When the University of Hawaii football team opened its season on Thursdays in the recent past, it was against USC. And it was to accommodate national TV — ESPN.
So it made some sense. The gate took a bit of a hit, but at least there was good national exposure.
Now, though, UH is moving its opener against Colorado from Saturday, Sept. 5 to Thursday, Sept. 3. And no national TV is involved at this point, nor is there an expectation of such.
UH athletic director Ben Jay said this move helps UH because it gives the Rainbow Warriors two more days to prepare for their road game at Ohio State on Sept. 12.
“Right now, being able to have a couple extra days (after playing each other) is important to both programs,” Jay said.
I think this helps visiting Colorado a lot more than it does Hawaii. UH is going to take a huge hit at the gate, especially with a 7 p.m. kickoff and the next day being a work day.
It would be a lot more beneficial to have a few more days to recover AFTER the game at Ohio State against the national champions. But UH hosts UC-Davis on Sept. 19, a week before hitting the road again to play at Wisconsin. Talk about a classic trap game.
UH expects to net $1.8 million by playing at Ohio State and at Wisconsin. Too bad it is apparently frittering some of that away by a scheduling move that certainly will affect season-ticket sales and walk-up for the opener in a negative way.
Hawaii and Colorado had originally hoped to play this game in Australia or Japan, and get a waiver from the NCAA to do it a week in advance, on Aug. 29. That would’ve been great (except, of course, for fans who couldn’t afford to make the trip), but turned out to be a pipe dream.
UH also has to be wary of a potential conflict with a volleyball home match on Thursday night.