POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 21, 2010
The University of Hawaii football team in the Las Vegas Bowl some year?
The San Diego-based Poinsettia Bowl?
The Mountain West Conference is apparently open to considering the Warriors for non-Bowl Championship Series bowls other than exclusively the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, commissioner Craig Thompson said.
The Warriors play Tulsa on Friday in the Hawaii Bowl at Aloha Stadium, their sixth appearance in the backyard bowl's nine-year history.
Under terms of an agreement between UH, the Western Athletic Conference and the Hawaii Bowl, the Warriors play in the hometown game except when they are BCS-bound as they were in the 2007 season.
When UH joins the MWC for the 2012 season, Thompson said, of a similar arrangement, "I think that's an opportunity, if that's what Hawaii wants, if that's what ESPN Regional wants and if that's what the other remaining members of the (MWC) want, that certainly is one option. But, maybe, one of those three parties would like a different structure. I don't know. I haven't gotten into it."
Thompson said, "I have spoken to (UH athletic director) Jim Donovan just very briefly about it. But is that Hawaii's goal as an institution: to stay home and play in that game three out of four years or two out of three years or whatever? Or, would they prefer more of a one out of four?"
David Matlin, executive director of the Hawaii Bowl, said the game has had only "preliminary" discussions with the MWC and sees itself as providing a "continuing opportunity for the University of Hawaii."
Thompson conceded, "I know finances play a huge role for the conference because if Hawaii travels to the mainland, that's a flight and you're paying (for) a second flight and a charter to pay for a team to go from the mainland over to Hawaii. So, that's two flights instead of one, so to speak."
Thompson said, "I look forward to sitting around a table with the athletic directors discussing that whole topic."
The MWC currently has ties with five bowls: Las Vegas, Poinsettia (San Diego), New Mexico (Albuquerque), Humanitarian (Boise) and Armed Forces (Dallas). Three of them, Las Vegas, New Mexico and Armed Forces, are owned and operated by ESPN Regional, which also has the Hawaii Bowl.