For its 33rd — and final — year in the Western Athletic Conference, Hawaii will play more league games on the road than at Aloha Stadium.
But given the WAC’s configuration and schedule restraints, "that’s fair," UH offensive coordinator Nick Rolovich said. "They had to do it. And at least we don’t have to play back-to-back weekends on the road."
After much delay caused when Fresno State and Nevada tweaked their nonconference games, the WAC yesterday released the 2011 football schedule.
"It was an extremely difficult process," WAC commissioner Karl Benson said. "This was the first time we’ve had an imbalanced schedule, with four of the schools having four road games and four having three road games. And the last-minute changes by Fresno State and Nevada made it more challenging for us."
With nine football members in 2010, each team played a balanced WAC schedule of four home games and four road games. But Boise State secedes from the WAC on July 1, reducing the WAC membership to eight schools, each playing seven league games in 2011. UH, Fresno State and Nevada are scheduled to leave the WAC on July 1, 2012.
After playing four nonconference games to open the 2011 season, the Warriors’ first WAC game is Oct. 1 against Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La. Hawaii has a bye the following weekend, then plays at San Jose State on Oct. 15. The Warriors will rotate home and away games the next five weekends.
"We tried to factor in geography with the home-and-away balance," Benson said. "We always try to protect the University of Hawaii so it won’t have to go to the mainland on consecutive weekends."
The Warriors’ final road game is against Nevada in Reno on Nov. 12.
Benson said, "Nov. 12 is not late in the season. It’s almost dead in the middle of the season. We don’t factor in weather at all."
Because the Warriors have nonconference home games against Tulane on Nov. 26 and Brigham Young on Dec. 3, Benson said, there was an eight-week window for UH to play seven WAC games.
"Nov. 26 and Dec. 3 were not options for us for any conference games (for UH)," Benson said. "That’s another thing. We always protect Thanksgiving and the final Saturday for nonconference games for (the Warriors). We’ve been very accommodating to the University of Hawaii over time."
Benson added: "I’m sure there will be some complaints. We had other schools who were willing to make concessions. If an athletic director and head coach were to draw their perfect schedule, I doubt any of them would be the one we released today."