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Friday, September 11, 2015

HAWAII TAKES ON THE BEST THIS WEEKEND


There is something called the NACDA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup award bestowed annually to the top university in collegiate athletics.  Stanford has been #1 in NCAA Division I for two straight decades, while Williams  has been the best in Division III for 18 years.  Hawaii does not appear in the top 50, and Florida shows up #2 in the most recent complete compilation.


Tonight, the Rainbow Wahine volleyball team plays Florida, rated #2 in the nation, with victories this past weekend over Oregon and host Texas.  The usual suspects are the highest ranked:  #1 Penn State, #2 Florida, #3 Stanford and #4 Texas.  Hawaii?  Not bad, actually, at #16.  If Hawaii wins, I think they will reach the final four in December.

Then, tomorrow, there is that feared Hawaii football  game at Ohio State in the 105,000 seat Horseshoe.  We are 41 point underdogs.  It can be worse, for Idaho is given 43 points against USC.  Ohio State was the best in college last year, and is rated #1 this week.  However, they were behind Virginia Tech last week at halftime, when the VT quarterback got hurt, and was replaced by a rookie.  Hawaii beat Colorado and has had eight days to prepare and recuperate.  Ohio State only has had four days.  Hawaii will lose, but by fewer than 41 points.  Plus, while the fans will wear red, the field is green, our color.

Furthermore, the Wall Street Journal earlier this year reported that Ohio State has the highest value in college football:  $1.1 billion.  Hawaii?  $23 million.  Ohio State football is about 50 times more valuable than Hawaii's.  I might add that the Journal went so far as listing Louisiana-Monroe as #116 and last:  $6.42 million.  Our final game this season (and crucial, because Hawaii could well be 6-6 at that point, and a win puts them into the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, for the  first time in five  years) is against L-M.  However, that is way in the future, for our next two away games are, yikes, at #24 Wisconsin in Madison and #20 Boise State at Boise (it has a crazy blue turf, but, yes, it's a real city in Idaho with a population of around 200,000).  Hawaii is #118.

Another best happens on Sunday, 10:30AM Hawaii time, as the latest Heisman trophy winner, Marcus Mariota (left, from Hawaii) leads, the Tennessee Titans against the previous Heisman guy, James Winston, who was drafted #1 (to Mariota #2), quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


Our best, Serena Williams, lost her Grand Slam bid today after being upset in the U.S, Open by #43 ranked and 32 year old Roberta Vinci of Italy.


Incidentally the next highest ranked American woman is Madison Keys at #19, while our best male is John Isner (age 30) at #19, then, Jack Sock at #28.  What has happened to the USA in tennis?

If #1 Serena can lose to #43 Roberta, hey, maybe #118 Hawaii can pull off an ever bigger shocker than Chaminade's basketball victory over Virginia and Ralph Sampson in 1982!

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