How bright is Hawaii's future?
The Warriors will have to replace many key players to repeat the success of 2006
Jerry Glanville was nearly all smiles Sunday evening after Hawaii beat Arizona State 41-24 in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, capping arguably the greatest season in UH football history.
And the Motor City Cowboy had every right to be happy. His work at improving the Warriors defense was one of the big reasons Hawaii went from 5-7 in 2005 to 11-3 this year.
But then somebody mentioned Dick Tomey, and the fact that the San Jose State coach -- and former UH head man -- didn't vote for UH in the coach's poll this year.
Glanville's mood soured, if just temporarily.
"If he votes for us, we're still in the Top 25. We pulled our starters against them early," Glanville said, referring to Hawaii's 54-17 win last month over the Spartans in the midst of UH's nine-game winning streak. "It's stuff like that that comes back and bites you in the butt. I can tell you what my whole posture will be the next time we play that team."
It was also interesting that Tomey's name came up, since current coach June Jones passed him Sunday for most victories at the UH helm with 64.
Glanville also said he is happy that he's not the constant target of questions about whether he will be at UH, as he was last year -- quarterback Colt Brennan is the new subject of those queries. Some say the record-setting quarterback should go pro while the going is good, others say he needs another year of fine-tuning.
Brennan is leaving his options open. If anything, they expanded after Sunday's performance.
Brennan passed for a school-record 559 yards (eclipsing Nick Rolovich's 543 in the famous 72-45 pasting of BYU in 2001 that spawned the Hawaii Bowl), as well as five TDs to give him 58 scoring strikes this year to push him past David Klingler's single-season mark of 54.
And it was on national TV, at a reasonable hour.
"I don't think it gets much better than this," Brennan said.
There are other things he can achieve in college.
A full-fledged Heisman Trophy campaign awaits and, despite the departure of a stellar senior class, a serious run at the WAC championship is in the offing since Boise State loses plenty of manpower, too. But Brennan would have to do it without 60 percent of this year's starting offensive line and pressure-relieving running back Nate Ilaoa.
"We're going to file the (NFL) evaluation (paperwork) probably tomorrow. We've got until Jan. 15," Jones said. "He, his family and myself will write down all the plusses and minuses and go from there."
Colt's father, Terry Brennan, said he isn't pushing one way or another, but he did make an interesting observation after Sunday's game.
"He needs to gain 20 pounds. Now, could he do that with a clipboard in his hand and a ballcap on his head? Maybe," the father said.
It's debatable if spending next year on an NFL sideline would be more beneficial to his future than another season with Jones.
But athletic director Herman Frazier's mystery schedule (four nonconference openings) can't be viewed as one for the plus column.
Another season of throwing to Jason Rivers, Davone Bess and Ryan Grice-Mullins goes on the con-pro side. Rivers caught 14 passes for an astounding 308 yards Sunday -- a record for any bowl game.
"I don't know if our offense can be better, but I think it can be as good," receivers coach Ron Lee said.
Glanville has to replace three All-WAC players in defensive ends Melila Purcell and Ikaika Alama-Francis, and safety Leonard Peters. An upgrade at cornerback would help, too.
"All of a sudden in two years I have lost two outside linebackers, a strong safety, a free safety and two ends," Glanville said. "I hate college football. I'm going to go back to the NFL and try to get these 10 guys I'm losing."