Coaches poll ranks Warrior football 24th
Hawaii is ranked in the final USA Today/Coaches poll for the first time since 1993
Hawaii is ranked No. 24 in the season's final USA Today/Coaches poll, representing the first time UH finished the season rated since 1993, following the 1992 season.
"We won our last game and some other teams weren't so lucky," Hawaii coach June Jones said. "It's nice to end the season in the Top 25."
The Warriors, who went 11-3 including 10 wins in their last 11 games, finished one spot out of the Associated Press Top 25.
Florida, which beat Ohio State 41-14 in the BCS national championship game, received all 63 first place votes in the coaches poll. Boise State, the nation's only undefeated team, got one first-place vote in the AP poll and was ranked fifth.
Hawaii was ranked in the polls for two weeks before losing to Oregon State in the final regular-season game Dec. 2.
UH went 11-2 in 1992 and finished 20th in both the media and coaches polls in January, 1993.
Feeling the pain: Troy Smith's rough outing in yesterday's BCS national championship game was hard to watch for Colt Brennan. The Hawaii quarterback, has been a fan of the Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State and met him on the awards circuit last month.
"It's all about momentum in football," Brennan said. "You could just see early on Florida came to play four quarters. Troy never got into the game until after Florida had the momentum.
"And I think that's the fastest, most physical defense he'd seen. It seemed like he never felt comfortable. We've all been there. Just a bummer. When you throw for 35 yards in a game, he didn't have a good outing by any means."
But the last time Brennan's "been there" was back in 2005, when he struggled against USC. That was his first Division I game, and Brennan kept getting better and better after that.
Smith's 4-for-14 passing and minus 29 yards rushing, coupled with Brady Quinn's sub-par outing for Notre Dame against LSU in the Sugar Bowl, adds another factor to Brennan's decision-making process. Brennan passed for five touchdowns and a school-record 559 yards against Arizona State in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.
But just a minor factor.
"It's one of many things," said Brennan, who plans to announce whether he returns to UH for his senior year or not Monday. "If I decide to go, it probably benefits me. There are plenty of other things so it doesn't have major sway."
Jones had a similar take.
"One game probably doesn't say it all. But certainly, Colt held his own," Jones said.
The coach and quarterback met yesterday to discuss Brennan's future.
"We just talked about what we've learned and the latest information. We'll just see how things go, wait and see. I'm nowhere near coming to a point of considering a decision," Brennan said.
Brennan said on Sunday that he's "50-50" and that hasn't changed.
"I told him just wait until the last minute and go with your gut," Jones said.
What would Jones do?
"That's probably an unfair question. I told him what I thought, he told me where he was. I've said publicly he's the best quarterback in the country. We talked about a lot of different things and it's his decision," Jones said.
If Brennan leaves, junior Tyler Graunke is the heir apparent.
"I've always felt very comfortable with Tyler," Jones said. "Hopefully we'll have them both for another year."
Jones said Mario Cox
, John Fonoti
and B.J. Fruean
have been reinstated to the UH roster.
"They've all done what they needed to do and they'll get a chance to do spring ball," Jones said.
The coach said spring practice starts April 2.
Two of the three will be at new positions, Jones said. Cox moves from running back to outside linebacker and Fonoti from outside linebacker to defensive end. Fruean is a safety.
Florida cornerback Reggie Lewis
highlights a group of eight players from the title game expected to arrive tomorrow for Sunday's Hula Bowl.
Gators center Steve Rissler and defensive tackle Joe Cohen and Buckeyes defensive back Antonio Smith, receiver Roy Hall, quarterback Justin Zwick, defensive tackle Joel Penton and defensive end Jay Richardson will play for the Aina team under West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez.
Seven UH players and several other with local ties play for the Kai, with Fresno State coach Pat Hill calling the shots.
"I'll definitely go to the practices and watch our kids," Jones said. "I think the Hula Bowl people have done a good job getting more local and Polynesian kids in the game. It's a good direction for the game."