Hawaii Warriors Football - Buyer Beware
by Steve Kosmider - 08/24/2007
In 2005 Hawaii opened camp with the seemingly impossible task of replacing the NCAA's all-time passing leader, Timmy Chang. They began the year getting steamrolled by USC (63-17) at home. That particular Trojan team may go down in history as arguably the best college team ever. However, since that game the Warriors are 10-4 at home, with two of those losses stemming from non-conference foes. In fact, dating back to 2001, Hawaii is 37-10 on the island. That's not including a dominating 3-1 record in their semi-annual "Home Bowl" game, which, let's face it, is becoming a joke.
Where the Hawaii program has solidified its presence is within its own conference. They are 11-5 against the spread in WAC play the last two years and 6-2 ATS inside Aloha Stadium. At the end of the schedule each year, there's always a BCS conference school that travels to our nation's 50th state for the "experience." That's also the only time ESPN will get off their high horse and bring a crew out there to televise a game. That may very well change this year. Hawaii football will not be ignored in 2007.
Warriors QB Colt Brennan knocked David Klingler off the top of the all-time touchdown mountain last season, resetting the record at 58. After toying with the NFL idea, Brennan put his big payday on hold. Choosing to stay in Hula Girl Heaven, Brennan made the oddsmakers job a little bit tougher this season.
This year's version of Hawaii Football will feed right into the mouths of what I call the "Four-H Club." These are the gamblers who blow their balances on Hype, Highlights and Heisman Hopefuls, NOT information. The good news for sports books this year is that the 2007 Warriors have all four Hs.
Since 2001 the average combined score of a lined Hawaii home game is 70.3. A major part of that is the above mentioned Chang and the numbers he put up during his senior year. Chang wasn't an NFL caliber quarterback, but Brennan sure is. So it makes you wonder what kind of ungodly numbers he can put up in HIS senior year. The top three wide receivers return from a team that averaged 46 points and 440 yards per game, laying the groundwork for what could be the most dynamic offense we've ever seen. That, my friends, could play right into the oddsmakers hands.
This year's Hawaii team will be Las Vegas' personal Chia Pet. They can grow the lines out at long as they want. Saturdays will be winding down and the professional players will have taken a knee for the day hours ago. It's the city park pigeons that will still be scrambling around for pieces of stale bread. We all know how John Q. Public has never seen a favorite he didn't like. For pigeons like this, the Hawaii run-n-shoot will be like a loaf of fresh Wonder Bread.
June Jones' Juggernaut will begin the year ranked and won't even be challenged until November. A 6-0 start and obscene numbers, combined with Brennan's Heisman campaign, will make cracking the Top 15 an almost certainty. What will the back rooms of Vegas make the Hawaii numbers then?
Hawaii home games kickoff at midnight EST. and every suit from Caesars Palace to the Bellagio knows they will be the last game on the board. The last shot for Harry Hardluck, the Four-H Club cardholder, to get even for the day.
Guys, please, keep a close eye on the Hawaii lines this year, sides and totals. Watch the moves and stay on the value side of the number. While the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce promises sunshine, pineapples and pig-roast luaus, remember, it won't always be a pigeon's paradise.