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New Hawaii chancellor gushes about his adoration of the Pac-12

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(Eugene Tanner/AP)

Hawaii's new chancellor Tom Apple hadn't been on the job more than a few minutes before he started talking about getting the Warriors into a new conference.

Hawaii actually moves from the WAC to the Mountain West this year, but that's not good enough for Apple, who came from the University of Delaware.

"I won't go dreaming about where we might be, but there is a really good conference out on the West Coast that it would be wonderful to be part of, eventually," Apple said.

While the Great West is a nice conference, we're pretty sure he was talking about the Pac-12 and we're also pretty sure every Pac-12 member just rolled their eyes. Hawaii tried this before. When expansion first started and the Pac-12 was looking at Colorado, Utah, BYU and a few other schools (namely those in the former Big 12 South), teams such as Hawaii and Boise State threw their hat in the ring to be considered by commissioner Larry Scott. Many schools were shot down because of their lack of quality academics, proximity or just because the Pac-12 didn't like them.

And while Hawaii is a beautiful destination, many Pac-12 schools would claim the six-hour flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii doesn't exactly fit in the conference's footprint. This isn't the Big East, after all.

Still, Apple can dare to dream.

"And, there are schools that I'd certainly like to be mentioned with in the same breath," he said. "So, I think the idea that we try to aspire to be a great university that is thought of in the company of the other great universities is something that we should think about for athletics."

More than just being around "great" universities, Apple has to be thinking about long-term preservation of the university's football program as the college football landscape begin to heavily favor conferences such as the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 and slowly push out everyone else.

Unfortunately, while Apple was drooling over the prospect of bringing Hawaii to the Pac-12, he took a little dig at the conference that saved the Warriors from going down with the sinking ship that is the WAC.

"I really believe in many ways you are judged somewhat by the company you keep," he said. "And, so, I think it is important to have your athletic programs in the best company of universities."

Apparently those universities are not in the Mountain West.

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