DENVER -- Welcome to the Mile High City, GPPers. Here for the 4th of July weekend to cover the Marlins/Rockies 4-game series, but the Prowl boarded the plane and got into the overhead baggage compartment and is here as well.
FIUBlueandGold: I'd like to know if our lack of depth on the roster at many positions will prompt you to get as many of the 2008 frosh class on the field this year or can we expect many of them to be red-shirted?
MC: We have to play a lot of freshmen. It’s going to take 4 years total just to have a complete roster. Yeah, we are going to have to play freshmen. Quite frankly, they are talented enough to play right now and all that does is up the competition. It’s going to make everybody better. We didn’t recruit these guys to come in and sit down. We don’t have that luxury, because we are so thin. Every young man we recruit is a guy we’ve identified as someone, who not only has the physical tools to do it, but has the mental toughness to realize that.
Frank: What are some of the future out-of-conference games you would like to play when you get control of the schedule in 2010?
MC: We are still looking to play big time opponents. We want to play Miami. Hopefully, they will come around and understand that it is a great game for the community. Florida and Florida State are also teams that we’re looking at as well. After having recruited the west coast, I would love to get some of those opponents as well. We always want to continue that we’re upping the challenge. We want to make a situation that we put ourselves on a national stage. Hopefully by 2010 our players, recruiting and player development has taken us up another level and give us a chance to win those football games.
Clawing Cancer: What do you think of the "FIU Beach" idea and other ideas for the stadium that were posted on the GPP?
MC: I think creating an exciting atmosphere, especially in a unique place like FIU, is an idea that has a lot of merit. I don’t exactly know the dynamics of how you can work [FIU Beach] out. There is great enthusiasm behind all those [GPP readers'] ideas. Keep the ideas coming, because we certainly are going to go with something that makes sure that we bring a lot of fun to that stadium.
GPP: What's the timetable to make a decision on your starting quarterback?
MC: I knew this question was coming. It could be decided day 1, 10 days out or a week out. There really is no magic formula to that. Would you like it to be done right now? Absolutely. But the bottom line is when a guy distinguishes himself as the guy, he’s the guy. The quarterbacks know we won’t tolerate any non-sense regarding that kind of stuff, because all that does is become a distraction and hurts team unity. A guy needs to stand up, be the quarterback and in every aspect. I don’t care if a guy looks pretty throwing a couple of balls here and there. This guy has to be a tough-ass, son of a gun, who is a team leader and gives it up for the team day in and day out. I think our guys are ready to do so and take that step and that thing should really work itself out. We’ll make a decision, we’ll announce it and we’ll go from there.
MC: It’s a pretty unique trophy. I think it’s a hell of an honor whoever wins that thing and it’s something all the players look forward to at FIU and FAU to take that thing home. We have to work our tails off to go win that thing. The bottom line is that it’s been placed there for a purpose for the winner to take home and not let that thing go the other way.
FIU Fanatic: Are any of our original "signing day" signees ineligible, or not cleared yet?
MC: It looks for the most part that most of the guys are in and have qualified. The class looks like it’s about 95 percent eligible right now.
A couple of thoughts here on the Mile High City. Spent some time in Lo Do (lower downtown Denver) last night after the baseball game and must say the scenery reminded me a lot of South Beach and the Grove with all the clubs, bars and female population. Nope, didn't see the Coors Light Twins, but several of their relatives were hanging out in Lo Do last night.
Another thing about Denver, people are actually into their baseball team, despite being at the bottom of the NL West division standings. Sold out crowd of 48,000-plus at Coors Field last night. The Rockies fans broke out chants of "Tulo" throughout the game for shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and sang every word in unison of the national anthem before the game and "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" in the bottom of the 7th inning....So that's what a baseball town looks and sounds like. On to your questions....
Quijote: I read in Sunday's Herald that FAU has declined their invitation to play UM this upcoming season (or was it next?) due to guaranteed funds not being too attractive (nice to see the Sun Belt champ muscle their way around). With this said, it would be interesting if you can tell us is the FIU/UM tradition can continue, taking into account scheduling/logistics/etc issues?
You can just about forget about UM calling FIU to play for any sport. The folks over in Coral Gables are cancelling just about every series with FIU. Football ended last season and unless there is a change of heart over there (which I wouldn't hold my breath) the series is done. We all know the baseball coach over there holds a grudge toward TT so FIU/UM baseball ended after FIU won the final game of the series last April in CG. And the hoops series is done after this season's game in CG between the schools. I believe the only sports the two schools will still compete against each other are women's tennis and track & field. The scheduling and logistics are no problem whatsoever for the crosstown series -- the schools are only 9 miles apart.
FIUBlueandGold: Do you know if the USF game might be on a regional telecast within Florida on espn? Do you know if anything will be done to the exterior/facade or any landscaping to cover the metal and beams that are exposed?
It's early, but right now the only FIU games scheduled to be televised are the first two against Kansas and Iowa. The KU game is on the Big 12 network and the Iowa game is on the Big Ten network. Sun Sports or ESPN regional might pick up the USF game. Several FIU Sun Belt games could be carried by CSS. The Sun Belt Football Media Day event is July 21 in New Orleans and that's when the Sun Belt TV schedule is expected to come out. I'll be in New Orleans for that and I'll blog about it as soon as I know.
Like FIU Fan pointed out, the east (alumni center), north (student services/welcome center) and west (fieldhouse/training center) sides of the stadium will have attachments. Before those buildings are constructed, sponsorship signs are expected to adorn the exposed metal beams.
WRGPLovesAxlRose: Any word on when the Baseball recruiting class is coming out?
TT has a couple of more spots to fill. When he does so the 2009 baseball recruiting class will be released.
The GPP keeps rolling worldwide. FIU baseball's ultimate destination the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska joined the Prowl on the last post to give us 29 states of readership and Bangkok, Thailand also has an interest in FIU. Like 57 percent of FIU Nation, our reader in Bangkok thinks the FIU offensive line is the most critical position for an improved 2008 season. My thoughts exactly. If you can't run block and pass block, you're not going to score too many points and you got to score to win football games.
The updated readership totals: The 29 states the GPP is read in: ALA, CA, COL, FLA, GA, IDAHO, IL, IND, IOWA, KAN, KY, LA, MASS, MD, MICH, MIN, MO, NEB, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TEN, TEX, VA, VER, WIS. 9 Countries: Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Italy, Panama, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, U.S.A. 1 District: Washington, D.C. and 1 Territory: Puerto Rico.
Let's follow up MC's thoughts on the future out-of-conference schedule....