Why Florida Will Pound Hawaii

May 5, 2008

I was out of town all weekend, so I am woefully behind on news and current events. In lieu of anything on Ryan Perrilloux being kicked off LSU’s team or Ryan Mallet having to redshirt at Arkansas (both of which were inevitable, really), I offer you this really early analysis of the Hawaii at Florida game on Labor Day weekend.

Florida will pound Hawaii. It won’t be close. Florida could sit Tim Tebow out for the game and it still would be ugly.

Now, Hawaii’s new head coach A. Nonymous Whatshisface (actually, promoted defensive coordinator Greg McMackin) says the Warriors are not rebuilding and that they plan on playing like the WAC champions they are. He is keeping as much continuity as he can while imposing his personality on the team. He should know how to do this from his previous head coaching job at… Oregon Tech?

Yeah! Goooooo… wait, does Oregon Tech even play football anymore? (answer: no)

Yes, that Oregon Tech. At the very least he has the Warriors convinced they’re a good defensive team, having placed 34th in total defense a year ago. I guess he left out the part about posting that against the 111th rated schedule.

So, back to Florida. The reason the Gators would decimate Hawaii even with one arm tied behind their back is this: the game is taking place east of the Pacific time zone. Hawaii is awful east of the Pacific time zone. To wit, here are Hawaii’s last several games played in the Mountain time zone or farther east against notable teams:

  • Georgia 41 – Hawaii 10 (2007) – In fairness, Georgia was really good the second half of last year
  • Boise State 41 – Hawaii 34 (2006) – Boise did break through to the BCS, so props for a close game
  • Alabama 25 – Hawaii 17 (2006) – Bama went 6-6 and fired its coach in 2006
  • Michigan State 41 – Hawaii 14 (2005) – MSU went 5-6 and nearly fired its coach in 2005
  • Boise State 69 – Hawaii 3 (2004) – Sure Boise went 11-1 that year, but look at that score!
  • UTEP 51 – Hawaii 20 (2004) – UTEP was only 8-4 that year; not a juggernaut or anything
  • Rice 41 – Hawaii 29 (2004) – This was no miracle year for the Owls; Rice went 3-8, but one of those three was a demolition of a Hawaii team that beat Northwestern at home the same season

If you go even farther back, you find losses at Boise State, USC, BYU, Michigan State, and Navy as well as a 5-point win over a 4-7 Rice team in 2002. The wins in this category are generally over bad teams like Louisiana Tech, Utah State, and Idaho.

The pattern with the Hawaii Warriors is pretty clear: if they go east of the Pacific time zone and play anyone with a pulse, they get smoked. The close games were against a conference rival they knew well (Boise State) and against a lifeless Alabama team with an atrocious offense. They even lost to a normal (read: pitiful) Rice team by two scores.

The travel involved from the islands to the mainland must be killer, so its understandable to a degree. However, when Cam Newton is playing target practice in the late third quarter on August 30th, don’t say you weren’t warned.