Put this spin on it: Going 12-0 would look much better than 12-1
AND so it ends with a whimper. Which is just as well, for two reasons: One, it ends. Finally. Thankfully. Two, what the heck, good timing -- hopefully everyone's outrage is already burned out by now. Time to let out one last sigh and move on.
All but the craziest among us have probably long come to grips with the fact that this was coming. An even dozen. One short. Two I-AAs. Twelve games.
Is this a disappointment? Oh, yes. A catastrophe? I wouldn't go that far. A disappointment? Yes, let's stick with that.
Colt Brennan's senior season deserved better. We all deserved better. The truth is, against this collection of tomato cans, we may never really know how good this Hawaii team really could have been.
But as I wrote last week, the drop-dead day (Drop Dead Day IV?), whenever it came, is not the failure day, not the lightning-bolt moment in this whole affair. No, the die was already cast. This one was already lost.
Hawaii athletic director Herman Frazier crossed the Rubicon (look it up) on this issue long ago. Whenever he decided to take the tact that he took.
Anything that could have come yesterday would have been merely a barely-break-even desperation deal. Even a miracle would have come with an asterisk, would have been received in context. Everybody would have known all that had come before.
But neither is this the day of infamy. This is just the whimper. Just the end.
"After a long and exhaustive process ..." Frazier began in his statement, yesterday.
Yes. Exhaustive. On this issue, we're all pretty worn out.
But now at last we have closure, we have our summer. We can look ahead. Hopefully UH fans can let their anger recede and ease into summer dreams.
On the mainland, 12 games won't be looked at as a failure by the pollsters, that's all anybody plays. And yes, the schedule is terrible, but the best defense against a weak slate is to simply win every game you're supposed to, and make it add up to a big number by the end of the year. This team has a chance to do that.
And having an extra bye doesn't hurt, on that score.
And now we know the kind of club Frazier has in his bag, and hopefully he does now, too, and adjusts accordingly. That seemed to be part of the problem, in this scenario, that he'd been operating under a false premise of how much influence he has (though you can't really blame him, with the number of "most influential" lists on which he's appeared).
If this were a game, it was lost in the summer workouts. Any coach will tell you -- by the time you hit the playing field, it's already too late. We saw this coming.
This was a classic case of miscalculation, to use his own word.
No, yesterday wasn't the exclamation point. It was just the merciful end.
Hopefully UH fans see the sun today. Hopefully Frazier does, too. One last sigh and move on.
This is a huge disappointment. But at least it's over.
And that in itself is a relief.