Yeah, it’s actually that other UH … the University of Houston, not the University of Hawaii. The other team is Fresno State University, not Florida State University.
With a 3-9 record, Hawaii was way short of bowl eligibility — even in these days of allowing teams with records under .500 to play in postseason.
The Bulldogs (9-4) vs. the Cougars (7-4) actually looks like a pretty good matchup — not bad considering what passes for bowl teams these days.
The Rainbow Warriors have history with both of these programs. Fresno State has been a rival since around 2000, and there are plenty of stories of animosity including the infamous flying screwdriver — the flight path of which is oft debated.
As for Houston, there was the memorable “Fight Before Christmas” or “Melee Kalikimaka” (credit to Paul Arnett and Kanoa Leahey, for the cleverness). During the week leading up to the the 2003 Hawaii Bowl, UH and UH seemed to be getting along fine; Hawaii even allowed Houston to use its weight room.
The game itself was awesome, one of the most thrilling of the June Jones run-and-shoot era. Hawaii won 54-48 in triple-overtime, after which a brawl ensued. No one got seriously hurt in the postgame fight, in which bench players were the most active. “I just played in a three-overtime game,” said Hawaii starting safety David Gilmore, as he lay exhausted on the turf. “I’m too tired to fight.”
But that interesting back story probably won’t be enough to draw a whole lot of fans to Aloha Stadium for this one. You need the hometown UH in the Hawaii Bowl for folks to show up.