Pop quiz: As big of a college football fanatic as you are, have you ever heard of the Hawaii Exemption and what it is?
We'll give you a hint. Have you ever noticed each season that some schools play 13 games instead of the traditional 12? Have you ever noticed the majority of those squads come from the Mountain West?
Here's the Hawaii Exemption in a nutshell: Any FBS or FCS team that travels to Hawaii for a road game is allowed to schedule an extra game that season to help offset the travel costs. That means a team could play another home game to capture revenue or play a contest on the road to collect a paycheck.
Interestingly in 2017, only two teams that travel to Aloha Stadium will take advantage of this obscure rule. Those teams are San Jose State and BYU, which ironically have played each other the past few years and will again this season on October 28.
The Spartans travel to face the Warriors on October 14. Along with the standard eight conference showdowns, SJSU will host USF and Cal Poly while traveling to Texas, Utah, and the aforemetioned BYU Cougars.
The Cougars have a long history with Hawaii when the schools staged epic battles in the WAC and Mountain West before BYU went independent a few years ago. The two teams will meet on the final week of the season on November 25. BYU managed to go 9-4 a season ago despite a brutal schedule, and 2017 isn't much easier with tilts against LSU, Utah, Wisconsin, Boise State, and Mississippi State – and that's all before just the middle of October.
So now you know everything there is to know about the Hawaii Exemption.
Want to get super technical? Here we go: According to the NCAA Division I Manual, the Hawaii Exemption looks a little something like this.
17.28.2 Alaska/Hawaii, Additional Football Contest
Member institutions located in Alaska and Hawaii shall be permitted to exceed, by one, the maximum number of football contests permitted under Bylaw 18.104.22.168 but otherwise shall conform to the same maximum number of contests and dates of competition permitted other members of the Association.
22.214.171.124 Annual Exemptions. [FBS/FCS]
The maximum number of football contests shall exclude the following:
(k) Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico. [FBS/FCS]
Any football games played in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico,respectively, either against or under the sponsorship of an active member institution located in Hawaii, Alaska or Puerto Rico, by a Division I member institution located outside the area in question.