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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:28 am 
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I spent the first 10 years of my life living in Hawaii, so this season has been an absolute joy to see as the Hawaii Warriors make it to the BCS and net the school $4M for despirately needed facility improvements. I have no other connection to the University than that.

As I have watched the season I have been struck again by the difference between BCS and non-BCS schools. BCS schools are 2 to 3 deep in starting caliber players. Non-BCS schools usually struggle for backups and often starters.

As I watched the Warriors this season, I frequently got frustrated by June Jones's refusal to run the ball to offset the pass rush. After watching the Washington win and the Sugar Bowl loss, I understand it now. Hawaii's OL is a lineman or 2 short and they don't have a starting HB. They really don't have the people to run the ball against more talented opponents.

In the sugar bowl the difference in depth was glaring. Hawaii will run 60 plays or more a game. An opponent's DL might dominate their OL for a quarter, but by the second quarter, the DL is gassed and Hawaii's offense gets a little time and starts clicking. Against Georgia, Georgia threw about 3 waves of collegiate starting caliber DLs at Hawaii's OL. They didn't wear down until the fourth quarter, by which time Colt Brennan had been sacked about 8 times and hit another 12 times.

In the run and shoot, just like every other offensive scheme, you slow the rush down by running the ball. Hawaii could not get good movement from their line runblocking and their primary running back freshman Pilares lacks the strength to break tackles and doesn't hit holes quickly, low, or hard. He needs about 20 lbs more muscle and a lot of technique work. He is more of a third down back today. (Frankly, IMO he would make a better replacement for senior wide receiver Jason Rivers next year as he has decent hands, speed, and moves.)

Georgia on the other hand rolled out 3 starting cailber runners. Its a darned shame that Hawaii didn't have one. If they had, that would have been a game.

I hope Hawaii gets a couple blue chippers this year. It isn't all too well known, but that team is loaded and could beat Florida in their opener and find itself back in a BCS Bowl next year. Their backup QB Tyler Graunke has really impressed me. He isn't as accurate as Brennen, but is a tough minded leader with a solid arm. He will probably have about a 66% completion rate next year with say 30 TDs and about 12 INTs. He's VERY good. They are getting back their #1 and #2 receivers Ryan Grice-Mullen and Davone Bess who are dynamite NFL caliber receivers who IMO might both go as high as the late 1st - 2nd round in their senior year draft. The team just need a feature running back to run through the WAC again next year. They need someone who understands how to hit a hole efficiently and how to finish a run. Someone with decent size (say 220 lbs) and power who runs with good lean.

A guy who might be a solid 1000 yard rusher in the SEC or Big XII could put up insane numbers in Hawaii's run and shoot offense. Their 4 receiver offense forces 2 linebackers off the feild. Your 4 yard gain playing for LSU would be a 6 yard gain in Hawaii's offense--- and you would take a lot less wear and tear. Look at the numbers Missou's HB put up in their Bowl. A good polished runner with decent speed and power could approach those numbers fairly frequently in Hawaii's offense.

I could see someone breaking all NCAA records as a runner and getting a world of hype in that offense. I think the odds of this type of player getting to a BCS Bowl next season as Hawaii's feature runner are probably better than all but 5-6 other schools as their feature runner and those are BCS Conference powerhouses which probably have guys who may be as good as you or even better than you. Hawaii has a lot of elusive guys, but they seem to lack the kind of player I am describing.

Hawaii has little money due to their travel expenses and the payouts they have to make to get opponents to play them. They have a recruiting budget of 50K. Many SEC schools have recruiting budgets 10 times that size. Many of UH's better players have gotten into trouble at BCS schools and have been referred to their coach June Jones. June Jones is a former NFL head coach. A lot of his starters get solid NFL looks. If you want to play for Hawaii, they probably don't have the budget to send people out to find you and scout you, but they may have a scholarship for you. If you know you can play FBS, write Hawaii a few times. Have your coach write Hawaii on your behalf. Having lived in Hawaii and all over the southwest, I can tell you, it will be the best 4 years of your life. It is freaking paradise!

I found this address at the Hawaii website that would probably be a good starting point for getting in touch with Coach Jones. football@hawaii.edu





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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:25 am 
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If I'm not mistaken, the $4 million that Hawaii gets for playing in a BCS bowl will be split among all 9 WAC conference member schools (just like Boise State's payout last year).

You are correct about depth. Hawaii doesn't have the depth to compete with an SEC team. Hawaii has unique recruiting issues, not just because of being in a "non-BCS autobid conference", but because of their location. After the Boise State victory last year, Georgia certainly were not going to take Hawaii lightly, and Georgia was practically playing a home game. The last few games of the season, Hawaii was not blowing people out... they were scrambling to win almost every week. They had a couple overtime wins, and had to come from behind vs. Nevada and Washington. I think their linemen were very good WAC players, but perhaps a bit smaller than those at some SEC schools and if your 2nd string can't match up size-wise, you have to either exhaust your starters or expect a drop-off in performance when the 2nd string is on the field. This is exactly what you are alluding to, and it can more often than not be a difference-maker.

If you read about how June Jones stumbled upon Colt Brennan, it involved a lot of bizarre and fortuitous circumstance.
Jones needs to immediately capitalize on his success by recruiting hard in the wake of their big season. Unfortunately it didn't end well for them, and the Sugar Bowl loss got a lot more TV exposure than those late late night games. So it'll be tough for Hawaii to maintain their momentum, but maybe some kids who like their style of play will be attracted to Jones' program.

For a program to get to the point where a nice recruiting
"pipeline" is established, you sort of need a recruting infra-structure (a lot of relationships), a strong alumni base, and a reputation that has some longevity, and it's kind of a Catch 22.
You need to get some breaks and high-profile success to get that going, and it requires a bit of luck to pull it off when you are not quite ready-for-prime-time.

Congratulations to Hawaii for a great season. They did gain some notoriety this year, and there has got to be a pool of kids that would love to spend 4 years out there in Oahu...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:48 pm 
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Quote:
If I'm not mistaken, the $4 million that Hawaii gets for playing in a BCS bowl will be split among all 9 WAC conference member schools (just like Boise State's payout last year)...


I think the WAC splits it, 4.5 for Hawaii, 4.5 split for the rest of the conference.

Thanks for posting man. I think you are dead on. I hope to start another thread toi talk about hawaii in general. This thread seem so out of date now.

Coach June Jones left for SMU. Bess and Grice-Mullin bailed for the draft. It will be a much tougher year than I thought --- like 7-4 say.


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