What if June Jones had never left? Hmm….
We would be the”Boise State” of the WAC. Coming off the “undefeated” Sugar Bowl season (Hawai’i fans seem to overlook the Sugar Bowl loss,) we had all the momentum. UH had captured the imagination of the entire state. We had a good recruiting class, record ticket sales, etc. Then Herman messed things up (but that’s for another post.)
Why bring this up now? Well, because of all the conference realignment that’s taking place (Boise leaving, etc.) the WAC is in danger of losing its mid-major status and becoming a “small” conference.
June Jones had dreamt of Hawai’i one day joining the Pac-10. His M.O. was to think big. Impossible?
Imagine if June Jones stayed and we became the “Boise State” of the WAC, meaning 1 or 2 more BCS bowl games. We would be a powerhouse in football. (Even Boise was rumored to be under consideration.) Now let’s look at the big picture…. Hawai’i reached the Final Four in women’s volleyball and finished top 5 in men’s volleyball. We won the WAC in baseball and made the College World Series in softball. The men’s basketball team just secured the 7th best recruiting class in the nation. Hawai’i leads the WAC in attendance in almost every sport (including football.) We are tied to a bowl game (The Hawai’i Bowl) and a national basketball tournament (the ESPN Diamond Head Classic.) Our A.D. said that it’s possible to subsidize all travel expenses for our opponents through corporate sponsorships if we were to join the Pac-10.
But June Jones is gone. The dream is gone. Oh, what could have been….