Judging by the fewer fans on the ledge after the Middle Tennessee game, it seems that many have figured it out that turning around the Golden Panthers football program is not an overnight fix nor a 1-year overhaul.
Glad to see the therapy provided here by Frasier and Tony Soprano on the GPP has helped in some way.
Don't be overly shocked by the way Middle Tennessee dominated FIU. Yes, the Blue Raiders were 0-4, but those losses were to LSU, Louisville, a much improved FAU and Western Kentucky, which is not really a I-AA team with their move up to I-A and multiple I-AA national championships. Plus, MT is co-defending Sun Belt champ, no slouches in Murfreesboro.
There were some people who were expressing concern that the team and the coaching staff would take on the mentality of last year's winless squad and just mail it in. After seeing practices this week, I can tell you the intensity is still there for both players and coaches. As far as a grace period for MC that so many of you were discussing....I'd say wait until he has most of HIS players on the roster and not just 20+ like this season. By year 3 we should have a better grasp of where MC is at with FIU.
FIU is building a football program from what was left by the previous staff, which like we've said here time and again -- is not much. So for Golden Panthers fans it's like Tom Petty sang...."The waiting is the hardest part...."
In fact, the refrain from that song sounds pretty appropriate for FIU football right now:
"The waiting is the hardest part. Every day you see one more card [loss]. You take it on faith, you take it to the heart. The waiting is the hardest part."
The good news is that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. With coaches now in place that have a work ethic, with a plan for recruiting and with a lot to prove....there is no reason why FIU football cannot take off like No. 6 South Florida has. One major difference between the Bulls and the Golden Panthers is that USF has had leadership from the beginning. Heck, with half the effort, FIU had USF beat 20-14 last season with 2 minutes to play in the game. Can you imagine a few years from now when the teams meet again in Tampa? I know the 2 teams open the new FIU Stadium (more on the stadium down below) next season, but the Golden Panthers won't be expected to knock off USF then.
If you need proof that turnarounds can happen at FIU, look no further than the volleyball team which is now 11-2 and 6-0 in the Sun Belt after sweeping FAU last night. The defending SBC champion Golden Panthers -- nice ring to it, huh? -- won just 3 games and lost 23 just 3 years ago and now are atop the conference. Main reason: the recruiting got better. FIU had its first volleyball All-American last season in freshman Yarimar Rosa (picture, left).
Which is the next turnaround team at FIU. Gotta think it's a race between baseball and basketball. Don't worry fiugrad78, haven't forgotten about the baseball blog. Look for it next week during the football bye week. Also got an FIU basketball blog planned as well.
So take it on faith Golden Panthers fans, the waiting is the hardest part.
About the new football stadium, drove by there this morning and the infrastructure for the south side of the stadium is already in the ground and up. You can see the shell of where the south side seats will be going. Next up is getting the infrastructure in for the east end zone seats some time this month. Construction is going on schedule.
Win a GPP Blog leaderboard
5-0: NY Josh 112, FIUrulez 113, Fomenter 122, CrazyCane 133, FIU Fanatic 137, 24/7-11 144.
4-1: FIUPantherFan 131, GPP 140, FIU0406 150, FIUmom 151, Hay 154, yippee 165.
3-2: CJ 156, FIUJM 156, SouthPaw 184.
2-3: Messod 183.
1-4: NYCFIUFan 170, YouGotGold 197.
0-5: alt7787 216.
UltimateFIUFan: Don't know if you can say FIU took several steps back after losses to Kansas and Middle Tennessee. Quite honestly, until the Golden Panthers win their first game this season I don't know if you can say they've taken any steps at all, if they have they're baby steps. Having a new system for the way things are done on and off the field is definitely a step in the right direction.
Puma & quijote: As far as adjustments on offense go, the spread is the way to go with the athletes that are already on this team and with the recruits MC and staff are targeting. The system works (ask LSU and no, I am NOT comparing FIU to LSU), but all the offensive personnel FIU needs is not here yet. Offensive coordinator James Coley has been creative with the play calling, but he does not have all the cards in the deck yet. If you ask any FIU football fan, there is no way you would want the 1920's offensive playbook that was previously run here.
SouthPaw: I think Don Strock is comfortable in the golfing environment he's in now. Read the last sentence of my reply to Puma and quijote, above.
CJ: The first stage of the stadium is the lower bowl which like I stated above, you can see the infrastructure already up for the south side with the east end zone going up next.
Latest Herald blog rankings for September has the GPP holding steady at No. 5 in sports and No. 10 overall of 33 blogs. The combining of the Dade and Broward high school blogs are proving to be a challenge to pass, but we'll get there. If we're No. 5 with a winless team, could you imagine the readership and ranking when the Golden Panthers start winning? They won't only get bandwagon fans at the new stadium, we'll get them here as well. Thanks all for your support.