The Hawaii Warriors weren’t very good in 2011, their final season in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), and then worse in 2012, their first season in the Mountain West Conference (MWC). However, they finished off their 3-9 campaign with two victories, which helped them tremendously on the recruiting trail and made them believers that they can earn a spot in the MWC’s new conference title game. To make room for that potential postseason contest, Hawaii cancelled its games against BYU in 2013 and ’14.
Hawaii was basically dead in the water for much of the 2012 season after getting blown out by USC in the opener and then blowing out Lamar the following week. Eight straight losses followed, including a 47-0 thrashing to BYU, before the Warriors finished on two strong notes with wins over UNLV and South Alabama.
The last-second turnaround brought interest from several recruits who likely would have overlooked Hawaii otherwise. They’re all two-star players except three-star linebacker Tigi Hill, who elected Hawaii over other options Arizona State, Auburn, Kansas and Oregon State. Those are some pretty impressive schools, so Hawaii’s strong end to the 2012 season definitely had an impact on the young man.
Meanwhile, BYU is still finding its way as an independent, having gone 10-3 and 8-5 in its last two seasons, respectively. Obviously, that annual matchup with Hawaii takes one easy win off the schedule and it remains to be seen who BYU will get to replace Hawaii on its schedule.