A couple of items make up our title for this latest installment of the GPP.
Dorothy's home is Kansas and that's where the Golden Panthers are headed on Saturday. More on the FIU/Kansas game in a second.
Not sure how serious the Pitt thing is and only PG knows. But PG has always talked about how he likes to build things. He sees FIU as an athletic monster ready to erupt, because of all the local talent in South Florida. He's also very fond of living in South Florida.
If you think about it, FIU is a perfect set-up to build a college athletic powerhouse. Your backyard is one of the hotbeds, if not the best hotbed for recruiting. FIU is a state university where you can get those walk-ons or hidden gems on your teams, because it's only about $3,000 to go there. I'm sure Turtle Thomas is stocking up on those players as we speak. (More on TT's radio interview later). And FIU is in Miami, which is not only a major market, but is an attraction itself for recruits. FIU is a major Division I university in South Florida. I remember asking PG last year about the number of coaches that applied for the FIU football and baseball jobs before MC and TT were hired. And PG said everyday he received a ton of inquiries about the jobs. The point is: the FIU adminstration needs to wake up and smell the coffee PG is brewing and the potential FIU sports has.
Now all of the above, doesn't mean squat for PG or for that matter anyone else interested in FIU, if Pres. Maidique and the rest of the FIU administration do not fulfill the committment they made to PG when he was hired last October. I could be wrong, but the Pitt thing is NOT about money for PG's wallet. It is more about $$$$upport for the athletic programs at FIU.
TheFIUFan made very valid points in his post on the last blog. One of which was the impact athletics have on a university. Obviously, that has not been the previous case with FIU, because of a previous inept athletic administration. Now that FIU has someone (PG) that knows how to run a Top 25 Division I athletic department, moves (hiring & firing of coaches) have been made to establish a winning culture and build FIU athletics.
If the FIU administration does not recognize this and does not give the support to the new FIU athletic department, then THEY ARE 2 BLAME if PG bolts. Because unlike some posts on the last blog, I believe to have a top-notch Top 25 Division I athletic department, you need a strong AD and not just a figurehead. This is a moment of truth for FIU's administration to show how serious they are about athletics.
On paper it looks like another mismatch for FIU, but outside of the 2nd half at Penn State, the Golden Panthers have held their own this season.
KU is a 32.5-point favorite and has averaged 53 points in its 3 games. However, I believe like Messod pointed out the Jayhawks have not faced as good a D as FIU's. But the big hiccup to this game is FIU's offense and scoring points. The Golden Panthers have yet to prove they can throw the ball with consistency.
Around KU, there is a t-shirt about KU coach Mark Mangino (picture, right) that reads: "Our Coach Can Outeat Your Coach". In this case, Mangino's team can also outscore MC's team.................GPP thinks: KU 42, FIU 13.
On to the diamond....tuning into Descarga Deportiva yesterday, FIU baseball coach Turtle Thomas was on there. Here are some of the highlights from the 15-minute interview.
1) TT says: junior pitcher Steven Stewart, out of all last season with injury, is the real deal and can possibly be the No. 1 starter for FIU this season.
2) Watching lefty pitcher Corey Polizzano, TT immediately noticed Polizzano was tipping his pitches last season which may partly explain his 4-8 record. TT fixed that problem already and also has Polizzano hitting the weight room like never before.
3) Obviously, TT cannot be specific about recruits, but he did mention a catcher from Washington and another from Boston are supposedly headed to FIU next season. When he arrived to the DD show, TT mentioned he had just left the batting cage working with new FIU slugger Jorge Castillo.
UltimateFIUFan: There is no local TV or cable for the Kansas game. FIU is on TV (Sun Belt Regional telecast) against Arkansas State 11/3 and against FAU 11/24. From my understanding, MC is not doing any coach's show this season.
CJ: FIU plays at Alabama next season.
Quijote: What new city can we count on the GPP.
alt7787: I would not say FIU football and baseball are a mess and are years away. I think you'll see baseball turnaround quicker, because it's easier to build a baseball team. TT has made wholesale changes to the way the program is being run and you'll notice it this season. With football, MC is a tireless recruiter and he'll have the program back on its feet. Like I've said before, DS did not leave the football program in the best shape for MC.
Kevin, Tal, fiufan751: Welcome all to the GPP!