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UH football team picked to finish last in division


LAS VEGAS » The University of Hawaii football team was picked to finish sixth — last — in the Mountain West Conference’s West Division in a poll announced today at the league’s media preview.

Media members covering MWC football teams were polled.

"We understand, given our wins and losses from last year, being placed where we’re at," UH quarterback Taylor Graham said. "We’re going to embrace the underdog role. We definitely have a chip on our shoulder. We have a lot to prove. We’re looking forward to that."

Defensive tackle Saui Matagiese said: "I don’t want to say I don’t pay attention to (the poll). It motivates us. We’ll use it as a driving force."

The Warriors were 3-9 in 2012, Norm Chow’s first season as UH head coach.

"We’re not the same team," Matagiese said. "We got way faster, way stronger."

The Rainbow Warriors also did not place any players on the 2013 MWC preseason all-conference team.

This is the first year that the MWC, which added two teams to expand to 12 members, is separated into two divisions.

Fresno State was picked to win the West. Boise State was selected as the Mountain Division’s top team.

West Division

1. Fresno State (39 first-place votes) 243 points
2. San Diego State (1) 181
3. San Jose State (1) 172
4. Nevada 135
5. UNLV 71
6. Hawaii 59

Mountain Division

1. Boise State (40) 245
2. Utah State (1) 204
3. Air Force 143
4. Wyoming 116
5. Colorado State 90
6. New Mexico 63
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