POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 15, 2011
To the University of Hawaii football team's travel supplies in the upcoming Mountain West Conference seasons, add plenty of oxygen tanks.
While the Warriors will dodge the highest altitude trip in college football — 7,220-foot Wyoming — for at least their first two years in the MWC, they'll play at Air Force (7,150 feet) and Colorado State (4,800) in their 2012 inaugural season in the conference, according to the pairings released Tuesday by the league.
MOUNTING UPUpcoming UH football schedules
* MWC games
Sources: UH and MWC
The remainder of the 2012 conference road schedule has UH at Fresno State and at San Diego State.
UH's home MWC schedule will include Boise State, Nevada, New Mexico and Nevada-Las Vegas
The 2013 season will be a reverse of '12. UH and Wyoming will not play in either season as the 10-member conference has an eight-game league schedule and each school has a rotational opponent they will miss.
Bret A. Gilliland, MWC deputy commissioner, said, "(the) scheduling structure released (Tuesday) incorporated two protected rivalry games submitted by each institution. Whether such guaranteed opponents will be part of the schedule format in 2014 and beyond, and if so, how many and which teams, has yet to be determined."
In 2014 there is the potential for UH to play road games at Wyoming, Air Force and CSU, along with nonconference trips to Colorado (5,345) and Brigham Young (4,553) that are already in the mix.
"That's a possibility," said UH athletic director Jim Donovan said. "Playing those teams, especially at their place, is tough. The strength of schedule is going to get tougher."
That's a far cry from the present Western Athletic Conference, in which the stadiums of only two league opponents, Utah State (4,600) and Nevada (4,546), are above 4,400 feet and UH plays one of them on the road each season.
Over the years, UH is 3-5 at Wyoming, 1-4 at Air Force and 2-6 at CSU.
"There are different ways to approach going to play at altitude," Donovan said. "Coach (Bob) Wagner used to go in just before and other coaches have taken more time to acclimate. It is all about an individual coach's approach and getting the players to buy into it."