I know it may on the surface sound over the top, but read the above article about Hawaii's scheduling problems and then consider what would have happened is Michigan State didn't wuss out on playing Hawaii.
Now I will concede to anyone that Michigan State/Hawaii would have been a good game, but anyone who has seen both teams play could tell you Hawaii would win. Hawaii has a knack for winning close games this year. MSU does not. Additionally it would have been played in Hawaii where the Warriors play at a different level AND there was so much bad blood between MSU & Hawaii, that you know Hawaii would be ready to play.
What would Hawaii's Strength of schedule look like with a win over a Michigan State? Sagrin has them at #40 today. Where was MSU ranked when the Hawaii game was scheduled?
I have to think a win over MSU would have kicked them up 4-8 spots. An undefeated #6 team vs. bunch of 2 loss teams? Do you take a 1 loss Kansas team who played a weak schedule and got rolled by Missou (a team that was spanked by 2 loss Oklahoma for the second time this season.) Is there really a compelling arguement for Kansas over Hawaii? I don't see one.
Kansas is ranked #3 at 11-1 in the sagarin ratings with a 65.42 rating. Hawaii is ranked #16 at 12-0 with a 56. 50 strenght of schedule.
MSU is ranked 40th with a 7-5 schedule and a 76.84 rating. Replacement Charleston Southern is 210th with a 34.09 rating. Think that lone game wouldn't have changed their strength of schedule dramatically? (56.50 X 12 - 34.09 + 76.84 /12 = 60.06)
Want more fuel for the fire? Imagine if ESPN had been able to successfully cajole Lloyd Carr into opening his season vs. Hawaii's run and shoot rather than lowly App State. (Hawaii offerred. ESPN wanted it. Carr was scared to play UH.) Michigan has been a poor scoring team all year and quite vulnerable to spread out passing games and obviously were not ready to play that saturday.
Hawaii matches up to Michigan and probably would have won that game too.
Michigan is ranked #27 with an 80.34 computer ranking. Adding them as a 13th game gets Hawaii to 61.6 in strength of schedule.
Where would that have a 13-0 Hawaii ranked? My guess --- looking at the computer rankings --- is in at least the top 8 if not the top 4, depending on if they rolled either Michigan school.
If not for MSU's and Michigan's wuss moves, the game for it all might have been Ohio State and Hawaii --- honestly not a game I think Hawaii would win on a neutral feild, but still one they deserve to be playing in.