The Warriors will begin the 2011 season as the odds-on favorite in the WAC, now that teams such as Boise State and Nevada have moved over to the Mountain West.
The always high-flying Hawaii passing attack will be in full swing in 2011 behind the arm of senior quarterback Bryant Moniz. The concern for Hawaii in 2011 will be their utter lack of experience on offense, as Moniz is just one of only three returning starters.
The defense is in far better shape, but still returns only six starters from 2010. The upside is that both the secondary and front seven return a few starters each, with two each returning at safety, linebacker and on the line.
Hawai'i's first opponent in 2011 is Colorado on Sept. 3. While Colorado has made the jump to the Pac-12, their recruiting hasn't quite caught up with their conference affiliation. Their reputation as an irrelevant team in the Big 12 will undoubtedly follow them to the Pac-12, at least in the near term.
One also can't ignore the travel strains put on any team that has to fly out to Hawaii for a football game. A seven hour flight is bad enough, but when you arrive in a distraction-filled paradise to begin the season, it's easy to find a team that has it's focus less than perfect.
Hawaii follows up a visit from Colorado with a trip to Washington to take on the Huskies.
While a year or two ago, this game would have been quite the matchup, and Jack Locker probably would have led his Huskies to victory, the face is Washington is without Jake Locker, and the Huskies will be facing a Warriors team that really knows how to put points on the scoreboard.
It's doubtful that the Huskies will be able to keep up this year.
Hawaii will next travel to Las Vegas to take on UNLV on Sept. 17. This cross-conference game between the WAC and MWC is interesting only for that reason. T
his game should be over by halftime, and Hawaii will be able to get many of their young prospects some quality playing time, even if it is against UNLV.
Hawaii finished up the month of September with a visit from FCS UC-Davis. Ever since making the move to the FCS from Division II in 2003, the Aggies have been stuck in neutral, never winning more than six games, never winning fewer than five.
Their FCS mediocrity won't be anywhere near good enough o keep up with Hawaii for more than a quarter. At most.