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Who's Getting On The Bus?

Your Golden Panthers had the day off today after practicing Sunday and Monday in anticipation of the Bus_2 weather.

After Monday's practice, MC said Thursday's final scrimmage (closed to the public) will determine positions and playing time for several Golden Panthers and yes, that includes the starting quarterback.

It's time to find out, as MC repeatedly has said during camp to those players on the bubble for the travel squad: "Who's going to get on that bus?"

So why don't we start up that bus and judging by the work in spring ball and this month in camp, let's use our football IQ and at the same time look in the FIU Witches magic brew (you guys remember them? photo, left) to see who we think will earn significant playing time for FIU this season and who Chrm_3 has got a seat on the Greyhound.

While Colt Anderson has closed the gap and Wayne Younger seems to have improved in the short time he's had to work in the new offense, the thought is Paul McCall should be under center for the first snap against Kansas and should remain there unless he stumbles. PM has the best grasp of the new O and is the best decision-maker, along with having a strong arm and he's proven to be no Statue of Liberty with his feet either.

Do see CA and WY getting snaps this season, whether it's in games out of hand or a couple of series in the middle of a game.

Julian Reams (right) has had a terrific summer and might be ready to assume that No. 1 RB job. Being Reams_3 a little bigger than A'mod Ned, JR can be that workhorse back. Keep an eye on Trenard Turner, who is capable of playing both tailback and fullback and came on at the end of last season. Daunte Owens will get some carries too, because of his speed. Darriet Perry and Shawn Bright are talented enough to play this season, but one or both might wear a redshirt.

FIU uses a ton of receivers with the spread, but Greg Ellingson and Marquis Rolle should line up with the first team. Junior Mertile has had the kind of camp that could have him starting in the slot. Don't be surprised if Blue25 gets a lot of playing time. Again, there are plenty of passes to go around with the spread, so look for T.Y. Hilton and Jeremy Dickens to get their share too.

Eric Kirchenberg has stood out among all the TEs, not only for some tough catches he's made, but for the 270+-pound frame he's carrying. As one practice observer noted: EK with his new size in all his football gear "looks like RoboCop". Be interesting to see Moses Hinton once he gets in there. Still no Robo_2 word from the Sun Belt.

The O-line looks to be anchored by Brad Serini, Andy Leavine, Joe Alajajian, Ula Matavao and Cedric Mack. Dustin Gibson could be playing too. Freshman Stephen Bailey looks like a beast, but at 265 may not be ready. Coaches have eagerly been awaiting the return of Mario Caraballo from a foot injury.

The D-Line is like the receivers, FIU rotates a ton of personnel in and out. We all know what kind of impact the Booker T. boys have had and should see plenty of action. D-Line stalwarts like Reggie Jones, Jonathan Betancourt, Jarvis Penerton, Daniel Chacreton, Quentin Newman and Artis Warthen should see their time. Among the younger guys, look for Ricky Booker, Curtis Bryant and Andre Pound to see some action. Jonas Murrell looks to have regained the menacing form he had the last time he played for FIU 2 years ago.

You'll see Scott Bryant and Michael Dominguez start at LB with likely Ryan Martinez as the other starter. But from what they've shown in camp: Little Canada, Tyler Clawson, Franklin Brown, Aaron Davis, Matt Garris and Winston Fraser should all see plenty of action. Little Canada (13 in photo, right) is healthy again and back to being his usual pest in the offensive backfield. He should have a big season.Lc Lcc

The secondary should be the heart of this year's D and why not? Look at the depth and talent: Anthony Gaitor, Jeremiah Weatherspoon, Ash Parker, Robert Mitchell and Marshall McDuffie. Then you got others who will contribute like Chuck Grace, Derrick Clark, Emmanuel Souarin, Dez Johnson, Devin Parrish, Marcelus Manear and Franklin Brown -- when he's not playing LB.

The guess here is Carlos Munera wins the punting job and Dustin Rivest starts as the kicker, but we all know how fickle those jobs can be. Would be no surprise to see FIU soccer players pulling double duty before it's all said and done.

The return game (kickoff and punt) looks to come down to 5 guys: T.Y., Weatherspoon, Reams, Gaitor and Blue25.

Logo_2 GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

We'll have the latest FIU Stadium photos on the next blog to alleviate any concerns several of you have expressed on the GPP about the stadium not being ready for Sept. 20. It will be ready.

Also, since we're about 10 days away from the season opener at Kansas, time to start up the 2nd Annual Win a GPP Blog predictions contest.Gpp

Here are the 3 simple rules so that the attorneys from Coral Gables don't take the GPP to court: 1) Make a prediction each week on the FIU game (name a winning team and score) 2) The deadline for each game's predictions is anytime before kickoff. We are going by the time on the GPP, so DO NOT think if it's 6:59 p.m. on a Saturday on your clock, it's also 6:59 on the GPP clock, because you'll be late and you're out. 3) Standings tiebreakers at the end of the season will be the total point differential of your scores. Point differential is the number of points you miss FIU's score by and number of points you miss the opponent's score by. So if you pick FIU 27, Kansas 20 and the final score is FIU 34-21, then your point differential is 8, because you missed FIU's score by 7 and KU's score by 1. We'll keep a running total of the point differential throughout the season.

Two prizes this season: 1st prize: Write your own GPP Blog. 2nd prize: a 2008 FIU media guide yearbook. You can start sending in your scores for the Kansas game!

To the questions:

SouthPaw: Has Wayne Younger gotten any looks at any other positions in camp? On the subject of the Booker T. boys, what ever happened to Tarvis Pullins?

Wy_2 GPP: From the practices, I've seen WY (red jersey, left) has only been at QB. He could be used at WR with his speed. He played there on the scout team in Strock's last season. TP did not make it academically into FIU.

RDSM6: From what you've seen so far, how do you think we will do against the rest of the Sun Belt?

GPP: I think FIU could go anywhere from 2-6 to 4-4 in the Sun Belt this season. It's a very even league where Florida Atlantic and Troy are above everyone else right now and then it's a crapshoot. In 7 SBC games last season and with a younger and less experienced team, FIU was blown out in only 2 (Middle Tennessee and FAU). And the MT game, FIU should have been in that one, because MT is not 41 points better than FIU.

NYCFIUFan: I down loaded the FIU Football Media Guide from the fiusports.com web site and noticed that our win to FAU was not in the "Records" section of the guide. Why?

GPP: As part of the NCAA mess, all FIU game scores from 2003-2005 were erased by the NCAA. Only the FIU players stats from those years count, but the game results were "vacated", that's the term the NCAA uses. So the series record against FAU stands 3-0 Owls, with wins in 2002, 2006 and last season.Erase

Pantera Dorada: If you go to the FOX Sports website, they have the very first Golden Panther logo as the schools logo. Any chance you could pass this observation on to someone in athletics so that it can be changed?

GPP: Saw the "Thundercats" FIU logo. I'll let FIU people know.

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Tough to pick the first game, but it is a big test for the Golden Panthers

Kansas 37, FIU 21

Good write up, as usual, Pete. I couldn't help but notice you didn't mention Mannie Wellington among the linebackers expected to produce. He did play a lot last season....Is he still at FIU?

...Ohh, I forgot...another name I haven't seen mentioned is incoming freshman Kasey Smith, from Seabreeze HS....Is he at FIU as well?

Kansas 42 fiu 14

PP, Any truth to the rumor that Rouco is not allowed to fly to the first football game because National Champs Kansas (Basketball) is afraid that he'll recruit another "stud" like Galindo from their roster ?. HA HA HA. Honestly where would have Galindo played in that Kansas team?. Anyway here's my prediction KS 28, FIU 21 a heartbreaker loss in the 4th quarter.

Prediction: Kansas 35, FIU 17. =(

It'll be a blow out...think North Texas vs Oklahoma

Kansas 49
FIU 7

Let me add some optimism to these predictions (I'm blinded by my pride!) haha...

FIU 21
Kansas 20

GO FIU!!!

In case any of you were worried, I am getting on the bus. Thats right folks, i am back for another football season and more expert picks. I am looking forward to making my predictions and viewing what I can only expect to be ridiculous predictions by the GPP faithful.

42-24, FIU keeps it close in the first half but Kansas is too tough.

FIU new logo sucks it looks like it says FW instead of FIU because the damn panther is covering the letters..FIU becomes more of a laughing stock every year.

this is a tough one...

FIU 13 Kansas 34

God I hope I am wrong!

i love it all the U fans are back and accounted for and they seem to add a new friend to the mix "Fake".

24/7 its been a while and i remember watching that episode of ESPN's college football live and i think you mis-understood what he was saying.. he said that although they had a good class come in they still have a little bit more to go than FSU and he expected the noles to return to glory before the U... personally i think hes wrong..

CC you mention USC who plays in a "historic" venue such as the collisium (i know i butchered that spelling) and the U for their 25 year run was playing at another historic venue the OB... and you mean to tell me that the venue where you play doenst play a factor into recruiting... look up some of the UM recruiting articles on the hearld from last year.. when they took the recruits to Waynes place and all of them thought it was great to see the big jumbo-tron etc. venue does play a roll. you can say you play in an NFL/Baseball venue. FIU can say they play on Campus.

as for my KU vs. FIU prediction... there are still 10 days but i have to go KU on this one. KU 34 FIU 17. KU will pull away in the 4th

FIU 10
Kansas 37

Are you serious...Kansas looks to make a statement. Kansas leads 40-0 first half 55-7 final. Kansas defense scores 2 TD's. undermanned, undersized, undercoached. Tooo bad for some of these kids. Hope no one gets hurt.PM better take out insurance. MC keep playing those freshmen and you'll go nowhere in the future

Kansas v. FIU. FIU keeps it close until the half, then KU hangs 20pts+ on us.

Kansas: 37pts (4 TDs, 3 FGs)

FIU: 14pts (2 TDs 2missed FGs)

The logo thing has been now discussed, pretty prominently, in FAU's boardor some reason between yesterday and today...Reach your own conclusions.

Not ready to give my "guestimate" of the first game...Unfortunately, it won't be pretty....

Fake, the "FW" that you see stands for Football Wins. Remember that.

FIU 27 Kansas 24. The sleeping giant WILL wake up in 2008. And then guys like Fake, U24/7, fiu ex dad, ridgepanther, and all of the other closet FIU fans will try to jump on the bandwagon. Sorry guys, the bandwagon has left the station.

I'm pretty sure this has already been discussed but i still have to ask, will tickets be sold to the public for the USF game, if so, when?? I know that as of now, only students and season ticket holders are guaranteed tickets for this game.

As for the our first game i think the score will be:
Kansas: 41
FIU: 24

I have a feeling FIU will eventually sell single tickets to the USF game as we near Sept. 20.

You know what, I'am going to correct my prediction. We are FIU and we have talent, FIU 21, Kansas 14.

SHUT DOWN DEFENSE.

Hey Pete you seem to have something against kickers. What position did you play in college, and then the pros.I'm having a hard time remembering your name.

I think the kicking game is the last thing you should worry about.I was at Saturdays scrimmage, there are many more problems to address. Hopefully the team will be within 3 points at some time during the season.

Unfortunately ...

Kansas 35, FIU 13

fiu ex dad, catch this article about Fresno State on espn.com

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/preview08/news/story?id=3541224&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab7pos2


I think that this is the model MC is using when he schedules these tough opponents. We need to distinguish ourselves and not use the "thug" model that UCG has used.

Kansas: 42

FIU: 13


I wont mind being wrong on this one if its in our favor.... :)


NYCFIUFan;

MC did not schedule these games. DS did, I doubt that MC would schedule [so many] games like these so early in the season if he had his way.

FIUFantastic i must say the bulls are very organized planning the tailgate etc. i cant wait for the game...

I think our schedule is great. Regardless of who scheduled it.

Its great to look at our schedule and see the #14 and #19 teams on there.

Cant wait until we play Florida State and Florida!!

FIUfanatic: where is FAU discussing our logo?
It does look like FW!
All that money spent on branding and the design firm comes up with an FW? come on! give me a break.

As much as I hope I am wrong about this prediction, they are going to be tough at home, but I think our DBs keep us in this game for 3 quarters...

KU 31 - FIU 21

FIU mania....as I posted, in their board. Interesting you would only comment on this......

FIU may stay close for the first two quarters, but kansas depth may be too much for FIU to handle. Besides Kansas wants to prove that last season wasnt just a fluke. I don't think kansas will be as good as last year because they lost their defensive coordinator, two starting offensive tackles, all american db aqib talib, and defensive tackle james mcclinton. Still, with home field advantage and alot to prove I'm going to have to say that FIU loses this one. This game will be a test of how much FIU has improved.

Kansas 35, FIU 17

KU 35 FIU 17

With a lead going into the half.

Depends on how long the offense can stay on the field, keep the defense fresh and not turn the ball over.

Why don't we play the over/under on number of FIU turn-overs. 3 or less and we are in good shape; 4 or more and we are in trouble.

FIU fan i say 2 or less and we will be competative... 3 or more and we are in trouble

in all realism the score should look something like...

KU 35
FIU 10

Should be an improvement from last year... but lets not get our hopes up... strong chance it won't be on this first game that we turn things around.... hope i'm wrong and FIU defies probabilities. Lots of new posters.... why am i not surprised.

TOO BAD FIU COACHES SUCK!!

oh yea and FW stands for football's worst not football wins dummie

FIU 24
KU 21

KU will underestimate FIU, thinking only that this game is just a tuneup for bigger fish. By the time reality sets in it will be too late.

FIU 23
KU 15

FIU 17
KU 10

Panthers ROAR, Hurricanes BLOW. Just stating the obvious.

HEY SOUTH PAW we live in Reality!!!! they do not come close 47-10.

Also, PETE I know you have been at MANY practices in Julian Reams Career at FIU. He has always PRACTICED well but never steps up when the lights come on! (Think USF 2006)even Last year he fooled everyone with his practice heroics. A mod never has had speed but the kid is TOUGH. Sure JR will start but not by week two.

one more thing....
3-9 is my season prediction....
year 3 is when we will see how good MC and the boys will ever be.....anything less and there may be trouble in paradise, mind you 3 wins is nothing to dance on the streets of 8th street about either

It seems to me like alot of people are falling into the same fallacy that many of the pre-season publications and supposed "experts" make every year--assigning too much weight to what happened last year and assuming a few more wins for a team if a majority of its starters are returning or a 2 to 3 more losses if a good number of starters have left. Have you ever gone back and compared the actual results of a season with what the pre-season predictions were?

It's the same mentality as a person who says "it rained the last two days, chances are, it's going to rain tomorrow." Or, I've won my last three hands in Blackjack, I'm hot, so let me double my bet." You'll lose in the long run every time with that thinking.

I'll be disappointed with anything less than 6 wins this year. Why? Let's get real:

#1 Our defense should be much improved. We have some key experienced players back on defense who missed all of last year. Losing experienced returning defensive players like Weatherspoon, Murrell, and McDuffie, along with Wendy Napoleon decimated our defense last year. No one was expected a drop off like we had from the year before. We had to plug our best returning WR in at safety to get by (and that's worked out great, thankfully).

#2 Our recruiting class from last year didn't play much in 2007, and they should make a strong contribution this year. Ricky Booker, Marquis Rolle, and Curtis Bryant will all be great players before they leave FIU.

#3 Our offensive line was horrible. This was THE story of FIU football over the past 2 years. We could have easily won 10-12 more games over the past two years had our line been even an average D-1 line. Experienced transfers Cedrick Mack and Ula Matavao will bring needed bulk and experience, and our returning guys have had another year to develop physically.

#4 We were last or nearly last all season long in turnover margin. If we can finish near the middle of the D-1 standings in that stat alone, we'll win 3-4 more games in my opinion. Young teams turn the ball over more, so as we gain more experience, I expect to see us improve this stat substantially, and that will translate into more opportunities for wins.

We will turn this around, and it won't be because of the new stadium, new logo, or new uniforms.

Pete, can you give us an update on a few guys whose names have been conspicously missing over the Spring and Fall camps?:

Jarvis Wilson
James Rucker
Elliott Dix
Justin West

I was really impressed with Wilson last year. I thought he and "Little Canada" Smith were two of the biggest surprises of last years' class.

Now that football is approaching I ask that everyone please support our team; go to a game, watch it on tv, watch it on the internet, listen to it on the radio. What ever the results of the season that lays ahead remember this, it takes a lot of courage, commitment, and sacrifice to put on that uniform, the least we can do is return the favor by showing our support and gratitude. That way we can say thank you, thank you for the hard work. Others support teams because it is a trend or they have no affiliation with a institution so they pick one that suites the times, essentially they are fans but they will never be accepted as part of the university. We on the other hand are vested in our school like we are vested in our families, and that is what we are at FIU, a family. Go Golden Panthers!

FIU 17
Kansas 35

NYCFIU that has to be one of your best posts ive ever read. major props on the post. i could not have agreed more w/ your call. at the games last year seeing that stadium empty, seeing that lack of support was irritating. so i really hope it does catch on.. which leads me to my point.. why hasnt the student body/ "panther rage" organize some sort of pep rally for the games? at FAU they are burnning bevo.. at the U i know they make an opposing mascot of paper every week and have sebastian whoop up on it (watch the one they did for FIU it was funny lol) FIU needs to start generating a buzz about the program. no better way to do it than a pep rally

Well said NYCFIUFAN. Now is the time to support FIU.

Lets be honest people, FIU just built a 30 million dollar stadium for a team that won 1 game in 2 years. That is commitment to excellence if I have ever seen it. The wins will come but the decision is yours. Will you support us at our low and watch us grow or will you support us at the top and jump on the band wagon then? This is a family with ties to the community. Now lets go out and support our family!

GO FIU!

hey pete...you forgot about peter riley, who is second team on the depth chart

FIU mania....as I posted, in their board. Interesting you would only comment on this......

Posted by: FIU Fanatic

|FIUFanatic: I didn't understand what you said on your post. Was I suppossed to comment on something else?
The FIU really looks like an FW! what else can I say?
I did not find anything on their board (sun-sentinel) related to FIU's logo.
thanks

I was a season ticket holder for FIU football until I moved out of Miami last year. I really hope students and alumni go out and support this team. We need all the help we can get! PLEASE go and scream your heart out and witness what could be the start of something special! I only wish I were still there to witness it first hand.

Good luck to our boys this year!

GO FIU!

http://fauowlsnest.com/board/index.php?topic=5234.0 thats the FAU message board not the sun sentinel. They talk about the logo there.

Listen I got nothing but love for FIU football and I am very excited about all the changes that are going on. However, with that said I have to give a big edge to Kansas. Hopefully we do better as the season goes.

Kansas- 42
FIU- 3

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