POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 13, 2011
Out-of-division opponents, a staple of University of Hawaii football schedules for decades, are being cut back, officials said.
After Lamar in 2012, UH does not currently show any Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA) teams on its future schedules and adding additional ones will become less of a priority. "That will be a last option," associate athletic director Carl Clapp said.
Athletic director Jim Donovan said he would "prefer to play FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) opponents as much as possible. Nothing against FCS programs, but (opponents) seem to resonate better with our fans if they're an FBS program."
UH is 22-2 against out-of-division opponents since 1978.
FUTURE UH FOOTBALL FOES(Nonconference and subject to change)
UH will play one FCS opponent, UC Davis, on its 2011 schedule. South Alabama, which is on the 2012 schedule, is expected to be an FBS-counting opponent by then.
FBS schools are allowed to count one victory over an FCS school per year toward bowl eligibility. UH played two, Northern Colorado and Charleston Southern, in 2007 when athletic director Herman Frazier was unable to complete a 13-game regular season schedule and needed the second FCS just to reach 12.
In 2010, Arizona State, left in an 11th-hour scheduling bind, played two FCS schools and, because only one of the victories could be counted for bowl purposes, failed to achieve bowl eligibility.
Since Division I-AA was established in 1978, only four FBS schools — USC, UCLA, Notre Dame and Washington — have yet to play at least one game against lower-division opposition. Washington, however, will open the 2011 season with Eastern Washington, the reigning FCS champion.
With the addition of Navy for games in 2013 and '15, Donovan has scheduled 23 nonconference games since becoming AD in 2008. He said he has attempted to strike a balance in scheduling. "We don't want our schedule to be described as 'easy,' but we also don't want it to be Murderer's Row, either."
"I'm very pleased with Carl's assistance with this. It was one of the immediate things I needed to address when I was hired," Donovan said. "And I think we've done a good job of filling out our schedules into the future, and we'll continue to work on it on a consistent basis."
UH said it is currently talking to several schools, including USC.
"We have talked to USC, but we still have some more talking to do," Donovan said. "Some games take weeks (to make) and others take months."