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Hawaii Bowl could feature battle of former Warriors

By Ferd Lewis


We’ve already seen Nick Rolovich against his alma mater here. For his next coming out, maybe we see him take on his mentor, June Jones, at Aloha Stadium?

Rolovich’s University of Nevada offense versus Jones’ Southern Methodist team looms as the most intriguing of the possible matchups for the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl as the postseason begins to come into focus.

With the 1-6 University of Hawaii one loss from bowl elimination entering Saturday’s game at Fresno State, where the Warriors are 331⁄2-point underdogs on the Las Vegas line, you can bet the Hawaii Bowl is scouring the landscape for a palatable matchup for its Dec. 24 game.

And, at this point it, is hard to imagine they can find one with more potential local interest than Rolovich vs. Jones. It is a mentor against protege UH storyline that runs deep, something the game could desperately use with UH absent in consecutive years for the first time.

Hawaii Bowl executive director David Matlin declined to talk scenarios other than to say, “The bowl situation continues to be fluid, but as of right now we expect to get a team from both the Mountain West Conference and C-USA.”

The bowl is contractually bound to take representatives from those two conferences, if available.

Nevada, thanks in part to its 69-24 victory over UH in September that helped make Rolovich a hot topic here, is 6-3 and one of four MWC teams already bowl eligible. The others are Boise State (7-1), San Diego State (6-3) and Fresno State (6-3), while Air Force (5-3) needs one more victory and New Mexico (4-5) requires three wins in four remaining games.

SMU (4-4) needs two victories in its final four games to punch its ticket to the postseason, a definite possibility with Central Florida (6-2), Southern Mississippi (0-8), Rice (3-6) and Tulsa (7-1) remaining.

The MWC champion goes to the Las Vegas Bowl, and that is likely to be Boise State, while San Diego State is a natural for its backyard Poinsettia Bowl, Air Force is coveted by the Armed Forces Bowl and New Mexico would be a good fit for the New Mexico Bowl. Should either Boise State get a longshot Bowl Championship Series at-large berth or New Mexico not become bowl eligible, then Fresno State could be a replacement.

Otherwise, Fresno State and Nevada would be the two most likely candidates to play here on Christmas Eve and there is little doubt who the populace would like to see. Or that Nevada head coach Chris Ault would like a second crack at Jones, with his new-look offense, after a 45-10 thumping in the 2009 Hawaii Bowl.

You have to figure that would be a holiday treat both for Jones, who is the winningest head coach in UH history (76-41) against collegiate competition, and Rolovich, who was a starting quarterback for him in 2000-’01.

The irony here is that Rolovich, despite setting more than a half dozen records and going 8-4 as a starting quarterback at UH, never played in an NCAA bowl game as a Warrior and never won one as an assistant on Greg McMackin’s coaching staff.

But Rolovich’s legacy at UH, to this point at least, is that he went a long way — 543 yards and eight touchdowns — toward helping bring about the birth of the Hawaii Bowl in 2002.

The outcry after UH’s 72-45 demolition of then-ninth-ranked Brigham Young in 2001 left the Warriors 9-3 and bowl-less underlined the need for the game. 

Bringing Jones and Rolovich back in an offensive duel is about as good a place-filler as the game could hope to find in a non-UH year.


Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis@staradvertiser.com or 529-4820.

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hunebasami wrote:
Hope they do. I've never been to a Hawaii bowl because my father was unable to walk far and I asked for parking close to the entrance and was told me no. We bought Hawaii football ticket for almost fifty years. Now my father has past so maybe this year.
on October 30,2012 | 05:49AM
Nocturnal wrote:
Do they not have handicap stalls close by?
on October 30,2012 | 07:00AM
EyeKea wrote:
If Chow fails to turn the UH program around over the next 2 years, I think the I'd like to give Rolovich a chance at head coach. My biggest reason behind this it, I believe he has the kind of offense that fits Hawaii best. In a couple of years, he will be a seasoned and hopefully successful OC at Nevada. He'll be able to bring a hibrid "shooting pistol" offense to Hawaii.
on October 30,2012 | 06:58AM
warriorrebel wrote:
Good call, i like that idea, but i'd like to give coach chow a chance to turn things around 2-3yrs should be enough time to see if he can. Unless next year is as bad as this year.
on October 30,2012 | 07:17AM
allie wrote:
Chow is ok..he makes his players go to class and actually try to be students. JJ ran a dirty program and lost big in the end. If we are doomed to lose, why not have a clean program. Your convicted-[felon QB under JJ has proven to be a total embarrassment on and off the field. Let us dump public entertainment. It is not the UH mission!
on October 30,2012 | 07:45AM
dalawyer wrote:
Go back into your hole Allie! You're just a plain frustrated UH hater!
on October 30,2012 | 09:12AM
allie wrote:
No way..I love this campus!
on October 30,2012 | 02:30PM
PCWarrior wrote:
Not sure where Rolo gets the boy genius tag. He is not the inventor of the pistol - that would be Chris Ault. He is not the inventor of the run and shoot. That would be Mouse Davis and June. In fact, Rolo's offense was pretty stagnant when he was the UH OC. Lots and lots of five yard down and outs. Hardly genius. But when you compare to what Chow has showed so far, Rolo does look like a genius.
on October 30,2012 | 01:30PM
allie wrote:
on October 30,2012 | 02:31PM
Descartes22 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on October 30,2012 | 07:39AM
Descartes22 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on October 30,2012 | 07:41AM
kennie1933 wrote:
It's OK, if we were at home, the Vegas line would be 30 points. Maybe only 31.
on October 30,2012 | 10:00AM
kennie1933 wrote:
That's what I've been trying to say. All those teams (except maybe CSU even though they beat us) are doing very well! Other teams with new head coaches include Rutgers (though they lost their first game last week) and Ohio State. There are a number of teams with first year head coaches and with inherited players doing well.
on October 30,2012 | 10:03AM
kennie1933 wrote:
In fact, if you check out this site: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1059787-2012-projections-for-every-new-college-football-head-coach-bcs-bowl-or-bust#/articles/1059787-2012-projections-for-every-new-college-football-head-coach-bcs-bowl-or-bust, it lists all the schools with new head coaches and predicts BOWL or BUST. Interestingly, Hawaii with Coach Chow is predicted to go to a BOWL.
on October 30,2012 | 10:06AM
allie wrote:
This so-caleld "bowl" is designed for the UH. It is an embarrassment to football.
on October 30,2012 | 07:43AM
cigaripo wrote:
you're an embarrassment to the UH program for your negativity. The bowl is for the fans, community, income to the school and businesses, promoting Hawaii tourism, bringing players and fans that may never would have come here if not for their team, etc.Don't be so negative about UH.
on October 30,2012 | 08:54AM
allie wrote:
It is a phony "bowl." Let us label it as such.
on October 30,2012 | 02:31PM
PCWarrior wrote:
Take your Ritalin and Prozac kid. The depression is oozing out your pores.
on October 30,2012 | 01:32PM
cookievargas wrote:
Happy Birthday # 18...
on October 30,2012 | 08:52AM
BTO wrote:
This would be a great Hawaii Bowl. Two heralded Hawaii coaches, plenty of offense and of course some football envy from UH fans. But us UH fans hope our day will come. It is better to be humble with the lowly than to divide the spoil with the proud.....
on October 30,2012 | 09:03AM
false wrote:
Only the die hard UH football fans care. The rest of us just laugh.
on October 30,2012 | 09:52AM
allie wrote:
well put
on October 30,2012 | 02:32PM
kennie1933 wrote:
SMU vs. Nevada would be very interesting!
on October 30,2012 | 10:07AM
allie wrote:
on October 30,2012 | 02:32PM
kennie1933 wrote:
Don't worry, Hawaii won't be a part of the Hawaii Bowl for a while.
on October 30,2012 | 06:29PM
fka wrote:
Unfortunately,expect UH to be a non participant of the Hawaii Bowl this year,as well as the next two years. Now,this may change,if Coach Chow changes his inflexible ways. Only time will tell,it's up for Chow to change,if not,look for more decline of the program.
on October 30,2012 | 11:15AM
bleedgreen wrote:
Interesting possible match-up. The mention of Rolovich kindles thoughts of what might have been, In hind sight we can see what the former coaches accomplished with the "talent" they had on both sides of the ball. Players like Justin Clapp showed a lot of promise and I thought would have a break-out season in 2012. Instead, we can't find him on the depth chart.
on October 30,2012 | 04:43PM
64hoo wrote:
if its SMU and NEVADA SMU will blow out NEVADA like they did 3 or 4 years ago, when NEVADA had collin keppernick
on October 30,2012 | 05:15PM