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Better Know a 2017 Opponent: Hawaii

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Also Known As: The Author just reads interesting facts off the Hawaii wikipedia.

NCAA Football: Hawaii Bowl-Hawaii at Middle Tennessee Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

You know, sometimes you come up with an idea and think it’s really good, only to have a curveball thrown into the mix. That’s what Hawaii is, because I know absolutely nothing about this team except that at one point Hawaii made a BCS bowl, which means their athletic director is more qualified to win an AD Award for College Football Excellence than Dan “The Best Bowl Under My Watch Was the Alamo” Guerrero.

(PS, yes I know that Hawaii has had some, well, issues, with keeping their athletic department afloat in the past few years. Still doesn’t take away the fact that Hawaii has been to a major bowl game more recently than UCLA.)

LAST YEAR

This is going to be a really fun running joke, because Hawaii was one of the many, many teams on the schedule that had a better record last year than UCLA. Hawaii made a bowl game! They WON a bowl game! They managed to score more than 10 points against a bad Cal defense!

The only things I actually remembered from last year is that they replaced Norm Chow with a head coach who instantly started winning more than Norm Chow (who knew!), and that this happened late in the season:

I guess those benches were really holding that team back, because Hawaii would make a furious comeback in the second half.........only to lose 52-16. Starting to think that was really just an empty gesture.

THE FANS

I imagine Hawaii fans to be some of the chillest people imaginable, because seriously you guys gave Norm Chow 4 years to destroy the program. That said, a quick perusal of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Football wiki includes this gem:

In 2007, allegations that Fresno State fans were physically and verbally abused by hometown Hawaiʻi fans circulated the internet and television media added to this rivalry.

It was being reported that several Fresno State fans attempted to warn Boise State fans from attending Hawaiʻi football games due to potential violence against them, however no incidents were reported by Boise State fans and many photographs from Hawaiʻi-based publications covered incidents where Hawaiʻi and Boise State fans were seen mingling together before and after their 2007 game.

So yeah, I think they’ll fit right in at the Rose Bowl.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Hawaii Football color commentator and national treasure Robert Kekaula, who should be put into the College Football Hall of Fame for almost making the Norm Chow-era Rainbow Warriors watchable.

(Ok, I know I’m being hard on ole Norm, but to be fair, he has enough money that I assume he can handle getting roasted by me on the internet. Lord knows I’m not the first person to do this.)

Oh hey, Jeff Ulbrich went to Hawaii. That’s neat. Reading a wikipedia page and just copying it is neat. Can I just skip ahead to next week?

THE COACHES

The Rainbow Warriors are led by Nick Rolovich, a man who has established a clear dislike of benches and possibly other devices used for comfort. See, this is where switching sides at the Rose Bowl is going to provide a clear strategic advantage: poor old Nick is going to be losing late, want to take away the benches to prove something, and then realize it’s the only defense he has against the harsh, unforgiving California sun. JIM MORA IS A GENIUS!

THE PLAYERS

I have to assume recruiting to Hawaii is hard. Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Pros: You get to live in Hawaii!

Cons: You get to live in Hawaii. Like for 4 years.

Don’t get me wrong; Hawaii is a great place to visit, and is easily a top 5 vacation destination (also on that list: Seattle. Not on that list: Florida. Dear god not Florida). But the thing with vacation spots is that, after a few weeks, you tend to not want to be in that place anymore.

Plus it’s really far away from the mainland. That also might have something to do with their recruiting.

Now, I don’t actually know any of the players on Hawaii, but after taking a quick look at their roster I do need to state that this roster is a treasure trove of awesome names. There are a lot of real good names to choose from, but I have to say that my favorite is probably Kingjames Taylor, because this person was VERY DEFINITELY NAMED AFTER LEBRON, and I’m not sure I’m ready for that to start being a thing for incoming freshmen yet.

FEARLESS PREDICTION

This is very definitely the game where Jedd Fisch starts doing weird things with the offense, saying afterwards that he wanted to “try some new things out.” The result of this experimentation is Josh Rosen getting blown up as he runs a crossing route across the middle on a Wildcat play gone horribly wrong.

UCLA still wins by the score of (Lots of Points) - (Not Lots of Points).