they can polish up areas that they think need extra work, they can get the back ups some good work (help their depth), give the scout team players a chance to play (scrimmage) their own offense and defense (great for overall team morale), everyone can get a little more mentally refreshed, they can spend a little more time preparing for something that one of the remaining teams does that may be unique, and they can put in some new wrinkles in their O, D, and special teams that they may need to win a game down the stretch. They certainly have a wonderful opportunity.
WAC commissioner Karl Benson said (on The Bobby Curran Show this morning) a deal has been struck for UH’s Nov. 10 game against Fresno State to be shown by ESPN.
It does not affect the local pay-per-view broadcast, nor the 6:05 p.m. Saturday kickoff.
This means all five of UH’s remaining games (including a bowl game) will be on national TV.
Topic for discussion: Desmond Thomas will move in as the starting free safety now that Keao Monteilh is out for the year. Who do you like for No. 3 safety … Spencer Smith, Erik Robinson, Dane Kealoha Porlas or somebody else?