Fresno State Football: Hawaii Is Laughing Now, but Will the Bulldogs Laugh Last?

Todd KaufmannSenior Writer IOctober 12, 2010

HONOLULU - SEPTEMBER 2:  Quarterback Bryant Moniz #17 of the University of Hawaii Warriors makes a pass against the University of Southern California Trojans during first half action at Aloha Stadium September 2, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

It was only a matter of time before articles starting showing up bashing Fresno State football, after Bryant Moniz and Hawaii handed the Bulldogs a lopsided 49-27 loss at Bulldog Stadium on Saturday.

I knew I would see them at some point, I just didn't realize they would be so anxious to get them filed—maybe so they could laugh a little bit longer at Fresno State and their fans.

What I didn't count on was so much being made out of Fresno State, not to mention Nevada, leaving the WAC and heading for greener pastures. Ferd Lewis of the Honolulu Star Advertiser is of the opinion that Hawaii's win over Fresno State was their way of saying "you're not in our league," and called the Bulldogs "renegade rabble."

It's funny to me that so many shots are being taken at Fresno State, as well as Nevada, for leaving early after signing a buyout clause, but there's not a whole lot of mention that Hawaii is also considering leaving the WAC to go independent.

It seems a tad hypocritical to bash one school for leaving when you're thinking of doing the same thing. Double standard much?

I'm not going to sit here and say that Fresno State is the better school because over the last decade, the games between the two schools have tended not to go the Bulldogs' way. Not to say Fresno State hasn't thrown down their share of beatdowns on Hawaii, but the favor has also been returned to them a few times.

But let's not get into a name-calling war over schools who aren't really willing to sit around while the conference crumbles around them. Let's not get upset that they want a little more stability than what the WAC can offer them.

Be mad if you want, get upset, that's your right. But don't blame two schools for not wanting to stick around in a conference that is only getting weaker, not stronger. It's the reason Boise State left, and it's exactly the reason Hawaii is considering going independent.

When Fresno State and Nevada announced their decision back in August, WAC commissioner Karl Benson called it "selfish," while the Star Advertiser called it "treason." What will Benson call Hawaii if they up and leave for independence?

Last month, Matt Hayes of the Sporting News received information that the University of Hawaii was “fleshing out the possibility” of going independent. They had great reasons for entertaining the thought, actually.

Hawaii would be an attractive option for ESPN, and a big television deal between the school and the network would bring a lot of money in to the school.

While the football team would be independent and be able to schedule who they wanted year in and year out, the rest of their sports would be sent to the West Coast Conference.

There's no question that the Warriors would be better off going in that direction than staying in a dying conference. They could save money on travel, depending on who they schedule, and the revenue from a television deal would not have to be shared with a conference.

So, after two months of calling Fresno State "betrayers" or what they did "treason" by leaving  the WAC, are we going to see a retraction if Hawaii ends up doing the exact same thing Fresno State and Nevada did?

Write or say what you want about the decision made by the Bulldogs and Wolfpack, but they did what they believed to be the best thing for their respective universities. I would expect no less from the University of Hawaii and athletic director Jim Donovan.

I'm not here to take shots at a writer for his own opinion, but the real truth is Hawaii, along with the other remaining schools in the WAC, wasn't mad that Nevada and Fresno State were leaving—they were mad that they didn't think of it first.

Had they done just that, the scathing words would have been scoffed at while waving a very sarcastic goodbye.

While Utah and BYU are headed out of the Mountain West, something that lessened the strength of the conference and all but killed their chance at an automatic BCS birth, having Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada on board puts at least a small Band-Aid on it for now.

What happens to the WAC from here is anyone's guess. Benson has looked at schools such as UC Davis, University of North Texas, Texas State and Cal Poly, just to name a few. Not exactly making up for the losses they're going to feel in a year or two.

There are still details to be worked out as far as when Fresno State and Nevada get to leave the WAC. Both schools have petitioned to be able to leave and be a part of the Mountain West for the 2011 football season, but Benson has been stubborn and refuses to let them leave prior to 2012.

Hate them for wanting to leave, be mad and throw a tantrum because you're being left behind, but it will be Fresno State who gets the last laugh.

Throw out all the stats you want about beating the Bulldogs this many times out of this many years, but none of that is going to matter once their bags are packed and headed out the door, never to darken it again.

While Hawaii gets to play Cal Poly as a conference game, Fresno State will be in Fort Worth to take on TCU or Colorado Springs to take on Air Force.

Enjoy your conference games and playing on the WAC Sports Network. We'll be over here enjoying better competition while that conference turns into a lesser version of the Sun Belt Conference.


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