Ferd Lewis: University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors aiming to go way ‘over’ their win projection
Four months ago Las Vegas oddsmakers set the over/under betting line on University of Hawaii football victories for this regular season at 51⁄2. There was not a reported stampede to bet the “over.”
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Four months ago Las Vegas oddsmakers set the over/under betting line on University of Hawaii football victories for this regular season at 51⁄2.
There was not a reported stampede to bet the “over.”
Tonight against Army West Point in a nationally televised nonconference game at Aloha Stadium, the Rainbow Warriors (8-4) go for what would be a milestone ninth victory to punctuate the end of their regular season, with two games remaining in the postseason.
That’s something that hasn’t been accomplished since 2010, when the Warriors were on their way to an eventual 10-4 season. Reason enough, you would think, to provide sufficient inspiration to not become ensnared in what sets up as a potential trap game.
Sandwiched between the euphoria of the final-seconds Mountain West Conference West Division-title clinching victory over San Diego State last week and the anticipation of the MWC Championship showdown at Boise State next week, comes an easy-to-overlook 5-6 Army now that bowl eligibility has been nailed down.
The Black Knights of the Hudson have their own motivation amid an unanticipated struggle just to try to get to a .500 record. Army’s over/under to start the season was 10 victories. And the Black Knights sure looked the part in a 3-1 start in which the only loss was 24-21 in double overtime at Michigan’s Big House.
But an 0-for-October that included a head-shaking 28-21 loss to Georgia State in a five-game losing streak, quickly derailed that forecast.
Now, Army, an independent, needs to win out against UH this week and rival Navy in two weeks to finish with a winning season.
Four months ago it appeared that the Army game could be a bowl-eligibility make-or-break point for UH and its fragile postseason hopes. Faced with a Pac-12 three-team gauntlet — Arizona, Oregon State and Washington — in the first four games, it was the Warriors who figured to end up being in need of closing out with a victory.
But the Warriors won two of them in a 4-1 start and experienced their own turbulent (1-2) October with one-sided losses to Boise State and the Air Force Academy before pulling out of the tailspin with four victories in their past five games.
Against a schedule that the NCAA ranks 61st out of 130 Football Bowl Subdivision members for difficulty and fourth toughest in the 12-member MWC, UH has won most of the games it should have won and even a couple where it was deemed to be punching up a weight class.
UH will be a significant underdog to Boise State next week on the smurf turf and is likely to be one against Brigham Young, if the Warriors meet up with the Cougars in the Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl. Or, against a Pac-12 representative in the Las Vegas Bowl.
But with a victory tonight has a much stronger possibility of double-digit victories, something accomplished five times in school history.
The Warriors have come a long way from a team that had been picked to finish third in the West Division and miss out on a bowl. Tonight figures to say a lot about how much they can continue to ascend.
Reach Ferd Lewis at email@example.com or 529-4820.