New WAC is a hoot every week
YOU may have noticed, while reading this column, that when it comes to UH sports I am somewhat of a traditionalist.
But you know, this new (how many years has it been?) Western Athletic Conference just may be starting to come into its own, at last.
How many weeks, heading into Hawaii's latest WAC game, have those games been ones you could look forward to during that week? Answer: Almost all of them.
Now, a lot of that does have to do with the fact that Hawaii is currently fighting for its bowl life. For example, Idaho week was interesting only because there was some speculation that UH might actually -- gasp! -- lose to Idaho.
But here we are, Fresno State week. And what may stand out most is that Fresno State week doesn't really stand out as much.
Oh, the Fresno State series has been great, lately. Every game is either an agonizing blowout (ahem) or agonizingly close. There always seems to be a little pro wrestling element to add to the anticipation, and the fans seem to eat it up.
Attempts to say Fresno is the new BYU are a bit of a reach -- you just can't compare that level of emotion, not even close. But for the new WAC, it's a great series.
But you look around and there is Boise State, a team that does nothing but win, even this year when it hasn't even played all that well. A team with an offbeat, unbeatable coach, Dan Hawkins, who is a lot of Gandhi and a little June Jones.
Then there is New Mexico State, which is not very good at all, but is already a lot of fun. You think they won't be rolling in a few years? Now comes the news that coach Hal Mumme is under fire for allegedly harassing one of his former players, a Muslim, asking the running back if he was a terrorist. Now, that is terrible, shameful, inexcusable. Nothing good about it. But it would confirm suspicion that Mumme is out of his gourd.
And San Jose State. Even San Jose State. Dick Tomey's presence not only promises there will be at least another challenging team in the conference, it makes Spartan week huge every year for Hawaii fans. Already, you have to think he might have had a huge win over his old school if only his quarterback hadn't fumbled on the goal line. Even with it, what a great game.
What a great Hawaii win.
Every week has been that big.
"I think it's a better league," Tomey said this week.
Well, let's not get crazy. But it has given us something to look forward to every week, this season. And really, that's all you can ask.