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Halftime/Fall Practice Time

We've reached the halfway mark of the 2007 Golden Panthers football season and there aren't any huge shocks as to the way the season has played out thus far.

In fact, had dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse the other night and, don't ask me why, but FIU football Ruthchris came to mind in the middle of a filet and some merlot. More on that in a second.

Meanwhile, the FIU baseball team is in full fall practice mode -- a blog on that will be posted here in the next couple of days. FIU hoops gets its training camp going on Friday at 12:30 p.m. and will also be having a blog on that later this week. So we got a full plate of FIU sports blogs coming for your reading pleasure during this football bye week.

Speaking of a full plate, had this analogy invade dinner the other night. Was thinking of writing a mid-season report card on FIU football, but all I could come up for grades is incomplete. Here's why.

Right now, FIU football is like a 1 or 2-star steakhouse, where all the ingredients are not there yet to make it a 5-star restaurant. MC and staff inherited a poorly run restaurant, but one that with the right changes can become like a RC's. There are some filets on the Golden Panthers right now, but there are not enough. FIU is overstocked with palomilla steak, which is not bad, but not what you need to become an elite D-I team or a five-star steakhouse.

Add to this that MC & co. were shorted some steak knives after the APR report from earlier this year and might be shorted a few more after the NCAA's notice of allegations last week and you can see why Fred_2   today, the Big Mac and Fred G. Sanford's favorite drink -- ripple -- are more closely associated with FIU than a filet and an Opus One merlot.

But just like it has happened in other places like Rutgers and South Florida, things can change for the better. As far as the NCAA letter last week, we'll know more in February when the NCAA responds to FIU.

In anticipation of possible sanctions, PG, smartly, has already withheld some scholarships from each FIU team. And PG already surrendered the 9 scholarships from the APR.

I've gotten e-mails from many of you pinning all this on Strock, but he's not the main culprit here with the NCAA sanctions. You can pin bad recruiting on him. But blame the past FIU administration from the top on down for the NCAA issues. The resources were not there, but also there was no leadership and that's why all this occured.

Enough talk about this NCAA paperwork. The Golden Panthers offense made some progress against Troy. FIU had its most total yards of the season and passing yards, but did not finish enough drives.

The bigger concern coming out of Saturday's game is the run defense. FIU is not going to win too many games when the opposing offense controls the ball with the run. Troy ran for 299 yards. Need to fix that for the final 6 games of the year and beyond.

Punter Chris Cook had a spectacular game with punts of 71 and 68 yards and a 50-yard average. While he's not always consistent -- much like the rest of the team -- Cook has the leg to be All-Sun Belt for the next 3 years.

There are 6 games left in the season and the thinking is FIU could win 4 of those IF and that is a big IF, if the Golden Panthers can put together a complete game -- offense, defense and special teams. Of the 6 left, don't see FIU beating Arkansas or FAU. The Golden Panthers can beat Monroe, Arkansas State, Lafayette and North Texas.

Callen_2 Let's put the football on the sidelines for a few days now and step into the Sangou_2 batter's box and set up behind the 3-point arc.

PANTHER PAWSE

Win a GPP Blog leaderboard

6-0: FIUrulez 125, Fomenter 136, NY Josh 136, FIU Fanatic 147, Crazy Cane 150, 24/7-11 165.

5-1: FIUPantherFan 141, GPP 154, FIU0406 164, yippee 175.

4-2: FIUJM 161, CJ 172, FIUmom 176, SouthPaw 191.

3-3: Messod 192. 2-4: NYCFIUFan 177. 1-5: YouGotGold 218. 0-6: alt7787 237.

NYCFIUFan: Here are some answers to your questions...Howard S. and Leavitt both had a work ethic and college football knowledge from the start and that's why FAU and USF are ahead of FIU right now. Lazys Strock had neither of those qualities and FIU missed out on the first 5 years. Give MC some time and see what he can do. MC brings the work ethic and recruiting knowledge.

NYCFIUFan & FIUJM: 1) Last time I spoke with MC he said Colt Anderson is not ready yet. Wayne Younger has made some progress and MC has said WY has outplayed both CA and Paul McCall in practice. While MC has not said who his QB of the future is, I think it's CA and eventually he will get in there. When given time by the O-line, Younger has shown improvement since Penn State.

2) I didn't think the play calling got conservative in the 4th quarter. In fact, half of Younger's 40 passes came in the 4th quarter.

3) The players are buying into the system and there is promise. That 39-yard screen pass to Ned would have been stopped in the backfield a few weeks ago, but O-line executed their blocks and Ned ran through the Troy D for 39 yards. From what I can tell, the players respect MC. Unlike, the past few years when I've seen players yelling back at coaches during practice. There is none of that with the new staff.

4) The FIU lineup is not the same caliber as other Sun Belt teams, because the recruiting was poor under the previous coaching staff. Strock should have been developing guys the last few years for when the talented seniors on offense and defense graduated this past year.

5) The Sun Belt would love to be part of the BCS, but that's the NCAA's decision and not the conference's. Say this for the Sun Belt, the conference is much improved and if they keep knocking off BCS teams, the NCAA will take notice. SBC has already or is just about ready to surpass the MAC and C-USA real soon.

YouGotGold: Yarimar is very talented and probably could throw a football, but the volleyball team needs her.

sunblazer69: Good to have you back on the blog. I think Rick Mello is on the phone line for you.

Frustrated: Welcome to the GPP. Eventually, the Golden Panthers will have you changing your blog name to Elated.

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i dont know what to do anymore, I think im going to give up on sports for a few months. The Yankees are eliminated from the playoffs, FIU football cant win and the Dolphins suck more than a baby on its mama's teet.

I was at the game on Saturday and it was really depressing to see like 5 people there. Of course this is expected and the next game will probably draw about 3 people. I gotta say im not happy at all with what I saw.

I dont understand why Younger continues to play into the 4th quarter. Yea he looks ok in practice, but through 5 games he has proven that he cant sustain drives, pass consistantly or make good decisions(Too many INT.). At this point the coaching staff should start giving Colt a lot more playing time as he is the "QB of the future". Younger was a short term solution and the short term is over. In the short term we have been blown out 4 times out of 6 games and scored about 7 ppg. Great QB!!!! I no longer take the excuse that we are "a young team" or that this is the fault of "bad recruiting". There are tons of teams with young players with new coaches and they have at least won one game. You can tell this to the coaching staff because they dont seem to respond to my letters or emails. How nice of them....

alt i think they are alittle busy trying to get the kids ready. your right being young is no excuse anymore. the new word should be maturity. they need to become mature as players and men. no more of this team rule violation bs. they have to grow up. you know what helped our run D at times.... CROWD INVOLVMENT we got to get more people out there.

I can't take a weekend off the blog without having someone step in and cancel NYC's subscription to "Biased Weekly".

UM didn't do anything wrong when they were dancing, the PA played their song and they tried to get some energy. Why don't you rip on Tim Tebow and his jumping up and down after anything that gains more than 3 yards? UM will be just fine and I wish they were undefeated going into our game next week but unfortunately they aren't. I see Wake giving us the same kind of problems.

By the way, what are these rumors I hear about FIU and their potential loss of scholarship?

I think the Wayne Younger we saw against Penn State and the one against Troy are 2 completely different QB's
He does have a lot of INT's...but I'm pretty sure most of those come from 3rd and longs because of silly penalties or no running game. Two of those actually came from 4th downs and got intercepted in the endzone...just trying to make a play
I'm not making excuses for the INT's but the rest of the team has not left Younger in the best of situations

I have had enough. This the firsat time I have ever posted on this blog but I have been reading it since it started. I have never made any predictions on games, because I don't see the point and all of the FIU fans who make the predictions (especially predicting a loss) should be ashamed of yourselves. The UM fans who make predictions on the blog, get a life. I have chosen the name of CrazyPanther because I have one goal on this blog and one goal only, to annoy, harrass, respond to, provoke and basically just "go after" anything CrazyCane posts on this blog. As such, I will not be wasting the time of the readers' of this blog with garbage about game analysis, unless CrazyCane goes there first, I will not discuss scholoarships, academics, Younger, the Defense, the history of the two schools and their programs. No, rather the only things I will write will be dictated but what Crazy writes. In essence any uneducated nonsence he posts, I will respond to with researched and accurate nonsense. This is my promise to this blog and CrazyCane. Let the insanity commence.

lol things seem to be getting interesting ... but just some corrections to a new member crazypanther aka anticrazy cane. i do not feel ashamed that i have picked against FIU. the truth is we are not LSU, USC, hell we aint even BC. we had nothing and just sat. we started seeing some life on offense. i hope you become more involved in the blog than crazy though

lol!!! Damn that was funny! I love the fire CrazyPanther! Can't wait for your first retaliation to CrazyCane!

btw, I wonder if CrazyPanther is really CrazyCane's alterego? Can you imagine if it is? Those must be some crazy yelling matches going on in dudes head!

lol very truu tn panther

Baseball is starting to get mentioned again and thus I'm back on the GPP!!

Nice to see that they finally posted the FIU baseball schedule on the site. Three important series catch my attention: USC (at home!), Miami (home & @UCG), and........Arizona State!(away) Turtle will face his old team and that should be very exciting!

Pete, do you know if the rosters are already set, or are they still evaluating the players to see who will make the final roster? When will we find out how good a recruit class Turtle got this year?

im with you crazypanther, but your just playing into what that goofball wants, he CLEARLY has no life, he CLEARLY just types to upset people and harrass them...

the last blog, he writes, "did you think us canes fan would go away because of a loss?"

LOL LOL LOL!!!!! THIS GOOFBALL TAKES YOUR FIU BLOG SO SERIOUSLY, HE IS SO HAPPY WITH HIMSELF THAT YOU EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE HIM!!! ON AN FIU BLOG!!!! LOL

obviously, goofball doesnt have many friends in the real world and enjoys creating his little life in the FIU blogs. I would bet you all the money in the world hes a pencil neck geek who would crumble before you if he couldnt talk his trash over the Internet... that goofball attacked FAU for no reason other then to down us after we gave USF a fight. If he said that in Ted Huttons blog on the sun sentinel Ted would spank him. I think Pete should also get in on whipping this UM internet bully .... but again, its probably worth none of our time, let goofball, aka crazy cane, have his fun, its probably the only fun he has in his life.

Right, goofball?

You know how stupid you are Andy D - you accuse me of being and doing the exact same thinig you just did - only since you are the one cursing and making threats of a personal nature - who is the real internet tough guy? Andy D - I thought FAU had a better quality student than FIU, guess I was wrong.

As for the CrazyPanther - bring it on buddy. In the time I have posted on this blog I have never posted a falsehood - only facts and MY opinions. if you think you are so witty as to be able to denounce MY opinions, then good luck, but it impossible, that is why they are called opinions. I look forward to the challange, however, please allow this to my only warning, once you get involved with the crazycanester, I can not be held responsibl;e for the feelings on this blog that get hurt, the individuals who feelo as though the comments are racially motivated, or FIUMom missing her 4:00 dose of Oprah (But at all times, It will be my goal to keep it clean and not get clawed out) Good luck to you Mr. Panther - you are going to need it.

oh brother. pete can you moderate (delete) this crap somehow?? seriously, crazycane is degrading YOUR blog and, frankly, may even have a negative effect on your blog ratings.

looking forward to your basketball previews, and can you elaborate a little on the scholarship situation for us out of towners who aren't in the know?

crazy aka goofball (i kinda like that nickname) andy was just defending his owls. im kinda intrested to see how this squashbuckling will go. its goin to be like muslim and jewish fundamentalist w/ homemade blog terroristic attacks on e/o. lol i'll take it upon myself to play ref. dont worry crazy ill play it equal take it point for point in the schooling. andy want to be my side judge? or how bout 24/7 be one side judge and some1 like ultimate FIU be the other lol

I didnt start this goofball, you made it a point to bash FAU in your last blog for no reason at all--- to undermine USF in an FIU blog?? Makes NO sense. You attack people on this blog just to get a reaction.

I have said it before, I am a Miami fan, I supported them before FAU had a program. Our coach is the man who CREATED your program. So the fact you would bash us for no reason shows you are either A. Ignorant as hell about your own school, or B. Disrespectful as hell about your own history


No answers?

Its C. both

If you can diss FAU football, then you are dissing Howard Schnellenberger- they are the same thing

"Crazy Cane" aka "crazy canester" LOL NO real Canes fan would ever diss the man who won them their FIRST NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. Someone who would, like you, clearly doesnt even know their own history.

Therefore, you lose all credibility when you speak. Any point you make rings hollow, at least to me.

Yandro,

I was at one of their scrimmages and there were about 4 of the walk-ons (the ones that turtle asked to come back from what I was told) there practicing with the team.
The roster that is online is the same one from last season with last years seniors and players that left taken out. Some numbers have changed also, but not on the roster.

They have scrimmages that are open this weekend thursday-saturday. not sure on the times but maybe around 11 for saturday like last week..

PP ask Turtle what do the "witches" think about the baseball team. They were there when he was hired and they had been hovering around the program. Besides it seems that wherever he goes success follows. A rumor going around CG's campus is that GdM gave JM an ultimatum 'bout becoming an associate Head Coach and now that he is JD might be on his way out. GdM blames the decline of the program on their pitching and now that he's a big honcho their relationship has cooled down. Only time will tell.

Andy D, now I think CrazyCane says some stupid stuff, but if you think him ripping FAU is like him ripping HS, or not knowing the history of UM is plain stupid. Yes, HS was and is a UM legend and the reason The U is who they are, but you think b/c of that all UM fans need to cheer and like FIU - that sir is rediculous and forces the rest of us to question the validity of all your comments. You think all UF fans cheer and respect South Carolina b/c Spurrier is there? - I am going to go with no. Or better yet, you think all the Utah fans are cheering for Florida b/c Meyer is there - don't think so. See the flaws in your argument? Wow - one thing CrazyCane fan said that I must agree with, as far as is represented on this blog - FAU academics and the abaility to formulate clear and concise points are right down there with FIU academics.

On a side note, CrazyCane, You are cool with me brother, but I think you pissed off CrazyPanther and I hope you are prepared for this.

Thanks U for the vote of confidence and Andy D, the only think hollow around here is your head and these moronic posts you feel the need to waste our time with.

As for my actual comment this morning, and my first challange to the CrazyPanther, aka Supreme Moron, before the season started and all through the preseason games, this blog was electric with Antwan Barnes talk. Everyone, especially you BaltimorePanther who has been absent of late (wonder why) talked a lot about Barnes being so good, and how the Panthers were raving about him. Some on this blog even stated that he was going to be such an "impact" on the team that Ray Lewis may need to look over his shoulder. Well, we are couple of games into the season and how is Barnes doing. Answer: at last check the man does not have 1 tackle - not 1!! There are kickers out there who have more than doubled and tripled this supposed all-star LB from FIU in tackles. So, my challenge to all you FIUers who were on this blog screaming "TDAOs" and "Barnes is great, he is going to make a huge impact in Baltimore" are we ready yet to retract BOTH of those rediculous comments for this season and put them away until the next preseason when you all can revisit delusion island? Bring it on CrazyPanther, and if you have tropuble reading this post, either because it is written in English or because you have an FIU education and reading skills are not taught until either your senior year or post-graduate school, contact FIUMom and she will help you, just make sure it is not between 4-5 pm weekdays, Oprah is on.

dont worry crazy TDAOS IS STILL loud and proud. maybe you still did not understand the TDAOS meaning... those days of half assing in practice... are over... those days at yelling back at the coaches... are over. and those days of believing we are a horrible team are over. i bet you, you ask any player on the team they will not utter the words we suck as you seem to want them 2

dude crazy just a note i dont know about where you went to school (probably miami dade college) but we learn to read in the 1st through 3 grades ... the reason fiu doesnt teach it is because hell thats stuff you are suppose to know.. but i can see how in your college you might need to learn it. its kool man.

pete if you could give us some heads up on recruits mc is goin after? i know scout.com has a list but how many would be activly pursued? whats goin to be the big promotion for Basketball this year? would like so see something fun goin on in the games. cant wait for the B-BAll report.

yipee, thanks for the heads up on the practices. I did not know how many guys were returning from last yr. I did see that the roster is still outdated.

Only bad thing about the baseball season is that this year it starts almost three weeks later than normal, since NCAA rules changed. I definately am pumped for this new baseball season!

Where you at CrazyPanther? No response? Is that b/c my post was completely factual. I don't even see anyother of the Panther fans, yes I am talking to you Baltimore Panther, disputing the overwhelming impact stats put up by Barnes so far this year. Just as i figured, CrazyPanther makes this bold post, and then at the first indication that I will not back down, he runs and hides. Typical panther.

Hey goofball, some of us have other things to do then post on a blog that isnt even our school blog. Im sure crazypanther will come back to you in due time, get off your PC

And your wrong 24/7, and im not surprised. Unlike spurrier, meyer etc., HS MADE FAU, it has been his baby since day 1, HE CREATED THE PROGRAM!!! So yes, if you bash FAU your bashing HS, he IS FAU! It is HIS program, no one else. That, and we have never even played the hurricanes!! So this goofball has no reason to attack us, except he is trying to undermine USFs status as a program. I guess that makes sense, you are BOTH clearly scarred as hell of every other program in Florida or else why waste your time bashing FIU fans on an FIU blog?? I have both of you goofballs figured out.

So, looks like two hurricans fans here dont know what the hell they are talking about. Which is fine, im still a Miami fan, they didnt ask to have dumb and dumber as fans.

And just for the record, I think its very cute goofball that theu24/7 is sticking up for you, thats what relationships are all about.

But goofball, please tell 24/7 that my "abaility" to formulate an argument clearly exceeds his.

I am tired of hearing the assertion that Strock's recruits are all inferior; not up to the task at hand. The belief that the players recruited at FIU BC (before Christobol) are inherently incompetent is both insulting and misleading. This sentiment seems to be tossed around in a very cavalier manner and accepted as gospel by the majority of those writing in this blog. On the one hand, we are cautioned to give MC a 3-4 year window of opportunity to get his act together, while at the same time expecting those who came in as freshmen last year to be battle-tested, hardened veterans capable of handling PSU, Maryland, UM and KU on successive weekends. Disregarded in this altered reality is the fact that these freshmen are on their second set of coaches in as many seasons. Could they have played better? Of course. Should there have been a steadier, more consistent line of progress? One would hope. But to say that the primary problem here lies with the kids recruited by Strock is misleading at best. Can it be demonstrated that MC's first recruiting class is better than Strock's last?

A more accurate assessment of this team should include a closer look at the coaching staff: their lack of imagination, their lack of creativity, their short term approach to personnel use. The play-calling boarders on the bizarre and the offensive philosophy seems rather helter-skelter. Let us not forget that MC is in his freshman coaching year, and is compelled to learn on the fly. He is traveling a course parallel to that of a number of his players. It seems to be a case of the rookie leading the rookies.

Player development? In the midst of being blown out (take our pick of which game) there seems to be little concern for getting more kids into the game. It wouldn't hurt to have greater experience, greater depth, across the board. Give more players a taste of the games and they'll develop a greater appetite to push those ahead of them. Unless the NCAA has installed a 48 point play there's no reason not to get more backups more PT.

It is incumbent on the coaching staff to game-plan, to plot strategies which take advantage of his team's strengths, regardless of its limitations. Weaknesses can be disguised or compensated for. It's up to MC and staff to find an effective means of deployment of their players. It is MC's duty to put these player in a position to make plays. If they execute his plays flawlessly, but the plays are the wrong plays at the wrong time, then it doesn't matter whose recruits they are, does it?

andy ... i think he has decided to only attack crazy panther and balt. panther... both that seem to be absent lately...

Alright CrazyCane - you raise a few interesting points; flawed, but interesting. First you have decided to attach Mr. Barnes and his lack of playing time with the Baltimore Ravens. Currently he is second string and since the ravens have not been any real lopsided contests (a time when 2nd string rookies usually play) Mr. Barnes has not recorded a tackle. However, it is my understanding that he is on sopecail teams and has contributed in that respect. So, as stated in previous post by FIUers, he WILL be an impact player, I do not believe it was ever stated that his true impact will be recognized this season. Second, I believe that the hype created by Baltimore Panther was done in response to news conferences and website reporting on the Baltimore ravens, rather then his own opinions. I believe he was relaying this info (to the FIU blog) b/c he is in Baltimore and the FIU fans (on this FIU blog) may not be privy to such information. And your nonsensical rant about TDAOS, I think it has been said best by my FIU brothers, you just dont understand the true meaning of TDAOS. As such, I think it is a waste of my time to recap the theory behind TDAOS as PP and CJ have already done so multiple times and your thick UM head, filled with smoke from the UM tunnel and beer from the OB just wont ever get it. CrazyCane - do not call me out - like I said before, everytime you post, I will respond. It may not be immediate, I have a job, a wife, kids - I am not some punk sitting in my dorm room refreshing the blog page over and over again waiting for comments.

nice post CP but refreshing the blog every couple of minutes seems to get me past the work day lol

Good stuff CrazyPanther!

As for Barnes, he's just a rookie!! Ray Lewis raved about him on national TV. He's contributing this year on special teams, but his time will come. Remember he's el "Monstro".

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