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So Hard to Say Good-bye??

48 In less than 48 hours Golden Panthers vs. Hurricanes football will be done and over with. Or will it?

We'll get to the game preview in a second, but first let's see what you good people of the GPP think? Is this the last FIU/canes football game? All signs point to it with the canes saying they're booked until 2011 or 2012. But don't let your jaw drop if you see FIU opening Joe Robbie Stadium next season against the Jrs_2canes in the canes' JRS stadium debut as a home team.

Heck, FIU is already closing one stadium (Orange Bowl) this season, so why not open 2 stadiums next year: the new FIU Stadium and Joe Robbie (before canes fans go hooting and hollering -- that would be FIU opening the stadium as the canes new home stadium, I know JRS has already opened, although I don't know if people know it has opened for Marlins games this season).

Both schools have been very amicable this week and it seems like there will be plenty of sportsmanship in Saturday's game. Plus, the canes have to fill the spot left vacant by North Texas in their 2008 season opener. So why not?

Ebens_4  Yes, FIU is not at the canes level and yada, yada, yada. Heard all the arguments, but this should be an annual game like USC/UCLA and Houston/Rice. Can't call it a rivalry, just yet, because each team has to win for a rivalry to ensue like FIU and canes baseball. But I am saying FIU/canes football should be played every season and once FIU has finished its stadium with 45,000 capacity, the game should be a home and away series.

FIU is scheduled to open 2008 at Kansas. I think PG drops that game in a heartbeat if the canes want to open with the Golden Panthers. FIU and the canes can open next season against each other if the canes want to do it.

If the series does not continue then after 2008, only FIU and canes hoops will continue meeting annually. Because after next season's 2 baseball games, the canes are ready to dump FIU from their baseball schedule because of Jim Morris's past issues with Turtle Thomas.

As for Saturday's game, there could be some serious issues if FIU cannot convert on 3rd downs. The Golden Panthers are 2 for 25 on 3rd down conversions this season and we all saw what happens when you can't get a 1st down and your defense is on the field for a long, hot time. Penn State answered with 35 points in the 2nd half in the season opening rout. If the same happens on Saturday, Canes backs Javarris James and Graig Cooper will have a field day and this game will be a blowout.

FIU's defense will be challenged with the run like they were not at Penn State or with Maryland. While PSU had a superior passing game, the same cannot be said of Kylirby Wrightman. But here's the thing, if James and Cooper get going on the ground, Wrightman will look like Peyton Manning back there, b/c Peyton FIU will be focused on the run.

So what can FIU do to make this a game and maybe set itself up for a shot at possibly winning the game in the 4th quarter. 1) Make 1st downs: keeps FIU D fresh on sidelines and keeps canes backs also on sidelines 2) Don't turn the ball over. There will be a new punt returner this week. Greg Ellingson, Kreg Brown, Daunte Owens and Alonzia Phillips all have worked returning punts this week. 3) Score....need more than 10 points from last week to win this game.

If the Golden Panthers can follow through on those 3 GPP keys to winning, then I would say FIU 23-17, but I just don't see the consistency with the FIU offense yet. The offensive play calling has been clever and precise the first two games, but not all the offensive horses have arrived at FIU yet. Sorry GPP faithful, but GPP sees it more like: canes 44, FIU 13.

PANTHER PAWSE

Remember to have your WinaBlog scores into the GPP for Saturday's game before 11:59 pm on Friday.

CJ: Like Messod pointed out Western Kentucky has been around with football forever. In fact, the Hilltoppers played their first bowl game in the 1952 Refrigerator Bowl.....no kidding, that was the name Refr of that bowl game.

Andy D: For whatever it's worth, FIU was the fastest football program to Division I. I remember 4 years ago at the Sun Belt press conference announcing FIU and FAU's move to the Sun Belt, commissioner Wright Waters mentioned to me that FIU filed their papers to join the conference into the Sun Belt office that day about 4 hours before FAU. But again, for what it's worth. Again yada, yada, yada.

fiugrad: Rest assured I have not forgotten about writing an FIU baseball blog. In the blog titled "MC Gets a Kick Out of Who?" I wrote about the top out-of-conference opponents for FIU this upcoming season: USC, Arizona State and the canes. I've heard the fall roster for baseball has plenty of new faces, but now is when TT evaluates to see which new ones stay and which go. When football slows down, I'll have an FIU baseball blog.

Messod: Hope your question about FIU and the canes playing football again was answered at the beginning of this blog.

E-Man: Welcome to the GPP!

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My prediction...UM 31 FIU 13

Hope the scores are reversed...and the numbers after each school to um 13 FIU 31!!

UM 38
FIU 17

I'm hoping that we win though.

FIU 13 - ucg 27

FIU 9 UM 29

FIU 9 UM 29

FIU 10
UM 35

FIU 21 UM 17

41-6 Canes

Why so much smoke about us opening the UCG season next year at JRS? Are the nomads having trouble finding a 'marquee' match-up?

Pete you got my prediction yesterday right?

Wow... my question gets its own BLOG! I feel special now. Thanks, Pete! :)

(Seriously... I know it wasn't because I asked it... sarcasm, people, sarcasm!)

Before I get to the football... wow, I'm PISSED that FIU-UM could be getting cancelled in baseball. I'm not sure what to make of that. It's hard for me to imagine that Morris is that scared of the Turtle, but I just can't imagine the hate between them to be that big that it cancells a series that's been going on forever. I'm not saying they should kiss and make up, but I don't think it benefits UM or FIU to cancel that series. Especially with the new schedule going into effect this upcoming year. I remember Danny Price telling me that he was not looking forward to having to travel a lot once 2008 rolled around, and Morris is going to have the same issues. All the wam-weather teams will. Having a local game would certainly save on the costs, if nothing else.

With that said... what you wrote, Pete, doesn't really determine how Miami feels about playing the GP's next season. I know the Canes aren't your area of expertise, but is there any reason (in your mind) to think the Miami administrators would look favorably at playing FIU again? And does tomorrow's game have anything to do with it? Perhaps Manny Navarro would be better equipped to answer this, but I have faith in you, Pete. You ARE the Herald's best reporter, after all. ;)

For the record... since I think some of you might've been confused with my disgustingly long post in the last blog... I'm not a Hurricanes fan. Never have been. I hated college sports in general for years until I went to FIU. Specifically, once I started doing FIU games on the radio. You could say it's an acquired taste, I guess.

NYCFIUFan said my argument proves that Miami is scared to play FIU. I don't know if I would say that. How scary could FIU be once you've won 5 national titles? I do think there is some fear, but not at a huge level. I think it's better to look at it this way:

Let's say you're a millionaire and you're playing a poker game against a guy who only has 50,000 bucks. The guy with 50 g's then asks you to lay all of your money on the line against his money for one hand, winner take all. Would any of you do it?

If you're most people, you don't, because the gain isn't worth the price you have to pay to play. That's what I'm trying to say. (And so is Canester, I think.)

Miami just doesn't gain much from playing FIU right now, other than community goodwill, and I'm not even sure that applies. (Besides, I think leaving the OB proves Miami has bigger things on its mind than community goodwill.)

Why risk the millions for a small pot? Most of the FIU fans are die-hards anyway, so it's not like they're going to, all of a sudden, become Hurricanes if Miami wins these games huge. But we all know full well (or should) that Miami's fan base is very fair-weather. It doesn't take a lot to sour people from going to games when UM sucks. Would it take much more for them to jump to FIU if the GP's prove they're better than Miami? I don't think it would.

Simply put, protecting your fan base ALWAYS makes sense. The Canes struggle enough in that department. And if the shoe was on the other foot, I believe many FIU fans would take the same position that the UM fans do now. But since FIU is the guy with the 50 g's, they're the ones who gain from betting it all against the millionaire, so of course it makes sense that many blue-and-gold diehards want to see the game.

As a fan... especially an FIU fan... I want to see FIU-Miami. As a South Florida sports fan, I want to see FIU-Miami. But if I was a Hurricane fan or worked at the U, I would NOT... UNTIL FIU proves itself to the point that it makes sense for the Canes to play them. And there's only one way to do it: take on anyone, anytime, and beat them. Do what USF has done. Do what Miami did in the 70's and 80's. Make your team the best, beat all comers and THEN you will force UM's hand into a yearly game. And even if you don't, you've proven you're not a joke and you belong with the big boys.

UM doesn't need FIU, nor does FIU need UM. Both can exist without the other. I hope eventually for a real inter-city rivalry, but FIU's got to pull their weight for it to stick. I think Pete Garcia will get us there, in time.

I think Messod Bendayan should just win the contest and let him write the blog. lol Good words.

Official Prediction
UM - 41
FIU - 10

Canester,

The fake comment posted by someone else on the previous blog has been deleted.

Like I mentioned before when someone posts on the GPP, the e-mail address always shows so I know when the post is legit and when it's not.

Thanks

Thank you PP. Appreciate it. My sour taste for FIU fans has been lifted ;)

My Prediction

UM 38
FIU 3

The U 50

FIU 3

Crazycane.. thanks for giving us the three points!

My prediction:
UCG-21
FIU-17

CJ,

Yes, got your score.

Well t-minus 19 hours until kickoff, getting very excited about the game. My keys to FIU winning (or keeping it close), and I know this is easier said then done:

1) Offensive line needs to have a great game and win or maintain the battle of the line of scrimmage; this should help on key #2:

2) Time management, keep UM's offense off the field the best we can

3) Prevent the big play, nothing more deflating then giving up a big play.

4) Don't let Kyle/Kirby get in a rhythm.

5) DON'T GIVE UP THE FOOTBALL. PLEASE!!!

But no matter the score, I hope our kids keep their heads up high and give every effort. GO FIU!!!!

Thanks for the kind words, yippee. I don't really care that much about the blog, though. I'm just doing the scores for fun.

Actually, I will probably tell Pete to let someone else do it if I do win, since, tecnically, this is for the fans. Though I am one now, I did cover and work for FIU for years. I don't want to ruin the spirit of the contest.

(Which reminds me... I know Roman reads this blog sometimes. I was listening to your PA work during the Internet broadcast last week. Nice to see they got another FIU'er to replace me on the PA. You sounded great, man!)

I do have Miami beating FIU 41-10. Just in case you didn't get it, Pete.

As for what I think of next season... since that's the point of this blog... I hope the rivalry continues for South Florida's sake. I do agree with Pete that the game should be yearly. Unfortunately, the only way I see it going to 2008 is if FIU plays out of their minds tomorrow and either wins or keeps the game close ("close" being defines as a 1-2 TD margin, with drama late to make it interesting.)

In that case, the closeness will probably demand another match-up. After last year's brawl and FIU stinking up the joint record-wise, I don't see a real incentive for Miami to want to play FIU otherwise.

I don't see this series going yearly until FIU stops being team number 119 out of the 119 teams in top level college football. Which will happen soon enough, hopefully. :)

scUM 14
FIU 24

FIU WILL win tomorrow. Why is everyone giving us less chance against UM than PSU and Maryland?! I remember seeing lots of upset predictions for PSU and Maryland, and now that we are going to play UM everyone seems less confident for a FIU victory. Seriously, UM is the WORST team so far this year, PSU and Maryland are better teams.

Good point Quijote. Miami does have better talent than Maryland, though. Prediction: UM 24 FIU 23. This is a winnable game for FIU, make no mistake about it, but this year isn't about out-of-conference wins, it's about winning the Sun Belt and getting better every game. I hope you're right PP that UM and FIU continue the series next year and beyond--it's kind of sad that UM fears us. I wouldn't have thought that would have happened until we started beating them regularly, but hey, we've always done things ahead of schedule.

Prediction:
FIU 20 x UM 16

FIU's redzone D is gonna be out of their minds tomorrow, resulting in many field goals
I'm gonna be sitting in enemy territory tomorrow, in the UM player's family section (free tickets). That itself should be fun.

I really have a good, good feeling about this game. I was thinking about it today, and also speaking to a football player in the cafeteria about it. Cristobal use to be a coach there, he knows the players just as well as some of the coaches that are there now. He knows who is great at pass protection, who sucks, top heavy, slow, good blocker....etc.
I can tell you from a students point of view, that if we won, it would be freaking amazing. Our school would be more well known and our degress would be worth more too. The moral of the team and the whole school would be amazing and the school spirit might get the way that we all wished it would be. I just have an amazing feeling about this game and if the players get their mind right, they could win.
But if we lose, as long as the team gets their act together by the first conference game and we won those, it would make my year.

hope to see yall tomorrow and wear your BLUE!

and I don't know if its possible to change the prediction but
FIU 21
UM 17

geezz.

FIU 10
UCG 35

GOLDEN PANTHERS REPRESENT!

dont change mine. wow. i need sleep.

I don't know if UCG is that much better than Maryland, I think Maryland is better than UM. Seriously, consider that Maryland lost a relatively tight one to #4 W.Virginia, and scUM got blown out of the water against #8 at the time Oklahoma. Do you think Maryland would've lost by nearly 40 points against Oklahoma considering the valiant effort against W.Virginia?

Yougotgold makes a good point about our redzone defense. Not only that, but you should also consider our run defense and how we held it against PSU during the first half until we got tired. Run defense has always been our strong suit, and UCG has zero passing game so far this year (ranked below us actually) so they only have a run game as their offense, one our defense should hold tight.

Again, think about all of this logic, tomorrow's game may very well be the best shot at winning an out of conference game this year guys.

ROAR

Messod thanks for the kind words...i had a lot of fun doing the game the other day and looking forward to working a few more this year.

I just heard that there will be FREE tickets given out for the FIU vs UM game in the FIU alumni tent starting at 1:00pm.


Did anyone get a chance to watch the Troy game last night, they totally manhandeled Oklahoma State. Just goes to show you that if SunBelt teams scheduled more of their out of conference games at home, they could be competitive. Does anyone know what the SunBelt's out of conference record is so far (my guess is that it is not very good, but it could be distorted since most of the games are on the road)?

Anyway, GO FIU

Quijote,

Oklahoma was ranked #5 at the time.

Marshall kept it close with West Virginia, actually beating them at halftime and down by 4 in the 4th,and covered the spread, something Maryland couldn't do.

Your logic needs practice.

Good luck today FIU. I cant believe im in such a good mood, but we are whipping Minnesota right now!!! 35-21 FAU in the 2nd.. this will be the FIRST BCS team we have beat! Big step! Im gonna shut up though, because lots of football left to be played.

Maybe you boys can beat the canes and we will both beat our first BCS team the same weekend! Or, they will kill you... well see..

Holy Jesus, I about had a heart attack, but we pulled out the win 42-39. Wow. Well, im on cloud 9... looking at your game, looks like FIU is giving Miami fits! Only 10-0 in the 2nd and FIU is driving in Miami territory.. so far this is a lot closer then I think most of us expected.

GO OWLS!

Just got back from the OB after another loss. Our offense got in no rhythm what so ever, at times they even looked loss. How is it that FAU can throw for 467 yards and we have no offense? There were some good points to the game, like Ned running well, too bad after a nice run by Ned it was offset by offsides or holding (basically we would gain 15 yards but then give them 5-10 yards in penalties during the next set of downs).

Nice to see the SunBelt holding their own against their nonConference opponents, congrats to the Owls, hate to admit it, but it appears they are ahead of the process compared to us.

On a side note, this is the first time I have been to a UM game rooting for the opposing team, I must say, the fans are at times hostile and belligerent but for the most part it wasn't that bad. Also, how many people were arrested or escorted out of the OB at the closed end of the OB (I believe that is the west side)? It appeared to be crazy on that side of the stadium.

Well, bottom line, if we had any offense what so ever we would have won that game, but I tip my hat to UM as well as our defense, it has really stepped up this year.

GO FIU!!!

the game was a good game ill have to say i had a blast even though we lost. first congrats to the UM fans out there on the win. about the game....
1. our secondary needs to step it up there were a lot of open guys out there and damn it if kyle wright didnt look like freaking Mike vick pre dog scandal lol
2. it seemed at times that the play calling was predictable nd thats why the offense dindt seem to get going. however thats TD AT the end made it all worth it...
i think my score was pretty close 27-13 to 23-9 not bad o well theres always next week guys keep the heads up

NYCFIUFan, you are completely right about "some" Canes fans being hostile and belligerent. 5 minutes into the game, there were Canes fans wanting to fight.I couldn't believe it; it's like FIU fans couldn't cheer for their team. Give me a break!! On a personal note, I understand some Canes fans being frustruated with their own team and wanting to take it out on someone. When somebody was ragging on me for cheering on FIU, all I'd reply is 51-13. I was hoping some fans were humbled after the Oklahoma beatdown but obviously I was wrong.

Anyways about the game, I was proud that FIU played hard for 60 minutes. I was definitely impressed with the punting game. Too bad we missed an extra point. What about that great interception Anthony Gaiter made?? Great play. Obviously our players and program can only grow from this game. But what I saw FIU improve on was the running game. Ned and even Younger looked shifty.

The negative part, Wayne Younger shouldn't have thrown those two interceptions. The first one was an awful pass. As for the 2nd one, he was trying to force it. If he hadn't thrown that pick it could have been 10-0 at the halftime. He must try to limit his mistakes. Overall, with his running he had a decent game.

BTW, Congrats to the FAU Owls(I still don't like them)! It was good win for the Sun Belt conference against a Big 10/12 school.

Finally, after seeing yesterdays game I'm encouraged. It was nice for UM players and coaches to acknowlegde that FIU is on the rise!!

GO FIU!!

Oh, I forgot to ask PP something. I noted in the ESPN ticker that Miami Northwestern had 3 players in their top 150 recruiting class that have orally committed to UM (bad choice, but that is their call). Maybe it is too early but any idea on any oral commitments for FIU?

Also, do you have an opinion on the BCS system, to me it is totally unfair and a monopoly. If the BCS system was around in the 80s I am not sure if UM would have won their NC b/c of the favoritism it gives to BCS conferences (as you know at that time UM was independent). Therefore it appears to give FIU more of a disadvantage since they are in a non-BCS conference. Just wanted your perspective.

NYCFIUFan - I do not think it is the BCS that puts FIU at a disadvantage, it is the winless record that puts FIOU at a disadvantage as far as the BCS goes. Furthermore, with the Duke win - FIU now has the longest losing streak in the country - good luck selling that to recruits MC.

Good game guys. You're young and will be fine. GO MIAMI!

The U24/7, I did not direct that question to you, I directed it to PP. But thanks for your opinion......I will take it for what it is worth.

I think 24/7's opinion is worth alot..compared to your opinion nycfiu...i mean seriously, did you really just ask if FIU is at a disadvantage as far as the BCS goes...even FIU fans will think you are getting WAY ahead of yourself. Worry about winning a game first, then worry about winning the sunbelt, then worry about winning games against BCS schools and then maybe, MAYBE worry about if you are at a disadvantage...

I sincerely hope PP chooses not to respond to your question and waste his valuable time. The rest of us on this blog rather read his brilliance pertaining to something relevant.

How is the BCS a disadvantage? Nowadays there is more parity in CFB than ever and it's not because scrub teams started recruiting better or better facilities, it's because of the limitations the NCAA put on said scholarships. If the BCS is a disadvantage the limits on 'ships by far and away do more to even the playing field.

i have to agree before we discuss the flaws in the BCS system we should focus on ours. now if you are mentioning it in general its prob. ok but if its inregaurds to fiu's chances in the BCS we have to get there first. btw grats andy for FAU win.

The reason I bring up the BCS question is that it could effect recruiting, which I would think is currently relevant to FIU. So that is where I am coming from MIA/NY Josh (why I feel a need to answer to you I have no idea).

dont worry about recruiting....if mario can convince someone to come to a school that has the longest losing streak in the country and hasnt won a game since 2005, i think he will be able to overcome not being a bcs school (and I feel the need to answer you because I like showing how ridiculous some of your statements are)

Joshua, it could happen, if coach Howard Schnellenberger was able to convince kids to go to a crappy small private school with no affiliation to a conference in coral gables, with no fan base and no on campus stadium in the late 70s why can't Cristobal.

23-9 loss to UM is not a bad loss whatsoever. Both FIU and UM played hard...with no dumb fights and stuff. Congrats to UM, and to our team, which for a team so young, was not bad.

FIU needs to get rid of that bunch of scrubs they call a football team and use the money for the girls bikini team.

Somebody is not happy.....Way to go FIU!

Some observations of FIU football's Work-In-Progress season: From the first game @ State College to Sat.'s game there have been improvements. True, neither Maryland nor Miami are close to the caliber of Penn State, however they are ACC teams. A few positives to take to Kansas:

1) 160 yds. rushing against a solid Miami defense. Ned HAS TO start the game to get into a rhythm and keep the defense off the field!

2) Freshman QB Younger is SLOWLY getting better and building confidence.

3) Still impressed with the intensity of the defense throughout the game despite ALWAYS being on the field.

4) I am convinced that MC was definitely a better choice than keeping Strock! This is a rookie head coach with NO head coaching experience and the FIU team, which is 60 - 70% fr. or soph SEEMS more controlled, intense and excited to be playing. Last years team, despite having some physically gifted players who were seniors often seemed as if they did not want to be there. This was a reflection of their coaches who definitely would rather be golfing or drinking than coaching football.


Now on to Kansas! GO FIU!!!!

NYCFIU, FIUJM, CJ,

Thank you guys for the kind words about FAU.

I used to think that you guys were our competition, and that one of us would swim and one of us would sink. Now I see its nothing like that at all. Our program as well as FIUs can both be a success, just look at USF, UCF, look at how FSU and UM are falling off... the truth is there are plenty of South Florida kids to go around and BOTH our programs can make it.

In fact, dare I say our programs have more in common then all others in South Florida? We both are in our infancy, we both have been accused of having poor attendance, we both are the target of mockery to the "big" schools, we both have come quite a long way since we started and we both are building fine programs (you guys are right where we were last year, remember we started 0-7 and finished 5-7, things can turn around fast.)

I originally came to this board out of hate for FIU because I thought of you as our competition, but now I know our success, or failure, is not dependent on any other program but our own. That being said, I will always defend my program on any message board, but know that I have come to think of FIU more as a brother then a rival (especially after visiting various message boards and seeing the hate many UM fans have not only for FIU but for FAU as well).

Have a good week FIU fans, and dont worry. You guys are recruiting well and your very young. Your time will come as will ours. One day, The Shula Bowl will be played on a much bigger stage, and I look forward to the day.

Andy D, well said. Going to the UM game and seeing the hate for FIU from UM fans only confirms my belief that they are very afraid see their strangle hold on South Florida college football slip away. At least when I go to a FAU/FIU game, I know the fans have a vested interest in the programs (they either go, went, have kids, or work at the school) and are not fly by night fans. Go FIU, Go Sun Belt, Good luck to FAU (except when they play FIU of course)

Good post, Andy D. I've been saying that for years, starting with the late FAU board founder. Regardless of that, I just read a post by one ucg fan stating (and proudly at that...) that all he did was stand by the railings and shout something negative to every FIU fan close enough to him. Now, that one fan does not represent the majority of people (both Um and FIU fans)I saw at the game. In fact, it was a lot of fun and camaraderie....But some UM fans in these boards...and at the OB were so and so aggresive...like looking for trouble. Then, they go and whine in their boards. Ridiculous.

There is way too much love in this blog lately, this is college football people, lets hug and sing kumbaya after the season is over, but now lets be rivals and lets love hating eachother.

Go FIU ;)

lol balt. its just a sign of respect but i get where you are coming from. dont worry andy will get his week of trash talk when the owls come down south lol

haha we will be at it soon enough, for now I would rather team up against the rude fans from scum u.. would you believe some of these morons actually bash FAU, as if they have NO clue our coach BUILT their dam program?

We will have our battle later in the year balt. dont worry! I can be nasty and nice!

Actually, upon further thought, im calling you out balt.! Be here the week of the shula bowl, ill take u down 1 on 1, of course my panther friends can jump in to help you, but you will be my prime target! you want trash talk buddy your gonna get it lol

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