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Postcard from Camp Cristobal

Bch_2 Greetings, from Camp Cristobal. Wish you were here. Well, you can be.

Only two more days for you folks to get a glance of the Golden Panthers in person as practices are closed beginning Monday. This Saturday the team will scrimmage at 8 a.m.

Unlike my postcard to you all, the Golden Panthers will tell you the scorching summer practices on the AstroPlay field are anything but lounging on a beach chair under a palm tree with a tropical drink and a little umbrella in it. In fact, players may tell you camp is a bee-ach, but in the long run they'll be better for it.

Anyways, with daily FIU features (among them a wrestler, DJ and pianist)http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/colleges/fiu/story/202448.html

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/colleges/fiu/story/204879.html

and FIU preview stories keeping me away from the GPP the last 5 days, it's time to sneak in some Cristobal Camp tidbits and some FIU baseball news.

Looks like the QB battle may go on a bit longer since none of the 4 have yet to standout. Wayne Younger is taking all the first team reps and just because of his ability to run the spread offense I got a feeling he'll be under center for the first snap at Penn State. But I still stick with my earlier comment that Colt Anderson will be the regular QB of this team.

The other day Anderson showed why MC went to Nebraska to get him. During 7-on-7 drills, the play was breaking down and the defense was closing in on Anderson. The freshman kept his poise and stepped up in the pocket and with several defenders hands in his face, CA did a Doug Flutie-like hop and easily Flutie delivered a dump pass to A'mod Ned, who took off. Not that CA is 5-8, he's 6-4, but the D-line's hands blocked his vision.

Daunte Owens is turning heads at running back. Hurt most of last season, Owens has the speed to run outside and the toughness to pound it inside. Julian Reams is also carrying the ball with more authority. RB coach Mike Cassano has shown him how to prevent fumbles.

While the receivers keep impressing, tight end Eric Kirchenberg is looking as good or better than Moses Hinton. EK, who MC brought from Caneland, has velcro hands and can get upfield. Might see plenty of 2 TE sets with those two.

The defense still looks strong. Up front along with Roland Clarke, Jonathan Betancourt and Audric Adger have bullied the O-line on occassion.

Speaking of the O-line, really can't get a grasp on them yet. One play they'll protect the QB and open a big hole for the RBs, but on the next they break down. Maybe we'll get a better look in Saturday's scrimmage.

Linebacker Scotty Bryant is not as big "El Monstruo", but that guy is all over the place. He's has EM's speed in Keke Bouie's body. Need to come up with a nickname for that guy. Tyler Clawson has also had a solid camp at Bouie's old spot, middle LB.

You folks need to show up and check this team out for yourself in Saturday's scrimmage. Like the personality of William Wallace and his FIU coaches, the scrimmages are NOT like other teams' Flag_3 scrimmages -- a glorified version of flag football. Send me your thoughts after watching the scrimmage.

On to FIU national pastime news. While camping this week at FIU, I ran into TT in the football offices and word is FIU will play a 4-game series this upcoming season at Arizona State. Add to it that the Golden Panthers home opener is a 3-game series with USC and I'd say TT is not backing away from playing real teams. No more University of Puffcake lining the FIU baseball sked.

Also, heard from several local high school coaches that TT has rounded up about 17 new pitchers and that TT is actually visiting schools the previous FIU coaching staff never went to. Former Louisville 1st baseman and cleanup hitter Jorge Castillo is now a Golden Panther. He was named MVP of his summer league playoffs hitting 4 HRs in 5 starts and a walk-off HR in the 9th inning to win the league title. Suddenly, FIU baseball, like football, is getting interesting.

PANTHER PAWSE Fiupaw

Before we get to GPP mail, check out "El Monstruo" Antwan Barnes on national TV Sunday night on NBC when the Ravens host the Giants. No, the Peacock network did not pay me to say that. There's been nothing to watch on there since Seinfeld ended its run.

FIU Fanatic: Toronto Smith is an interesting guy. He was supposedly headed to N.C. State, but the Wolfpack ran out of scholies. From what I hear he can play ball, but has yet to stand out in camp. Marquis Rolle is awaiting word from the NCAA Clearinghouse to practice. He's ready to put on the FIU uni, but the NCAA has to clear him.

FIUJUM: Hinton is lining up on the 1st team, but like I said above watch for Kirch. Joey Myers has also made some plays in camp as well.

Ultimate FIUFan: Speaking with Alexander Bostic, he tells me Keke in is Pahokee getting ready to start up his own business. No word on Sam Smith. Last we heard, Sam was cut from the Saints camp.

A Miami timeout here....Since I sent the postcard atop this blog from Miami, let's take a break from the mail to send another postcard of another Miami beauty.............................. Eva_2  

FI-UM Fan: GPP is glad to provide damn good summer reading. Well said on NY Josh's practice diatribe.

CJ: Speaking with Coach Mirabal yesterday, he confirms he no longer heads butt players without a helmet. He does say he's pleased with the TEs progress.

FIUandMe: The offense did not show up in the OB scrimmage the other night. They have been hot and cold all summer. Let's see which one comes out on Saturday.

WOrta1128: You gotta think the O-line will get better with one season under its belt, but they have yet to show any consistency. Here's hoping that the defense is just that good that they are making the O-line look shaky.

Aijail_2  NY Josh: Certainly a Columbia grad like yourself knows that practice is important. I wouldn't put too much stock into anything AI says when it comes to practice. However, if you're looking for help on how to do cornrows then he's your man.

Congratulations to Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox on breaking the all-time ejections record with his 132nd career ejection on Tuesday night. Bobby got 133 last night and he's never juiced. Getting tossed out of games has been all natural for Bobby. Bc_2

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Pete,

Great stuff like always!! Thanks for the update on TE position. I have a feeling all 3 will see significant playing time this year.

Glad to hear that TT is recruiting some schools that old staff wouldn't visit. It's obvious he knows what he's doing. IT's all about relationships.

pete thanxs for the updates on the TE always good to hear.

#########################################################################
Pete thanks for the updates on FIU Football.

Nickname: For Scotty Bryant is:
How about naming him “Scopes” for spooning up OBs with his bear hands.

Pete: I loved your baseball comments and your, “No more University of Puffcake lining the FIU baseball sked.”
########################################################################

As usual, great blog and insight. 17 new pitchers? Wow..that has to be a record. I can't wait for football...and now for baseball as well..

Also, I can attest to the fact that those practices are full of energy, passion, and action. They are actually pretty entertaining to watch. The coaches RUNn from place to place, imparting instructions, demanding improvement, and offering help as well...

Thanks for the reply Pete. I really hope that it's just a matter of the defense out-shining the offense. I just keep reading posts regarding the inconsistency of the o-line, so naturally, I'm a little worried.

But I have to disagree with you on something: NBC gave us "The Office," and if you haven't checked it out yet, you really should. Thursday nights at 9. How about that for a plug?

How about "the heat-seeking missile" as a nickname for Scott Bryant?

How about for a nickname Scott "the Bear" Bryant. He'll be the second most famous Bear Bryant. We can give it a Miami flavor and stay with the theme and call him "El Oso."

Right when I'm about to ask Pete for some inside info on Special Teams + Kicking Game, I open the FIU page and THERE IT IS...a whole article on the kickers
Way to stay a step ahead of everyone Pete!

I also wanna give some props to Mom because afterall, she was the first one to mention John Paul Fraites as a kicker

Just 2 weeks left
We're gonna give JoePa a heart attack...in a good way

Pete, any good stuff to mention about the walk-ons???

The picture that you have of Dustin Rivest in the paper with him DJing I took.. haha thanks for borrowing my picture. :)

I mentioned Eric Kirchenberg before in a comment, I'm telling you he's good. I hope to see everyone on Saturday!

FIUandMe you got a good one there, Pete I second "el oso"!

Good story on the kickers Pete!

Get out to that scrimmage if you can guys it's amazing what teams can do when they feel the support.

Thanks to putting up some baseball info, Pete. Nice to read that Turtle is actually recruiting and will be bringing in several new faces.

As for football, there is talent on this squad, but we're extremely young and playing a brutal schedule (Miami, Penn St., Kansas, Maryland, Arkansas). Hopefully we can keep those games competitive and steal some conference matchups.

2 more weeks for opening game!!

A good name for Scotty would be "The Predator."

Pete, love the blog! Since your are the FIU info man, can you give us a recap on what the national publications are saying about our Golden Panthers in these College Football previews?

Finally, I know you guys are tough on the old baseball regime, however it was Coach Price who had scheduled USC to start the season. Coach Price might of had some off season as of late, however his "total work" was very good.

UltimateFIUFan you are correct about USC wanting to come down here and there were some talks about playing them, however nothing had been finalized. As a matter of fact USC could had been here last year or the year before, but again nothing was put on writing. Once we had a new coach PG inked the deal. I'll give DP some credit on that one. As far as "his total work" being very good I'm not buying it. For years we played 6 games against FAMU and 6 games against Bethune Cookman add to them about 20 games from teams from up north and you could easyly have 25 wins. Also when did you see a sellout, (Not counting UM), on a stadium that seats 400 ?. In 27 or 28 years how many world series did he coached (UFF this is problably one of the best baseball talented area in the country) ?. I hate to disagree, but his work was mediocre.

PP how 'bout calling Bryant "La Amenaza". Translated to English it means "The Menace", but in spanish is much more than just a menace. It's lurking, it's down and dirty, is fear.

Manguera, good response and some good points. However, I've known Mike Lowell for quite some time and I too would ask him why can't we get some of these great teams that play UM to add at least ONE game with us! Mike pointed out that even though we were over shadowed by UM and unknown to most, in the college baseball world FIU wasn't unknown. We were known as a solid to good program that could beat anyone. So here comes Texas for a tough 3 game series with Miami and then have to add, lets say one game against FIU and pitch their 4th pitcher against a good FIU squad. If they beat FIU so what (remember few knew of us)! However if they lost and they could, especially when pitching a 4th starter they would get drilled in the rankings.

I agree with you that the last coach didn't always get tough opponents, however it isn't that easy either when the program WAS good.

Pete, interesting blog on Palm Beach Post by Marcus Nelson, sort of criticizing all of us about the way MC is conducting practices, TDAOS,and the change in culture. Was he taking a jab at you?...I sure didn't like very much the theme in his blog....kind of wanting to downplay the situation so as to feel better...or make his constituents feel better...

FYI...just putting it out there...not saying I agree...Sports Ilustrated’s college football preview edition ranks FIU last at No. 119

And as far as the other blog you refer to (and I say this with no intention of encouraging anyone to read blogs other than PP's)...I actually thought he gave some praise to FIU and it wasnt a jab at all, ok he took a couple jabs but he was extremely realistic....he said MC definitely has enthusiasm, great knowledge of the game and from what I’ve seen and after interviewing him a few times, is a tireless worker (probably characteristics he gained at the U).....but lastly, he said what 24/7, crazy and myself have been saying all along.."Wait a few games before clamoring to erect a statue of Cristobal at FIU’s new stadium."

Hey MIA/NY josh good observation on SI's far fetched ranking, however to add insult to injury they not only had us ranked LAST (#119 out #119) as you stated, they (SI) has FIU going 0 - 12 again! TO THAT I SAY TDAOS!!! Go FIU!

I agree some comments were kind of positive to MC, and I failed to put it properly in my post, albeit with a backside comment. However, anyone with eyes, self respect, and a little bit of common sense would have to reach the conclusion of the energy and organization at practice under MC.

But in the end, as you agreed, he did take some repetitive jabs at someone or someone that he had "heard"... I just found kind of curious that someone that covers FAU would take his time to write and devote all of one of his "FAU" blogs to the exxagerations he had heard about FIU's new coaching regime.

Other comments made by him range from:

"I had been hearing a lot about FIU’s practices under new coach Mario Cristobal with some comparing the workouts to epic medieval battles complete with players fighting to the death and a river of blood flowing freely down 8th Street toward Little Havana."

Well, it seems that a lot of FIU news are reaching the FAU writer from a paper that never covers FIU.Maybe he has also heard the catchy prase...TDAOS!! Hmmmmm........

I'm glad he acknowledges there will be a new ON CAMPUS state of the art stadium at FIU soon, the absence of a MC statue notwithstanding. Wonder if he thinks, like some of your partners think, that a Shannon statue should get erected in Dolphin Stadium?

About the SI ranking, I guess it's the easy way to prognosticate...After all, we were 0-12 last year, so...we will see...

However...the 0-12 years, I suspect TDAOS!

The most offensive line in that whole Palm Beach blog (which by the way will be the last time I care to read it) is this:
"FAU fans should hope Cristobal turns the FIU program around give the Owls a competitive rival and worthy opponent in the annual Shula Bowl." Worthy opponent? Isn't it nice that FAU fans would like more competitive games against FIU? This is a team that we beat 52-6 and tied an NCAA record in doing so two years ago. And last year's loss came during the strech of games following the Miami brawl (in which FIU trailed UM by the score of 14-0 with 9 minutes left in the third quarter). In fact, in an 0-12 season last year, FIU was outscored by its opponents 145-92 before the brawl, then following the brawl and suspensions of 18 FIU players, were outscored 168-23.

And in games against FAU prior to the 2005 season, FIU statisticly played with or better than FAU in every game, but always made too many mistakes in the end (typical of our first five seasons). So don't let the one win against FAU fool anyone.

I would prefer we don't play them at all--our natural rival is UM (coincidentally, who appear to be shying away from playing us now). Let's dominate the Sun Belt and move on!

SouthPaw wrote:
"I would prefer we don't play them at all--our natural rival is UM (coincidentally, who appear to be shying away from playing us now). Let's dominate the Sun Belt and move on!"

Two questions. First, why would you no longer wish to play against FAU? I would think that a more competitive team for you guys (like FAU) would be better to play against than UM.

Secondly, what makes UM a more natural rival? Are you refering to the distance of the two programs? If so, then I guess I can't argue that. Though to me, a rivalry is one in which the underdog has at least a minute chance of winning...something FIU does not have against UM.

On a side note, the reason UM is "shying" away from playing against you guys is because of what I had been saying before we played you guys and was more vocal about after the brawl; we gain absolutely nothing and have tons to lose by playing you people.

I wish you the best of luck this season. GO CANES

What about gain in attendance? I think that takes away the "absolutely" part of it. Don't you think you people will gain at least this? Regardless of that, welcome to this blog..

I too, wish you tood luck this season....

TDAOS

So trailing only 14-0 with 9 minutes to go in the third quarter last year against UM showed that FIU doesn't have "at least a minute chance of winning?" Strange conclusions you're drawing there.

And don't believe that the cause of the brawl didn't have anything to do with FIU stepping up and going blow for blow without blinking against "the U" (the silliest nickname in all of college atheltics).

And here another fact that you're going to have to deal with in the coming years--FIU is only getting better, year by year, and we're NOT going away. We're here to stay.

And yes, it's a natural rivalry against UM because the schools are only 11 miles apart. It's a large public school vs a smaller private school, underrated vs overrated, a cheap, quality education vs an expensive overrated education, etc. Only USC/UCLA and Houston/Rice offer an intra-city public vs private rivalry like FIU/UM.

So you can either run away from us and hide (looks like that's the current strategy of your administration) or embrace the rivalry because its here to stay.

SouthPaw: whoa whoa, take it easy buddy. I was asking a serious question, wasn't trying to smack talk. There are many things wrong with your statement, so I'll take it step by step with you.

"So trailing only 14-0 with 9 minutes to go in the third quarter last year against UM showed that FIU doesn't have "at least a minute chance of winning?" Strange conclusions you're drawing there" --> Last year was a terrible year for us. If you recall, we also beat huge powerhouses such as Houston, and Nevada by 1 point, and Duke by 5. Discipline was god-awful. Beating you guys by 35 points was our second best outing (FAMU was first) of the season. So yes, this year with a huge improvement in discipline, I believe you do not have a minute chance of beating us.

"And don't believe that the cause of the brawl didn't have anything to do with FIU stepping up and going blow for blow without blinking against "the U" (the silliest nickname in all of college atheltics)." --> It probably has something more to do with the fact that FIU went in there to start a fight. FIU was and still is the "little dog" in the yard. Not to say it never will be a big one, but as of right now you guys are small. Walking into the OB and taking cheap shots, late hits, etc. culminating to the body slam of our place kicker, you don't think a response was warranted?

"And here another fact that you're going to have to deal with in the coming years--FIU is only getting better, year by year, and we're NOT going away. We're here to stay." --> Still has yet to be proven. We'll see this year.

"And yes, it's a natural rivalry against UM because the schools are only 11 miles apart. It's a large public school vs a smaller private school, underrated vs overrated, a cheap, quality education vs an expensive overrated education, etc." --> Overrated? - http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/t1natudoc_brief.php

Quality? - http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/t4natudoc_brief.php

"So you can either run away from us and hide (looks like that's the current strategy of your administration) or embrace the rivalry because its here to stay" --> It isn't a matter of hiding. It's a matter of doing what's right for our program. Playing you guys now means giving you guys national exposure, having our SOS drop significantly (doesn't really matter with a 7-6 season but would if we went 12-0) and increasing the chance of one of our key players getting hurt. If we beat you by 35 people will say we played a cupcake team. If we beat you by 7 points, we still lose out from the criticism. It's a lose lose for us. You guys gain.

I don't mind playing you guys if you become a powerhouse in the Sunbelt, but until then this game is meaningless.

Hey Pete,
Since you spend most of your time "bashing" and taking shots at the former coaches from FIU baseball program, my question to you is have you ever worn a jock strap? I would love to play you one on one in baseball. First, I would hit you some ground balls and then pitch batting practice to you as well. Idiots like yourself are really really wannabe's who never competed at a higher level in athletics but rather spent their time wishing they had. If you're as stuff as you sound grow some _ _ _ _ '_ and post this comment.

One on one baseball? Sounds like a fun game.

"Discipline was god-awful. Beating you guys by 35 points was our second best outing (FAMU was first) of the season" -- So it was discipline that was responsible for the horrible UM season last year? When has discipline ever been good at "the U"? That excuse is almost laughable.

"the fact that FIU went in there to start a fight...Walking into the OB and taking cheap shots, late hits, etc. culminating to the body slam of our place kicker, you don't think a response was warranted?" FIU went in there to earn respect, not start a fight. That's UM's typical game plan and history, not FIU's. When FIU stood toe to toe for 2 1/2 quarters and was still standing delivering blows back, UM felt disrespected and was looking for a fight. Reminds me of a bully that that gets hit in the nose, he gets scared and starts fighting dirty (i.e., swinging helmets).

And here are a few data points on the education question:


UM's entering student median SAT scores are only 17% higher than FIU's. FIU's % of applicants admitted to the university last year was 43% compared to UM's 40%. But UM's cost of tuition was 853% higher for in-state tuition and 108% higher for out-of-state tuition ($3,466 in-state tuition for FIU and $15,865 out-of-state compared to UM's $33,018 for both in and out-of-state tuition). And what do entering SAT scores really tell about the quality of an education you receive at the university anyway? And now FIU has schools of law and medicine that are up and coming.

SouthPaw, I really have no idea if you're just in the mood for baseless smack talk, or if you're actually trying to hold a serious debate. I'll go for the latter and attempt once again to break this down even more slowly.

Discipline has always been key for UM. Not in the sense of sportsmanship, but in the sense of not making boneheaded penalties (false starts, holdings, illegal shifts, too many men on the field, etc.) These penatlies killed our already inept offense. This lack of discipline (which, if you took the time to read anything about UM, would know was huge) is what lead to an awful season. Many distractions off-field, and of course an HC that couldn't control the program also didn't help. Again, lack of discipline. Something which I believe has been corrected.

I mentioned Houston, Duke, and Nevada so that you could understand, but I guess you still don't. These teams are the "little dog" as well. And they, just like you, stood toe to toe with the "great UM." Did you see any fights break out? Hell, UVA could also be considered a little dog, and they actually beat us. Did you see any fights break out? No. Why? Because they did not engage in said late hits. The fact that you continue to deny that these cheap shots were taking place is flat out ridiculous. I guess I'll just chalk that one under you being a "homer."

Lastly, this is a sports board, but if you insist on continuing on academics, than it's on you. First of all I find it ridiculous that you would use "17% higher" as some kind of argument. Are you serious? If you want to go with that, then I guess Harvard's median SAT is only 15% higher than ours. Yipee!

For the record, unless you either didn't understand the links I gave you, or chose not to click on them, I was showing you that UM is ranked 52 overall. While FIU was listed as a 4 tier school (that's bottom 25%, in general terms)

I'm not sure where you got those percentages on admission either, since UM only allows 2000 student per year out of approximately 20,000. That's 10%, not 40%.

And as for your med school, were you refering to this? http://www.palmbeachpost.com/opinion/content/opinion/epaper/2007/08/17/a10a_leadedit_medskuls_0817.html

Once again, my intentions were friendly. I meant to wish you guys well for this upcoming season. So SouthPaw, good luck. Maybe MC can turn things around soon, and I would look forward to playing against a much more improved program in the future.

Opinions are opinions...there are a lot other rankings that put FIU ahead of UM in different disciplines. I guess everybody chooses to give credibitlity to the one that puts you higher. For example in business, accounting, decision sciences...it's not contest FIU. But, who really cares.....

What a newspaper from Palm Beach County...with its county constituents reading it...including its county state University.....writes, and to bring it here as evidence could be considered "baseless smack" by many objective readers...

Back to this blog..would ya?....I guess we wil find out who our QB is this week....

So here I am this mormimg watching Sports Center (like every morning) and before a commercial break, they say comming up next, "The Top Ten Pre-season plays so far" As they come back from commercial and I watch. Guess what they show, FIU hero Antwan Barnes making a big hit. First impression, cool, FIU grad showing what he can do. Getting some Nat'l spotlight. However, as we take a closer look, here is what I saw. I saw a no-name LB, on special teams trying to make a highlight film by cheap-shotting a Kicker, YES, a kicker, running down the field. Oh and by the way, this massive cheap-shot of a block happened NOWHERE near the actual play that was going on (that is why it was a cheap-shot) Did any-1 else see this? The reason I bring it up now is not only b/c I just saw it on SC not to long ago this morning, but b/c I read above about last years brawl and it just goes to show what kind of players were playing on that FIU team. I am not saying all og the FIU players are cheap-shotting wannabees like Barnes, but he was undoubetly a leader for the GPers last year and leaders lead by example. Well, this Barnes hit is all that is wrong with the preseason. You have guys, like Barnes, who are not getting the attention in practice, probably b/c they are not that good, so, in a meaningless preseason game they take an opportunity to "light up" a little kicker running down the field. Barnes probably ran over to the sideline after that hit clapping for himself and asking the special teams coach "did you see that block I just threw" I hope his coach told him that it was not a block b/c there was no-one around to "block" for. It was a cheap-shot. A punk move. So there you go GP community - your first big time draft pick, playing for the most dominant defense in the NFL, anchored by two former NFL defensive players of the year, Lewis and Reed, and your boy is out there taking cheap shots on kickers in the preseason. Yeah, he is the guy for the little FIU fans to look up to.

That was a cheap shot by Barnes. No doubt about it. But hey, it's not like any UM players have ever had any of their own, right?

By the way, Barnes had nothing to do with the brawl last season. He was actually photographed by the Herald hugging Larry Coker and apologizing on behalf of FIU.

This blog gets downright pitiful. I've spoken to guys who played football at Miami and went to school with me. They have said -in no uncertain terms - that what happened last year is history. In fact, both of FIU's draftees were working out with Miami grads in preparation for the draft. If the players are over it, we as fans should be as well.

As someone who has worked with both administrations, I know there are good people at the top. I wish BOTH FIU and Miami the best of luck in 2007.

Look 24/7 The Ravens have the best defense in the NFL, they have the best linebackers in the NFL they really don't need to get another linebacker, for them to draft Barnes that says a lot about his skills, right now he is a second stringer because he is backing up a couple of future hall of famers. The reason they drafted him ahead of other linebackers is because the team thinks that at that point he was the best linebacker in the draft to fit the system. But you are right a lot of rookies try to impress and throw some late hits and cheap shots. I remember a former cane Shawn Taylor who messed up the Redskins playoff with late hits in his rookie season. Also in a preseason game Ray Lewis broke Michael Vick's leg, Yes the dogs were happy that day, 24/7 show me a team who doesn't take cheap shots and let them throw the first stone,

7-11: If we were to devote this blog to cheap shots and scUMmy moves by alums of our respective schools, we may need a whole thread on Michael Irvin alone. No one outworks "Da U" in being scUM. The kid made a stupid play taking that cheap shot but as FIUBlue82 pointed out, he had nothing to do with the brawl, never left the sideline and never missed 1 minute of gametime. Unlike some helmet-wielding scUM.

ok 24/7 im glad your watcing sc religiously... have you noticed they only show first team in their reviews to the games. ever wonder how they go from 3-0 to 11-10? its second and 3rd teams that dont get air time unless there is something Juicy. what better than to show a kicker being layed out... what you didnt watch b/c sc sucks and NFL network is better is that barnes made 2 sacks and was in the back feild causeing all sorts of havok. reporters were raving. the hit was dirty sure but your comment was worse and ill informed

On a side note, I encourage you guys to start up the message boards on ESPN. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/clubhouse?teamId=2229

It's kind of dead over there. At least there you don't have to go through an entire blog to make a comment about something not pertaining to the topic.

Canes_a_Coming welcome to the blog. been out for a while so im catching up on sharing my thoughts. i really dont see much wrong w/ your comments like south paw does but just want to state about the fight that both schools were throwing cheap shots... not everything gets called in these games. and disrespecting fans is a pretty big one. the bow to the fiu fans in the TD before the fight. other than that there are some things i will agree w/ you. FIU must prove itself. nothing should be handed to us.

as to UM gaining nothing from us.. right now that is true but UM cannot live in the present alone. i think after this season will be very telling. right now UM gains nothing from FIU but a schedule filler. but there is no denying that FIu has great potential. once that potential is realized (sooner rather than later i hope) a great rivalry will form. here is to a good season to both programs.

Lets start with U24/7. I think its short sighted that you bring up Antwan Barnes hit on a kicker, which I agree was unwarranted and forget UM's Sean Taylor CHEAP-SHOT on a PUNTER in the NFL Pro Bowl game! That was EQUALLY low. Taylor is good enough on his own without having to CHEAPSHOT a PUNTER who was going out of bounds in a MEANINGLESS game. About Barnes talent, please read the Ravens web-site as they discuss whether Barnes will START on defense with UM's Ray Lewis. The Ravens LB's are not weak either. Possibly the best group in the NFL and he is being discussed as STARTING, if not STARTING definitely getting plenty of playtime. Anyone hear ANYTHING about UM's J. Beason??? Last time Beason saw Barnes he was wiping away the dust Barnes left in his tracks as he blew away Beason in the combine.

Because you asked.

Panthers | Beason working with starters on weakside
Sun, 19 Aug 2007 22:43:01 -0700

Steve Reed, of the Gaston Gazette, reports Carolina Panthers rookie LB Jon Beason worked as the starter at weakside linebacker Sunday, Aug. 19. He is expected to stick at that position.

thanks for the update crazycane. i actually had not heard much on beason but glad to see hes doing good

canes_a_coming glad to hear your input. I know that this a sports blog, however its refreshing to hear academic ranking every once in a while. Your ranking link to US News does show that UM is ranked 52. Congrats! It has taken UM 87 years to reach tier 2 (Tier 1 is the first 50 Universities)! Congrats to UF for being the only tier 1 school in the state. Back to comparisons. FIU opened it doors in 72 (UM was 50!), became a 4 year school in '81 (UM was 61!) became a research University in '96 (UM was 76!), a research I University (like UF, Harvard, etc.) in '98 (UM was 78!), got approval for football, law and medical school within a five year period (NO OTHER UNIVERSITY HAS EVER DONE THAT IN OVER 50 YEARS!) and in that entire time UM has gone from tier 4 to tier 2! WOW! Who is moving UP? Again CONGRATS on your improvement, however you must understand both universities will become great because of the competition between them. FIU is on the radar screen with nothing in its way but time!!

Seriously. Last year was last year. Can we focus on what's going on this year? And another thing: it's a sports blog. Let's focus on sports, not academics. It's evident that the UCGers are going to keep coming on here and blasting us. That's fine. It's a part of college football. I actually enjoy it, because if they truly didn't care about FIU football, they wouldn't give us the time of day. If they really bother you that much, then handle them the way you handle children: ignore them when they annoy you, and they'll eventually find something else to do. Let's just let the players play out the season (and the seasons to come), and we'll see what happens then. Some of you guys care way too much about what they -- and others -- think.

That being said: have there been any significant injuries that we should worry about? I haven't heard anything regarding that, and I find it odd that, this close to the season and after a couple of weeks of practice, there are no injuries.

CrazyCane, congrats to Beason, however would you agree that the Ravens LBs are far superior to the Carolina Panthers? Still good luck to any S. Florida guy who does well in the NFL!

CJ: Precisely. I agree 100%. As of right now, this is not a rivalry, and there is nothing to gain from our meeting. At least from our side. But in time, if you guys become a sensation in the SunBelt, I would welcome a rivalry.

UltimateFIUFan: I know it's not my place in the argument, mainly because I don't care about Barnes "cheapshot" against the punter. And also, because I think football is an aggressive sport which should be played tough 100% of the time. But I think a huge difference between Sean Taylor's hit and Barnes' was that the punter in the pro-bowl was going for the first down. He wasn't going out of bounds. He was a target, as opposed to Barnes' case where the punter was simply trotting along.

But again, football is tough. I say fair game. That's just me

UltimateFIUFan: I didn's see your response to me the first time. Actually you're wrong. I believe that those first 120 schools I showed in that first ranking were all considered (top 25%) or first tier. I could be mistaken, but that's how it's read. They wouldn't put it under "top universities" unless it's top 25%.

Also I'm well aware of FIU's history, and they've done a remarkable job in growth. How that translates, only time will tell. I was just mainly responding to SouthPaw who called UM overrated.

Those of you that mentioned the FAU blogger on the PB Post who wrote about the FIU practices, did you notice there was only 1 response to his blog!! The funniest thing was that it was an FIU FAN!!!

No one is reading that crap! Great fans they have.

GO FIU!!

TNGoldenPanther i saw that ... its pittiful actually. o and canes_a_coming you seem to mis understand me.. there is a rivalry, but it seems to got off on the worng foot. its headed down the path of UF/UM rather than UM/FSU. both hated rivals but FSU rival is a healthy one. UF is bad blood and thats the point im trying to make. we want a good blood rivalry not a bad blood one. not sure if that cleared things up for you let me know

CJ: I thought when you wrote, "but there is no denying that FIu has great potential. once that potential is realized (sooner rather than later i hope) a great rivalry will form", I thought you were refering to the fact that right now it would not be beneficial for a "rivalry." I will agree, however, that we did get off on the wrong foot, and I hope that this season we don't have to look at the brawl again. But I'm sure ESPN and others will highlight the brawl leading up to this year's game.

I believe the best thing to do, is to just let tensions side, and forget about playing each other for some time. Hopefully when we schedule you guys again, the program would be much improved and the recruiting part has taken over. As of right now, many of your recruits are players that couldn't make it into the big 3. Which is why resentment and bad blood will exist.

well we all know that ESPN isnt the most reliable rather the one looking to remain "the world wide leader in sports" aka barnes but the brawl will bring the rating so cant hate

Here's another question I have: regarding offensive formations, I know that we're running the spread this year, but has anyone noticed if we're trying out two tight end sets? the Dallas Cowboys did this last year -- going as far as drafting Anthony Fasano out of Notre Dame in the second round -- for added protection in case the offensive line couldn't hold up.

Canes_a_coming, you may be correct. However, it use to be (as of last year) Tier 1 (1-50), Tier 2 (51-150), etc. If they listed the top 120 as the new tier 1 then congrats to UM!

hearing the word on the TE we have a 2 TE set wouldnt be bad idea

Good points Canes_a_coming, another slight issue is that everybody knows what happened with SeanTay, the thing about Barnes is that he wasn't even going after the first string punter and it's only preseason, that has the chance of ruining a long shot's only chance to make the team. I don't think Barnes did it with the intention of it being a cheap shot, it is football after all and hitting is part of the game. If he was a bad seed he would have been involved in the much discussed altercations and he wasn't. Everybody does make a mistake from time to time.

Wow look at all the interest here, excellent!!!

In addition to all of the forecasts, which place us at #119 (excellent motivational ammo in my opinion), many sports journals are writing about the related overrated and underrated teams with these forecasts.

Overrated teams include the usual suspects:

Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma

And newbies:

Rutgers, TCU, USC

Underrated teams include:

Hawaii, Boise, UCLA, Illi, Virginia, USF, Maryland, Miami (#49 in SI's ranking, that's not fair...these are teams we've all played and put up a fight, except scUM).

So, this brings me to this posting's topic! I think FIU is very underrated. I know our 06 record and conference doesn't give us lots of credit, but if you consider what happened last year we might've broken even. I just hate seeing FIU ranked #119 in almost every preseason ranking, it almost renders absolute ignorance on behalf of these sporting authors.


Also, I'm very VERY discouraged by the lack of attention the special teams (ie: kicking team) has received. We lost at least four games due to direct result of poor kicking...Pete, what's your persective on this situation from camp.

Thanks, keep it up Pete you ROCK bro!!!

PP, as always a pleasure reading the blog...just a few questions regarding baseball, what does the schedule look like, I know USC is written but whats the final word on FSU, ASU, USF and UCG?? I even heard some rumors of TT trying to schedule and opening series at Texas? This would be great for the program and the players. TT is starting to turn things around and so far, so good. I think we can throw in a TDAOS for the baseball team.

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