Archive for October, 2010

UH 26th in both polls; going bowling

October 31st, 2010

The Warriors received the 26th most votes in the AP, coaches and Harris polls.

Can't explain how Nevada actually moved back into the top 25 polls. There actually is a possibility UH could upset Boise State, but not break into the polls, while Nevada would remain in the top 25. 

Of course, nobody is getting respect these days. John Saunders yesterday mentioned "Boise, Ohio." 

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 Gritty effort by the Warriors, who received tough-it-out efforts from quarterback Bryant Moniz, slotback Kealoha Pilares, right tackle Kainoa LaCount, running back Alex Green and defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga. Moniz, Green and Meatoga were held out of practices last week because of wear-and-tear ailments. Pilares played the entire first half, excelling as a punt returner, despite tweaking his hamstring during warmups. And LaCount played virtually one-handed; his broken right hand was in a cast. 

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Perhaps opponents need to rethink their travel plans to Hawaii. Nevada spent less than 30 hours in Hawaii. Idaho arrived Friday afternoon, left last night. It's not easy playing at Aloha Stadium. The surface is faster — and harder. The Halawa winds. Opponents need a walk-through. UH fans should be happy that opposing coaches are stubborn.

Game day: Idaho

October 30th, 2010

There's a lot on the line — for UH, for the WAC — when the Warriors play Idaho in tonight's homecoming game at Aloha Stadium. 

Warriors can clinch a winning regular season and the accompany berth in the Hawaii Bowl with a victory. And — don't look ahead, don't look ahead — it would set up a dramatic meeting at Boise State next week. 

When the WAC crafted the 2010 schedule, it set up late-season showdowns involving Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada. But that was before those three schools announces plans to secede from the WAC. Now the script changed. 

But Idaho presents a tough challenge for the Warriors. Nathan Enderle is the latest in a series of quality opposing quarterbacks. It should be interesting between Idaho's Enderle-led offense and the Warriors' improving defense.


October 29th, 2010

There will be a just reward for the Warriors if they manage to defeat Idaho for their seventh victory, clinching a winning regular season. The coaches, who took voluntary 5 percent paycuts during last year's difficult fiscal times, are eligible for one month's salary as a bonus for qualifying for the Hawaii Bowl. 

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Backup quarterback Brent Rausch has not decided whether to seek a special exemption that will allow him to play as a sixth-year senior in 2011. He withdrew from junior college in 2006 because of personal reasons, playing only one year at the College of Desert before signing with the Warriors in 2008. He did not take a snap last season because of a broken finger on his throwing hand. Rausch, who is on track to earning a bachelor's degree in May, has said he is debating whether to pursue another season or move on with his life. 

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LInebacker Aulola Tonga, who appears to have a shoulder injury, said he will not play this season.

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Congrats to Ray Hisatake, who said he signed with the San Jose SaberCats.

The long(er) goodbye

October 28th, 2010

The WAC reached an agreement with Nevada and Fresno State in which both schools will remain in the league  — in all sports — through June 30, 2012, with each ponying up $900,000 in exit fees.

It's a compromise.

Both schools don't have to pay the $5 million apiece the WAC feels it was owed, they save on lawyer fees, and they get to go where they want to go, anyway.

The WAC gets more time to reorganize, and, hopefully, it will use its share of the exit money to hire a recording secretary. Mental note: Do not hire the WAC to write pre-nups. What's more, because Nevada and Fresno State don't have votes on WAC matters for another year, the league could have "Make Fun of Nevada" events, and there's nothing the Wolf Pack could do about it. (Wouldn't it be interesting if  the exit fees were  paid with those large checks that could be held up during halftime?)

For Hawaii, it gives athletic director Jim Donovan and his committees more time, up to June 2011, to figure out if it wants to stay, go, half-stay/half-go, or do the hokey-pokey and turn it all around. (Side note: Everybody says UH would have  immediately accepted if it received the same offer from the MWC that was made to Nevada and Fresno State. Accept? Probably. Immediately? Not so. UH would have had public hearings and committee meetings and feasibility studies and more hearings and more committees and, after a while, the MWC would say: "Uh, you got Utah State's number?")

But I digress.

Anyway,  next summer, the landscape should rock and roll some more, with the Big Ten, which really is a big 12, grabbing some Big East teams, and then the Big East raiding another league, which in turn pulls TCU from the Mountain West, which will have the MWC looking for another WAC grab and ...

Well, it's not over.

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Kudos to Brent Rausch, still UH's No. 2 quarterback, who volunteered to work on the scout team yesterday. The Warriors wanted to get some reps for freshmen David Graves and Cayman Shutter. Rausch decided he would be more helpful portraying Idaho's Nate Enderle during defensive drills. Rausch flourished with the scout team, teaming with wideout Darius Bright, who is redshirting this season.

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In yesterday's blog, a reader cited a comment that he took from Na Koa's Web site. Highlights of Na Koa events are available on the organization's Web site.

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From Boise State:

Boise State Head Football Coach Chris Petersen will be available via teleconference with the Hawai'i media this Monday (Nov. 1) beginning at 2:00 p.m. (MT). This will be the only time Coach Petersen will be available prior to the game for the Hawai'i media.

Also as a reminder, Boise State players are unavailable for media interviews.

Changes are coming

October 27th, 2010

With exit talks heating up among the WAC, Nevada and Fresno State, it is clear that the thing UH fans have been putting off is becoming a reality: Things are going to change. 

Is change bad? A few years ago, there was a collective groan when the WAC scrambled to replenish its membership. But now, the Utah State and Idaho became important UH football games. And Utah State has been a boost to WAC basketball. Suppose, say, Seattle and Denver were added as basketball members. Wouldn't those be substantial market gains over the current membership? Seattle or Fresno? Denver or Reno? 

The thing is, UH is in a situation where any plan it has — independence/Big West, stay put — is a backup plan. Boise, Fresno and Nevada get to brag about their prom dates; UH is spouting the fun of going stag. 

Not sure if things will be better. Not sure if they can get any worse. But things will change. 

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Don't feel guilty about watching the Boise State-UH telecast for free or getting a refund from the pay-per-view subscription. As part of the contract with Oceanic/K5, UH is guaranteed $2.3 annually. UH won't be getting anything less than what it expected. And nobody should feel sorry for Oceanic's bottom line. 

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David Graves, who served as the scout quarterback the past few weeks of practices, is back at quarterback. But he did earn another assignment: He's now the middle man on the hands team that receives onside kicks.