We've tried celebrity guest psychologists, Tony Soprano and even Tom Petty in trying to help Golden Panthers fans grasp the situation of FIU football this season and for the near future and apparently there are still some people confused. So let's see if the GPP could help out.
Before we get to the final therapy session, FIU baseball's exhibition game against the Canadians is at 8 p.m. Thursday at FIU's University Park. Admission is free.
Back to football. We won't bring up that many people are impatient, because that goes with the territory where FIU is located -- South Florida, where the official city or area logo might as well be a bandwagon. And judging by your e-mails and posts on this blog the weight has gotten lighter on the FIU bandwagon of late.
Sure it's been a frustrating football season down here with the college and pro teams combining for an 0-14 record thus far. Heck, I'm running out of ideas to write features on. But once again, and I know many are not friends with the word down here, but "patience" is needed with the Golden Panthers football program.
There were signs of progress against Louisiana-Monroe. After being backed into many first quarter holes this season, FIU came out strong for the second consecutive game taking the lead. The defense was getting in the ULM backfield and the Warhawks could not run sideline to sideline on the Golden Panthers. Wayne Younger looked more comfortable throwing the ball. Julian Reams displayed his potential and Jeremy Dickens, Greg Ellingson and Elliott Dix all showed why they're here. Scott Bryant is a tackling machine. Anthony Gaitor and Jonathan Betancourt had some tackles for loss.
Of course, FIU could not sustain its early game momentum and finish off ULM. Maybe that's the next step with this inexperienced team: finishing what you start. The offense is still not as consistent as it can be. The run defense struggled with the rushing between the tackles and the pass defense is still vulnerable.
Won't bring in psycho-babble, nor blog about it anymore this football season, but this is where FIU football is right now: MC and co. are starting from scratch this season. They were handicapped by the APR when they lost 9 scholarships, plus whatever other scholies may be lost from the NCAA allegations next February. Before PG took over, the FIU athletic department was run like a junior high P.E. department. There was no clue about how much support was needed to run a Division I-A athletic department. I'm not just talking about $$, but academic support for the athletes as well, thus the APR issues.
Much has been done to strenghten the academic support and now MC and co. have to stock up on Division I players. Once again this is not a let's-put-a-band-aid-on-it type of solution. But there is the evidence that building a program from the bottom up can be done. See: Rutgers, Illinois, heck even No. 11 Kansas was down for a while in the 1990's. Even Sports Illustrated thinks FIU has the potential to be a major college football player as UltimateFIUFan pointed out in the latest issue of SI.
Some of you are disappointed in MC for not turning into Don Shula or Bill Walsh after seven games. Yes, he may make mistakes along the way. All coaches do, even Shula and Walsh did. And AGAIN for the hyperventilators ready to pound on their keyboards, I AM NOT COMPARING MC TO SHULA AND WALSH. As fans you all are more than entitled to voice your displeasure. I just think MC and co. deserve a fair shot -- not 7 games -- to clean up the program, bring in better players and then judge what he does.
Thought I wouldn't bring in another guest on here for help, but part of a song playing at Best Buy the other day caught my attention regarding FIU football. It's not a football song -- there aren't many of those anyway -- but this verse from "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne, no relation to Andy Leavine, is pretty appropriate nowadays.
"Chill out, What you yellin' for?
Lay back, it's all been done before
And if you could let it be. You will see"
Back to the GPP, OK, retiring now from the psychology business. Thinking of doing a live baseball blog from Thursday's exhibition baseball game. What's your feedback on that?
Win a GPP Blog Leaderboard
7-0: FIUrulez 130; Fomenter 140; NY Josh 144; FIU Fanatic 158; Crazy Cane 160; 24-7/11 172.
6-1: FIUPantherFan 145; GPP 158; FIU0406 173.
5-2: yippee 192.
4-3: FIUJM 179; CJ 190; Messod 202; SouthPaw 208.
2-5: NYCFIUFan 194.
1-6: alt7787 246.
Messod: There's nothing concrete regarding the gold being out of the uniforms or with a new logo. Just saying there are whispers about it and I would imagine for the new stadium opening next season FIU would have new football uniforms and possibly an alteration to the logo.
Puma: By "getting there", MC means there is progress being seen with the team.
CJ: Like yourself I too was curious about FIU's recruiting. So I called several local high school coaches and coaches around the state and many of them have said the same thing: FIU has been recruiting at my school like never before. I wouldn't put too much stock in any of those scouting services, because the real answers don't come until mid-to-late January when signing day draws nearer. Until then it's like having a 3-0 lead in the third quarter and saying you're going to win the game.
jerry, FIUChris and FAU OWL: Welcome all three to the GPP.
jerry: FIU has all the potential to be a football success someday. Like we've said before here in this blog: one of the hotbeds for recruiting is the south Florida area, FIU is a public university, a brand-new stadium, football facilities and weight room are all set to open soon and FIU is in Miami. Do have to correct one thing from your post: MC and PG have only been here for 7 of the 19 straight losses. Not all 19.