Crunching Numbers: 6-2 still looks good

Hawaii players prepared to take the field to face BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday. / Photo by Steven Erler, Special to the Star-Advertiser

Since the University of Hawaii started playing football in 1909, it has started the season with a 6-2 record 15 times, including the current team.

In 1920 and 1962, UH also finished at 6-2, since it only played eight games. Incidentally, in ’62, opponents included teams such as the Kaimuki Spartans and Tantalus Rangers. In ’20, one loss was to Outrigger Canoe Club, which hasn’t been on the schedule in a very long time. But the other team Hawaii lost to that year still is, and the Rainbow Warriors will try to beat Nevada this Saturday to clinch a winning record and bowl bid.

That’s on the mind of a lot of UH fans after the Warriors were brought down to earth in a 49-23 dismantling at the hands of BYU on Saturday: How long will it take to get that seventh win with five left on the regular-season schedule?

Well, the Warriors haven’t had the pleasurable problem of being 6-2 in a while. The last time was in 2010, when UH won at Utah State for its fifth victory in a row. Hawaii then improved to 7-2 immediately with a 45-10 homecoming win against Idaho, clinching its spot in the Hawaii Bowl. The Warriors did the same thing in 2002 and 2006; beating San Jose State and Utah State.

One difference from now is that in none of those other three cases were the Warriors coming off a loss to put them at 6-2. The only other times in school history the ‘Bows lost when they were 6-1 was the above-mentioned loss to Nevada ending the 1920 season — and in 1955. If you know UH football history, that year, 1955, rings a bell, right? Now, can you tell me how a team that won on the road at Nebraska and finishes 7-5 loses at home to the Hawaii Marines? Actually, I can tell you — for some reason, UH forfeited to the leathernecks.

That’s all just quaint (and hopefully fun) trivia — and brings home the point that not all 6-2 records are created equally.

But if we’re looking for something that could possibly be relevant as the 2018 Rainbow Warriors head down the stretch here you go: The six times before this season that UH had a 6-2 record against an all-Division I college schedule (1988, 1989, 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2010), Hawaii finished out a combined 18-8-1, and averaged a total 9.7 wins for the season. The only two times among those six years it did not go to a bowl game ended with a 41-17 win over Oregon in 1988 and a 72-45 victory over BYU in 2001.

Granted, the schedule is backloaded this year, and UH’s final five opponents (all fellow Mountain West Conference members) are a combined 20-11. But the Rainbow Warriors remain in first place in the conference’s West Division at 3-0 and they have five chances to lock up that bowl bid and first regular-season winning record since 2010.


  1. Chicken Grease October 14, 2018 11:29 pm

    6-2 is good (and, even better analysis—as usual—here, Dave Reardon). But when is coaching staff going to decide to ADVANCE the run and shoot? Like how scholarship is defined as whatever advances a discipline, this staff needs to learn to take the good and the bad from previous games and anticipate what could happen (did staff somehow MISS that BYU beat, still very much strong Wisconsin?)

    And yet staff will say “we’ll learn from this and move on. Prepare for the next game.” Is it all talk? Right now it very much is. If the talk walks like a talk and talks like a talk, it’s a talk.

  2. Chicken Grease October 14, 2018 11:35 pm

    “Tantalus Rangers”? Well. They seem to still be playing. Just not football.

  3. seewhy October 15, 2018 1:15 am

    Great write up, Dave. Good job on all the numbers and records.

  4. Savich October 15, 2018 6:22 am

    The warriors were a little, too late at the end. Passing to Ursua or Byrd was too steep. Long yardage. Shortage to Marcus Armstrong-Brown wasn’t there. Now what? Shut down was the offense. They’ll win on Saturday vs. Nevada.

  5. iGrokSpock October 15, 2018 9:59 am

    Hard to post after Savage. Make sense no sense. Otherwise, I’ll still take 6-2 at this point of the season. Looking for that Hawaii Bowl berth after we dispatch the Pack.

  6. Derek October 15, 2018 11:21 am

    UH has to run the ball better. What happened to the read option? Seems like it has been abandoned. When was the last time UH ran a reverse? Or a reverse, with a pass? I also question some poor play calling last Saturday. Why are we going on 4th and 6 inside the 50 yard line when we are trailing 14-0 early in the game. That’s a very low percentage play. Plus, the play they ran, a pass, was incomplete but was also short of the 1st down maker. What kind to play is that?
    On another play with 3rd and 3, we also threw a pass to the left, which was also incomplete, but was also short of the 1st down maker. It’s frustrating, man! Not much imagination. Gotta do things to make defenses think and let them hesitate so we get the advantage. Why now try a QB draw on occasion. A flea flicker, on occasion. Go deep several times a game to loosen up the secondary and passing lanes. Frankly, I don’t mind losing, because people lose and you have to handle that and move on, but what I don’t like is when you lose and play badly and don’t play smart. I don’t fault Augafa for fumbling the punt. He didn’t try to fumble on purpose. Things happen. It was just a bad time to make a mistake when UH had the momentum. That’s was big play, but overall UH got manhandled on the line of scrimmage. Still, but overall, UH did not play a good game and UH did not call a good game either. Gotta be a lot better this week to have a chance to win. I’ll be watching.

  7. redwineO October 15, 2018 11:27 am

    good stuff Dave. How ever anyone slices it, Hawaii is still 6-2. Ill take that.

  8. Amosilatus October 16, 2018 5:37 am

    Yes, if the normal doesn’t work, try the abnormal and surprising. Make the defense second guess themselves–put them back on their heels. Be unpredictable. Use psychology on the opponent. The opponent may be better than you physically–counter that by messing with their minds.

  9. Savich October 19, 2018 1:30 pm

    Warriors by 45-34.

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