Posted 12/03/2007 at 05:37 PM
Between the Lines...
Few would argue that Hawaii deserves a spot in the national title game but it is sad that the only undefeated team in the nation never had a chance from day one of the season. College Football is likely the only competitive endeavor which a team can defeat every opponent it has faced yet not even have the opportunity to play for a championship. Those that criticize Hawaii’s strength of schedule should first criticize the system that makes it so difficult for Hawaii to get teams to play them at home. The expense is significant and the WAC has struggled with that problem over the years as many teams have abandoned the conference with travel expense as a factor. Oddly schools seem to have no problem covering the expenses to play in the Hawaii Bowl or in basketball last week the Maui Invitational had no problems filling slots. Since Hawaii’s football team became an offensive force, travel costs and a litany of other excuses has covered up for teams admitting that they are scared of losing to Hawaii. USC has been lauded for their schedule and a take-on anyone approach, but the Trojans declined a chance to play Hawaii this season. Florida will host the Warriors next season but Coach Meyer publicly scoffed at the idea of taking his team to the Islands, as if playing a challenging game and proving your team to be superior was not actually the goal of a college football season. Michigan and Michigan State both also backed out of games, leaving Hawaii with few options and a schedule that created the upcoming Sugar Bowl appearance as a best-case scenario on the season. The Warriors won unimpressively in several games this season but the same can be said about LSU, the questionably deserving two-loss team that will get the opportunity to play for the national title because the media decided that is the match-up it wants. Kansas and Ohio State are the only teams with just one-loss on the season and after being spoiled in recent years with great undefeated teams taking home titles we are back to drawing board with a very questionable bowl lineup and several teams with legitimate gripes towards the BCS system.
Fortunately the NFL plays out with a playoff bracket and the end of the season provides closure in a do-or-die format resulting in the Super Bowl, the bowl game that towers over all of the college bowl games combined. Last week’s huge NFC showdown provided some drama and interesting storylines as well as some questionable penalties that dramatically impacted the game. The re-match may be in the works down the road. Many players were playing heavy hearts last weekend and the 10-player defensive start for the Redskins was a classy tribute to Sean Taylor. No matter what your thoughts on Taylor are it was obvious that he meant a lot to a great deal of players with the considerable emotion visible during the pre-game memorials. Good Luck.