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Hawaii continues to set eyes on Pac 12

Joe Stoner,  Mike Edwards AP

There area few programs that could throw another round of conference realignment in motion. It appears Hawaii hopes to be that program. Yes, Hawaii.

Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay along with other members of the University of Hawaii addressed a number of stakeholders and financial supporters to lay out what is referred to by the Honolulu Star Advertiser as a game plan to improve Hawaii athletics in hopes of attracting a potentially wandering eye from the Pac 12. You know, just in case the Pac 12 is interested in another round of expansion at some point.

Hawaii has long been interested in exploring a potential move to the Pac 12, and it makes sense from Hawaii’s point of view. Currently a member of the Mountain West Conference, the only realistic possibility for Hawaii to move up in competition (and compensation) would be the Pac 12. The Big 12 would never give Hawaii a call and the SEC, ACC, Big Ten and American (and others) would be beyond the point of ridiculousness when it comes to realignment. The Pac 12 may still be a dream scenario for Hawaii but the school may be a last option for the Pac 12.

If there is one thing we know about realignment it is that if the money doesn’t make sense to make a move, no move is better than making a move for the benefit of expansion. In this case, it is all about television markets and potential TV viewers. Honolulu is ranked 72nd among the top 100 TV markets, which is not exactly the most attractive to a conference like the Pac 12.

Hawaii may have some benefits to Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott‘s grand vision for the growth of the conference though. The Pac 12 is working on plans to expand the conference’s brand in to Asia. Adding Hawaii could help further that promotional cause but how much more would the mission expand by adding Hawaii compared to what it would have without the university in the islands?

This could all be an effort by Hawaii to have the university ready with a back-up plan in the event the Mountain West Conference loses any more members. Having already raided the WAC, the Mountain West managed to keep Boise State and San Diego State in the conference despite the two already committing to join the Big East. The decision to leave the Mountain West showed those schools are ready to weigh their options if they are available, so it is wise for other MWC schools to be prepared for any such realignment changes.

Hawaii may never receive an invitation to the Pac 12. Keep in mind if the Pac 12 did choose to expand, it would be likely they would prefer to do so in even numbers, which means another program would have to be worth adding as well. BYU? That ship seems to have sailed, although the Cougars remain an independent and the Pac 12 already has Utah.  Although the goal may be unreachable for Hawaii, far be it form anyone to hold them back in doing what they can to put forth their best effort. Even if Pac 12 membership never comes through, any efforts made to improve the athletics department in trying to get there can go a long way in all sports, not just football.

Go for it Hawaii. If you do not try and ask, the answer will always be no.

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12 Responses to “Hawaii continues to set eyes on Pac 12”
  1. Anoesis says: Sep 27, 2013 6:55 PM

    Hawai’i may not be a large TV market, but I could see the other PAC12 schools using the attraction of a conference game in Honolulu every other year as part of recruiting.

    The fun speculation is figuring out which other school would be approached to join with Hawai’i should the PAC12 become the PAC14. Actually, I hope the conference finds a better name that doesn’t include numbers. PAC by itself would be just fine.

  2. gatorguy561 says: Sep 27, 2013 7:22 PM

    I’d even go a step further and say the commisioner, presidents & ad’s should accept Hawai’i just for the sake of having the Conference Title game there every year! That would boost everyone’s recruiting and obviously bring a lil more money!

  3. ajarkoski says: Sep 27, 2013 7:32 PM

    You would think that Boise St. and San Diego St. would be the first chosen targets as they try to get to that number 16. Then, BYU, NEVADA, Fresno St or who knows would be invited. Hawaii could get in the mix, true for recruiting. But yea, let’s not go through the procession of PAC – ##s !

  4. Bo Darville says: Sep 27, 2013 9:48 PM

    “Expand the conference brand to Asia”? The Pac12 network is going to be on basic cable in Tibet? Will the Dali Lama watch Utah vs Colorado? Meanwhile, the SEC is adding the Moon.

  5. Kevin McGuire says: Sep 27, 2013 11:12 PM

    Bo, Larry Scott has been working on expanding the Pac 12 brand in to Asia, even discussing the possibility of playing football and/or basketball games across the Pacific, so the idea is not exactly that abnormal.

  6. ndnut says: Sep 28, 2013 12:41 AM

    First 16 team super conference. Add Hawaii, BYU, Fresno St, and Nevada or San Jose St.

  7. ukedad says: Sep 28, 2013 12:22 PM

    This article and these comments are crazy, love Hawaii but this will never happen.

  8. cletusv says: Sep 28, 2013 1:22 PM

    This is not a pipe dream. While it has an admittedly small TV market itself, it has the advantage of having its game being played late into the night. Would the nightowls on the East Coast rather watch re-runs of Sportscenter or USC at Hawaii live?

    Plus, it may still be the case that basketball teams that play at Hawaii get an extra regular season team.

    If Hawaii is added, San Diego St is the obvious travel partner (geography and navy). Pac will never add Boise St (academics) or BYU (religion, academics and older athletes). Still hoping to add Texas and Oklahoma.

  9. boyajr says: Sep 28, 2013 4:03 PM

    Norte Dame has a sweet deal with NBC because they have 3 major sponsors that guarantee to buy commercials, I believe worth about several million. Hawaii has a tourism economy. How much does having 10k more fans visiting the islands (because we play teams from Seattle, LA, Phoenix, SLC, SF vs MWC cities), how much is that worth to the airlines and hotels ($200-300 per day spend)? The PAC-12 network won’t command what ND is paying, but strong corporate sponsorship will go towards making Hawaii financially viable. I don’t know what our AD and business community talked about on regarding investing for a higher conference but I’m sure there is a point to be made how Hawaii would benefit tremendously from this arrangement and how the PAC could share in this.

  10. scbaby2013 says: Sep 28, 2013 10:26 PM

    PAC 12 is a great conference that has shown that they are clean not like SEC where players get paid like Adrian foster

  11. casey151 says: Oct 1, 2013 5:27 PM

    I love the idea of adding Hawaii to the conference. I think it would be a great fit, and a great compliment to Hawaii would be the University of British Columbia. It might take a few years for the football programs to convert and build up strength, but an investment of a few years’ time would have a tremendous payoff. UBC has over 57,000 students, and is ranked at one of the top research universities in the world. Vancouver has over 2.3 million people in the direct metro area, and a couple million more people in the rest of BC. The city has amazing facilities that were built for the 2010 Olympics. It would be a great fit geographically, while expanding the PAC network into an international media presence.

  12. cowboy1990 says: Oct 6, 2013 2:48 AM

    The PAC wants to expand east. They want the Texas/Oklahoma markets.

    Hawaii doesn’t add a t.v market, their academics are no where near the level the PAC would like them. Utah was almost not invited due to their academics at the time they were invited. Hawaii would need to make large strides to be above the bottom schools ASU and Oregon State.

    Hawaii athletics are abysmal and a huge drain on the university. Hawaii only wants in because they want more money. Utah was added but was already bringing in close to the what the bottom of the PAC schools were bringing in.

    The PAC would not gain anything financially from this and it would cost schools money to have to travel to Hawaii.

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