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MC and the Night Owl

Yes, there will be plenty of turkey on the Golden Panthers plate tommorrow, but FIU will also have to deal with its share of Owls this week.

Tonight at 7 p.m., it's the Kennesaw State Owls visiting the FIU hoops team at Pharmed Arena. Yes, FIU Fan there is hoops tonight.

Coaches_3 On Monday, it was dinner with the head Owl. MC and FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger got together at the South Florida Touchdown Club's FAU/FIU Coaches Dinner at Miami Shores Country Club and each had some interesting points as they addressed the dinner crowd.

HS took the mike first and told the story of how Bobby Bowden and himself drummed up interest for the Hurricanes/FSU series when there was very little.

HS said back when he was the Hurricanes head coach, in the early 1980's Bobby Bowden called HS and said he was having trouble getting Florida to cooperate for a yearly series. So BB asked HS to join him in some media photo-op events to make more people aware of their series. While FSU cowgirls in the Fsu_3 stands may have helped more this is what the two coaches did. The first year HS and BB staged a boxing weigh-in. HS said he won that one, because he was much slimmer. The next year, BB called HS to a Tallahassee boxing ring. The two coaches put on boxing gloves and got in the ring for another photo-op. While the series eventually would gain popularity, because of the play on the field, the two coaches had the right idea from the start.

MC and HS are adamant about making this series special as well through public appearances and by developing top notch football teams. HS mentioned the FAU/FIU series is at a similar point as the "Seminoles and Ibises" --those were HS's words-- were when BB called him in the early 1980's. Both the "Seminoles and the Ibises" were looking to establish themselves in college football at the time.

Shula_2 The FAU/FIU series or the annual Don Shula Bowl as it is also known, has a chance to develop into a true college football rivalry once these two teams establish themselves. And for the cynics, it may not be too much longer before that happens, because of the location and leaders of both schools.

Yes, FIU is behind FAU now, because of the ineptitude of the previous coaching staff, but both schools are in a hotbed of high school football and unlike their Sun Belt rivals, the Golden Panthers and the Owls will have first crack at these players. FAU can win the Sun Belt this season with a win over FIU on Saturday and then beating Troy next week. Within a few years, FIU should be among the Sun Belt's top teams as well. While MC does not have HS's experience, you cannot deny that FIU's head coach and his staff have a work ethic the football program had not seen in the first five years. MC told the crowd that college football is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year job and then went on to give an example of a typical day for FIU's coaching staff. After about a 5-minute speech on all that FIU coaches do on a daily basis, HS jokingly told MC: "I'm not going to your school" to which the crowd burst out in laughter.

MC mentioned to the crowd that with schools developing new stadiums and football facilites (like FIU) it then comes down to the high school player's choice of whether he likes the people at school A or school B and whether that player wants to go to school A and possibly sit for two years and then play OR go to school B and play as a freshman, which is the case with most Sun Belt schools.

You can see the Sun Belt talent already coming to fruition. This year Troy knocked off Oklahoma State, FAU beat Minnesota and last week Louisiana-Monroe beat the Alabama Saban Tide. Not bad for a conference that is only in its 7th year of football. About Monroe's win over Bama, HS cracked to the dinner folks: "That was one win everyone down here loved."

With limited space in Tuesday's print edition of the Herald, I wasn't able to get all of the above in the story, but here's what I did get in: MCHSstory

HS, who recruited both MC and his brother, Luis when he coached at Louisville, gets reacquainted with MC on Saturday in the Orange Bowl for the 2007 Don Shula Bowl.


Cran Pass some more of the cranberries, and Happy Thanksgiving to all the GPP faithful, even you wacky folks from Coral Gables.

Don't know how many of you saw the fine print in today's Herald, but TT has inked another pitcher to the Golden Panthers baseball team. Miami Dade College right-hander Eric Berkowitz, a former All-Dade pitcher from Killian, signed with FIU on Tuesday. Berkowitz was 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA and had 22 K's in 23 IP last season.

Head scratcher & FIUer: Welcome to the GPP.

24/7: While Carr, Callahan and Coker all have more experience than MC, I don't think they would be the right fit for FIU if they were available. The Golden Panthers needed discipline, an infusion of energy and better recruits. None of the 3 coaches above provide any of that. MC has the first two qualities and the third, we'll find out in due time. As far as MC being in la silla caliente (hot seat), although my Spanish spelling may be off, as John McEnroe would say: "You cannot be serious". If you're going to judge by the first season, then Randy Shannon should be on his way out the door as well. But neither of those two coaches should be checking their mailboxes for pink slips, because you got to see what they can do when they got their own talent in there and not when they inherit another coach's mess.

We'll be back either Thursday or Friday with a preview of Saturday's game between FAU and FIU.


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Hey Pete - just a thought after noting the FSU Cowgirls on today's blog. How about finding some male equivalent to the baseball witches for the females readers of the blog to enjoy once in a while? Not sure of the exact nationwide stats, but don't females make up somewhere close to 40% of sports fans these days?
Just a thought. If anyone else out there agrees, let Pete know, would ya?
By the way, the FAU owl is a burrowing owl, which is a diurnal. Good thing the game Saturday is at night. Better hunting.

Damn Pete, that is one incredible FSU fan.

I think FIU will keep it close with FAU this year. Our team has shown considerable improvement as of late. And while FAU did notch that out of conference win against Minnesota, that isn't terribly impressive UMinn is struggling big time this year. Their struggle against UF I think showed what the real FAU is about...similar to our blow outs. FAU has a special QB, and if Rusty can grease his throwing arm up (haha), we're in for a long afternoon.

FAU 30
FIU 10

Hey where did FIUMom go?!

About the picture...As my friend Borat would say, "Very Nice!!" Where did you find that?? Did you type in HOT FSU GIRL in google images???

ohh crap they are called the FSU cowgirls..... I knew I should have gone to Florida State.

All I got to say is "WOW"...great pic.

On to the game, it's hard being a South Florida sports fan. All I want is one win in the last two weeks!!! I really hope we beat FAU this Saturday. If FAU spanks us, I can see many FAU fans talking smack on FIU blog.

My prediction:

FIU 24
FAU 17

Hopefully the boys are fired up to beat rival.


So excellent post from the prior PP post that showed real energy toward FIU. When I hear PUMPED UP FIU fans it makes me proud to be an FIU alumnus. Now all we need to do is make this support contagious to the FIU masses! Winning will go a long way toward this. Happy Thanksgiving to ALL posters to the GPP (yes, even CC & U24/7) and be safe!


FAU v. FIU has always seemed to me like a great rivalry in the making.

As much as FIU fans loath UM they are not our main rival (yet..)

True college rivalries share a lot more than proximity.

Jim Mandich says it best when he says that consequences are what make games matter. When UM plays FSU there are consequences. ACC Championships, Alumni bragging rights and the most important factor is a shared history between their programs.

FIU and FAU were founded 1 year apart, both share growing football programs and schools. and most importantly they are conference rivals.

Winning conferences is a big deal be it the SEC or Sunbelt, regardless of status. And in a few years I see FAU and FIU sharing the top of the Sunbelt and the Shula Bowl becoming a season making game. A conference title opens doors and brings the eye of first class athletes towards these growing programs an obvious Win - Win.

This is a contrast to a UM vs FIU rivalry which really failed to benefit both parties. For UM the game maybe means a sell out crowd if its their home game and a "winnable game" on the schedule.

For FIU it meant alot more. Who ever inked that deal on the FIU side really made a great strategic move.(This is of course discounting the fight...) For FIU, the UM rivalry mobilized an apathetic student body and alumni group who will always have an axe to grind against UM and at least let the FIU community know that there was football being played at University Park.

I'm glad that it has been suspended for the time being. Both UM and FIU are rebuilding and the hoopla of a cross town rivalry would serve only as a distraction to both squads.

Once FIU goes a season at .500 s I would consider scheduling UM again. Once FIU's program legitimizes and UM returns to its former self there will be consequences to an FIU / UM rivalry other than jamming the final nail in Coaches Coker's & Strock's coffins.

Pete your doing an excellent job with this Blog and your work in the herald keep it up.

Go Panthers!

Happy Thanksgiving.
PP, when you have a chance can you give us a recap of all the TT signings. I read somewhere that he had signed 16 players for 2009. It seems that 12 of the 16 players are pitchers. A complete list would be nice. It is nice to see such interest in baseball from many other readers. I hope it translates into increased attendance at games.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Cobracommandr, you have been bringing it strong with your post!!! Glad you're an FIU fan.

Congrats to mens basketball team for W yesterday. I've said it before, this is most talented team SR has had at FIU. I really think they can make a push at Sun Belt championship.


I am still here. I have just been extremely busy and unable to check here as often as I used to. But things are settling a bit, so I should be able to get back to normal. But I have not gone anywhere, much to the disappointment of some I am sure.


And by the way.......
the streak ends this week.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, This is rivalry weekend in FLorida, FSU vs UF, FIU vs FAU. doesn't get better than that. by the way ina true rivalry doesn't matter if one team is really playing bad the entire season they should step up to the rivalry game. watch FSU and UF killing each other year after year regardless of record or other bs. they plain hate each other. Now for those of you who liked the FSU cowgirl, FSU used to be an all girl school and there are more females than males there. I went to FSU one semester and I partied so much that I had to go to UF for the next 2.5 years of my college career. If you single college guys every had the opportunity to go to Tallahassee and visit I recommend you go by sorority row before you do the Tennessee St Waltz.
Happy Thanksgiving to all and I am sure soon our team will give us another reason to be thankful.

Saturday will be the LAST time Coach Shula will attend the OB!! I invite all FIU, FAU and Fins fans to come out and support both developing program and give a standing "O" to the best NFL coach of all time, Don Shula!!


Great updadte Pete but...

Needs more Cowgirl !!!

I'll bring the cowbell.

Pete, can you find out about why the Panther Pass games are not left on the site for a few days or maybe a week afterwards for those of us who may miss a game in any of the featured FIU games? The local news media or cable sports channels have no games on, for either football or men's hoops. This affords us an opportunity to watch the games we missed. Another thing; NO MEN'S HOOPS ON THE RADIO? Why? Hard to create a following when men's hoops is "invisible" to the community!

Pete and all GPPers have a great and relaxing Thanksgiving!




Sincerely Yours:

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!


I'll post my score now... I doubt I'll be able to get to a PC after Saturday.

FIU 24, FAU 17

Other than UM, there's no other school FIU gears up for quite like the Owls. And the chance to shock FAU out of a Sun Belt crown has to be on the bulletin board this week. FAU can win it if they beat FIU and beat the Trojans next week. A loss here by FAU seals the conference for Troy.

I know FAU's passing game is good... I know our secondary isn't... there's SO many negatives going on for FIU that it's sick. But the O is getting there, FAU's D isn't that great, and you can throw the records and stats out when it comes to rivalry games. And THIS is a rivalry game.

Besides, I'm 6-4. I'm not winning jack. I might as well at least crow about predicting an FIU victory. :)

I'll take Carr or Coker any day. Callahan, no. That's three national titles right there. I like MC, but there's no arguing with that kind of success. FIU's not getting any of them anyway, so what's the point in debating it? Or with FIUDad? Seriously, dude... FIU's not winning a NC in three years. Not even if we DID get into the Big East by then. Hell, I'll be crazy happy with one Sun Belt title in three years. Now get off the Xanax. Your kids need you! ;)

Anyway... happy Thanksgiving to all y'all from about-to-be-cold-as-carajo North Carolina. Enjoy the great Miami winter weather, folks. "You don't know what you got until it's gone" sure applies when you got to report on the sideline of a high school football game in 25-degree weather. Now I understand why all those snowbirds and retirees are in south Florida. Oh, well... the things you do to make a living, I guess.

Rivalry does not consider record. A coach in Chicago can go 2-14 as long as those 2 wins are against the Packers, the fans will be happy. Maybe not the management, but... the FIU guys have what it takes to beat FAU, if the coaches use the talent properly. Minesota sucked big time this year in the Big Ten so do not use the FAU performance there as any indication of what they have.
The men looked sloppy most of the night Wednesday, but Hicks shows good patience in the paint. I am encouraged about his potential, and Galindo is clearly the catalyst for the team. How about some support for the women's hoops this weekend at their Thanksgiving tourney? Real fans of all things FIU would be interested.

Monday night's men's hoops game against USF is VERY important. A victory will give SR's team the first (hopefully many more) legitimate wins of this season. Guys, I implore you to come out and make the Pharmed loud to finally give attention to FIU hoops. Pete, thank you because if it were not for you, we would not hear a thing about FIU hoops! See you all Monday @ 7 pm!!!


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