College Football Picks: Hawaii Feeds New QB to the Gators

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College Football Picks: Hawaii Feeds New QB to the Gators

 
Colt Brennan's replacement at Hawaii began spring ball as the fourth-string quarterback

When record-setting quarterback Colt Brennan left the island for the Washington Redskins, most people figured backup Tyler Graunke would be the one to fill the Heisman Trophy finalist's shoes. But a funny thing happened on the way to Graunke taking over the reins of Hawaii's run 'n' shoot offense. Graunke was excused from the team for numerous off-the-field problems.

With Graunke out of the picture, junior Inoke Funaki became the favorite to win the job. But Funaki is only 5-11, hardly the prototypical run 'n' shoot quarterback. After a solid spring, Funaki came back to the pack in summer ball, opening the door for junior college transfers Greg Alexander and Brent Rausch. Alexander, a 6'5, 250-pounder with a cannon for an arm, was originally recruited by Arizona, BYU, Kansas and Missouri. It looked like the Rainbows had finally found their starting quarterback.

But as the summer went on and the season opener at Florida inched closer, Rausch came storming from the back of the pack to draw even with the more highly touted Alexander. Rausch has been so impressive over the last few weeks that the guy, who just two months ago was listed as Hawaii's fourth string quarterback, has been named the starter and heir apparent to Brennan.

So, what's Rausch's reward for winning Hawaii's quarterback derby? He gets to make his first-ever collegiate start against Florida on Aug. 30 in "The Swamp." This may go in the category of "Be careful what you wish for." Florida is currently a 32-point favorite but that line will most likely climb now that Rausch has been officially named the starter.

After Rausch's baptism by fire against the Gators, things don't get much easier for the young quarterback. Hawaii's next three road games are against Oregon State, Fresno State and Boise State. And it's not like Rausch has an experienced supporting cast to help him along. The Rainbows must replace all four starting receivers, their starting running back and two starting linemen from last year's Sugar Bowl squad. In other words, Hawaii is starting over on offense and Rausch is at the head of the Rainbows rebuilding plan.

So, now that Hawaii is going with an unknown, inexperienced quarterback against Florida, what are your thoughts on the game? I know some people here liked the almost five touchdowns with the Rainbows. Do you still like Hawaii in this game or are you having second thoughts now that they've settled on a quarterback who will take his first college snap in "The Swamp?"

  • I stayed at the <a href ="www.hawaii-vacation-hotels.us/hawaii-hotels.php" target="_blank">Hotel Honolulu</a> when I saw the game.  Everybody who came for the game from out of town stayed at the <a href ="www.123world.com/.../" target="_blank">Hotel Honolulu</a>.  It was unreal.

  • I live in the Islands and this is what I think....HAWAII is going to get SMASHED.  Look at what Georgia did to Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl...did anyone even watch that game....41-10 Georgia.  And that was against the Undefeated 12-0 WAC Champions of Colt Brennan and his High Profile Wide Receivers.  Hawaii is starting from scratch this year.  I bet against them in the Sugar Bowl...and I'll bet against them with Florida.  Simply put....the Hawaii players are WAC!  And it will show in a big way.    

  • Hey Matt, thanks for stopping by. There is no total posted on this game yet but it's going to be huge. I think Florida will score 50 themselves but I'm waiting to see what the line. Feel free to drop me a line sometime at tommy@pregame.com. Take care and thanks for the support.

  • Weird when people come on a message board just to keep reminding everyone they can't stand you.  What's the point?

    Anyway Tom, the question I have is what's the O/U on this game?  Gotta be a ridiculous number and I still think I'd take the over.

  • Mo, I believe the correct spelling is ROMO, with an R. Take care.

  • HOMO!!!!

  • Sounds like the Gators are still the popular pick.

  • I don't think it's accurate to portray Urban Meyer as a cover coach.  While his teams have posted a 46-29-3 ATS record in the regular season (4-1 in bowls), he did most of that damage at Utah.  In his two seasons as the Utes head coach, he was 18-4 ATS in the regular season and 2-0 ATS in bowls, but at Florida he's 17-16-1 ATS in the regular season and 2-1 ATS in bowls.  In his two years at Bowling Green, his team went 11-9-2 ATS.  

    Interesting to note that an Urban Meyer coached team has only been favored by 30+ points twice and both times his team covered.  In 2002, his Bowling Green Falcons covered the -33 vs Eastern Michigan, and in 2007 the Gators covered the -34 vs Florida Atlantic.

  • 55-10  (if hawaii EVEN scores)

    2 best bets------UF and COLO.  The only way Florida doesn't cover is for someone to lay down---Meyer is a cover coach.

  • Sounds like an easy winner boys - fantastic info Tommy.

  • LOL...I was actually thinking 51-14.

  • Gators 52

    Rainbows 14

  • I went to Florida, bet them a lot, and have been lucky in general with the ATS. I like the Gators in this by 37. Defense will be SWARMING and Tebow will have a field day rushing AND passing.