This weekend, Hawaii clinched its first Mountain West title birth by defeating San Diego State in a surprisingly defensive battle.
No matter the result in their next game against Army, they will face Boise State in the Mountain West title game.
In all honesty, they will be one of the better stories that weekend, and you should root for them.
Conference Championships Are A Rarity for Hawaii
Hawaii has only won four conference titles in their program’s history, in 1992, 1999, 2007, and 2010. However, only one of those, the magical 2007 Sugar Bowl run, was outright.
While Hawaii has a relatively rich football history, the heights of a conference championship are almost unprecedented. With a win over Boise State, Hawaii can make the long-awaited leap into the upper echelon of the Mountain West.
A Win Finally Takes Them To The Mainland
Do you know what’s even rarer than a Hawaii conference title? Hawaii going to a bowl on the mainland.
The only times Hawaii has gone bowling on the mainland were in 1992 when they represented the WAC in the Holiday Bowl against Illinois, and the aforementioned 2008 Sugar Bowl. That’s it.
The Las Vegas Bowl would contractually take a Mountain West Champion Hawaii. There’s also a chance that the Warriors go there anyway.
As long as Boise wins out, they’re guaranteed to leapfrog whoever loses this week’s matchup between Cincinnati and Memphis, and if that team then doesn’t win the AAC title, Boise would be a Mountain West champ destined for the New Year’s Six.
In that scenario, the MWC champ would be unavailable to fill the Las Vegas slot, and the bowl would want a team that travels well. The Rainbow Warriors are a team that fits that designation.
Also, you’ve seen Nick Rolovich’s Twitter account. Imagine that in Las Vegas?
Yes, San Diego State would also fit the description, but there’s also an outside chance that the right shenanigans would create a Cheez-It Bowl opening in need of filling.
Boise State Winning Conference Titles is Boring Anyway
I said it, Boise State winning the conference is no fun. If this were the Boise State teams of the late 2000s-2010s, then Boise State winning the conference would be great for exposure. However, since a Fiesta Bowl appearance in 2014, Boise State’s national brand has lost some of its power.
A win in the title game for them would give them a similar bowl season script of playing in the Las Vegas Bowl or a New Years Six bowl against a Power Five school. A conference championship by Hawaii would continue the parity in a conference that has had three different champions in three years.
Hawaii is Just Fun Folks
Who doesn’t love the Run-and-Shoot? Especially when it’s firing from all cylinders. Cole McDonald leads an offense that has almost 4,000 passing yards and 33 touchdowns, and the Rainbow Warriors have four receivers with over 50 catches.
Even the defense has risen to the occasion, allowing only 18 points in their last two games. If you don’t have a team to root for come championship weekend, we just found you one.
The upcoming Mountain West title game is one of Hawaii’s biggest games in the last 20 years. A win in the Mountain West title game would add another chapter to an already special season. So why not root for them? Everybody loves a good story.