Trevor Freeman
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November 24 - The True BCS Title Contender

Before I get rolling, let the record show that my being a part of ten consecutive Waikiki bar crawls was
a nonfactor in getting this column off the ground. In fact, I resent any implication that my love of Mai
Thais, the hula, surfing and the hula had any bearing on the argument I am about to make.

As I sat watching the Kansas-Missouri game and listened to the announcers talk about Missouri and
West Virginia now having the inside track on the national championship game, I cringed. It wasn’t just
because college football is about to have a showcase game that will rival the Chicago White Sox-
Houston Astros World Series as the least watched major sporting event in history. It is because I
watched Hawaii play Boise State the night before in a game that pitted two teams that looked to my
eye to have more speed on the field, more weapons on offense and a more creative offensive style. It
is because the winner of that game is still undefeated. And it is because the winner of that game has
no shot of playing for the national title. And that my friends is just as absurd as Flavor of Love being
greenlighted for a third season.

There are three key factors that have to be weighed when evaluating a college football team in my
opinion. The first question I always ask myself before pondering a squad is, “how many players on
this team will play in the NFL at the skill positions?” In Hawaii’s case, you have at least three players
at the offensive skill positions that will definitely play on Sunday. According to most mock draft
services, Colt Brennan is ranked no lower than fifth in terms of available quarterbacks in the 2008
NFL Draft. Receivers Jason Rivers (#24 receiver in the 2008 Draft class on and
Davone Bess (#14 receiver in the 2009 Draft class on are also mortal locks to
make an NFL roster. There is another receiver in Ryan Grice-Mullen who may also wind his way onto
an NFL roster and freshman running back Kealoha Pilares is somebody to keep an eye on.

The second question I ponder is, “which coach would put together the better game plan with a month
and a half to prepare?” There is no doubt in my mind that if you gave June Jones forty-five days to
prepare for a team like Missouri, West Virginia or Ohio State that he would come out with an offensive
game plan that would eat them alive. With Brennan’s arm and his speedy receiving corp., I think
Jones would hatch a plan that improves on the already 47.1 points per game that the Warriors
already put up. Jones along with Mouse Davis are generally regarded as the fathers of the Run and
Shoot offense. In three full seasons as an NFL coach, Jones led the Atlanta Falcons to the playoffs
once and at Hawaii he has been an unmitigated success. June Jones is such an offensive wizard
that he was even able to finesse a 4,143 yard and twenty-four touchdown season out of Jeff George.
Ponder that for a second. That would be like some director coaching Tom Green to an Oscar
nomination or some producer coaxing a Grammy Award winning performance out of Ashlee Simpson.

The final factor is “if you were down to your last five dollars and had to bet, who would you bet on?” In
my opinion, Hawaii wins that hands down over Missouri. After watching Boise State beat Oklahoma in
the Fiesta Bowl, I don’t think it is a stretch to think that a champion of the WAC with legitimate NFL
prospects at the offensive skill positions could beat somebody from the overrated Big 12. Ditto for
West Virginia. I’m still not sure how the Big East has been a BCS automatic and the Mountain West
and WAC aren’t. The argument gets dicey when Ohio State, Georgia or USC becomes involved. That
being said, I think Hawaii stacks up when you compare them to other teams prominently mentioned
as being BCS title game worthy.

We have all heard of the East Coast bias and I think that is real. Especially in sports with subjective
polls like college football and basketball. Luckily for basketball they have the greatest playoff system
in sports currently in place which balances out any poll bias. When it comes to football the East Coast
bias can truly screw teams from the West Coast. With Hawaii, that bias goes one step further. Any
voter located on the Eastern Seaboard has to make a sincere effort to catch one of their games and is
basically voting on what they see in a box score. In my opinion that has been the biggest reason for
Hawaii’s nonmovement in the polls and that is ridiculous. Not only should Hawaii already be in the
top ten but Colt Brennan should be booking his plane reservation for New York so he can be in the
audience when Darren McFadden is awarded the Heisman.

The proponents of the BCS argue their system is better than the NCAA Tournament because it places
more importance on the regular season. That you have to run the gauntlet and the best team is
generally rewarded at the end which is unlike a tournament system in which a hot team can bring
home the title. If that is the case, then Hawaii playing for the national title should be a foregone
conclusion. Everybody who supports this system yet doesn’t support Hawaii playing for the title
should be given the title of hypocrite if Hawaii is left on the sideline unbeaten while two teams with
losses square off for the national title.


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