Congratulations to our WIN A GPP Blog and 2008 FIU Football Media Guide winners: Baltimore Panther (1st place) start writing your own GPP Blog and e-mail it to me with photo requests as well. Ultimate FIU Fan stop by the press table during the next FIU hoops game on Dec. 20 at the FIU Arena to claim your 2008 FIU Football Media Guide. Full results of our blog contest are at the end of the post.
After Saturday's win over Western Kentucky (thanks to Sam Lewis for the FIU pics), your Golden Panthers were already talking about the Crimson Tide in the locker room. Guess, FIU didn't want the season to end either. Winning will do that. Click here for FIU Ready For Next Season
Heck, even a trip to Detroit on Christmas Eve would have been welcomed. That's where the team, FIU let get away with two 14-point 4th quarter leads is going. Florida Atlantic will play Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl on Dec. 26. Detroit (right) never looked like such a paradise.
But anyways, it was a very successful season for FIU after a ton of media predicted a 1 to maybe even 2-win season for the Golden Panthers. For the record, yours truly had FIU at 4-8 back in August.
To say the future is bright for FIU football is an understatement. It's sunblazing -- to borrow the former FIU mascot. If this season is an example of what the Golden Panthers and the new FIU football coaching staff can do in just 2 years after NCAA sanctions, average recruiting and a lack of discipline program-wide, then what will FIU football look like in 4 years? Multiple Sun Belt titles, anyone?
Before we get ahead of ourselves, there are still plenty of holes to fill with recruiting on this team and will cover those in an upcoming blog.
This season we saw the emergence of a freshman superstar "Goodbye", stability at quarterback, a dangerous receiving corps, a glimpse of the everydown running back FIU has been searching for 7 years now. We also saw an offensive line get better as the season wore on.
We also saw sparks from a young opportunistic defense that finished 22nd in the nation in tackles for loss and that was with most of the defensive speed still needing to pack on some pounds or redshirted. We also saw some of that defensive freshman talent like Chuck Grace (left), Franklin Brown, Jonathan Jackson, Kambriel Willis and James Jones, who unfortunately tore a knee on Saturday.
And as you may have read in my Monday FIU story above, the FIU coaching staff is already knocking on doors recruiting one day after the season ended.
We'll have a more in-depth review of the season later this week and we'll also have our GPP Football Awards Show.
It might have gotten lost in the Panther Pawse, so I'll post on HERE the poll to choose a nickname for Greg Ellingson. The sophomore receiver became PM's go-to-guy along with Goodbye this season. Please click the HERE above and give GE your vote. Also vote on the 2008 FIU football season below the WIN A GPP Blog leaderboard. Thanks.
Here's the final leaderboard:
WIN A GPP BLOG or (2nd place -- 2008 FIU football media guide) FINAL Leaderboard:
10-2: Baltimore Panther (259) [GPP BLOG WINNER]
9-3: Ultimate FIU Fan (259) [2008 FIU Football Media Guide WINNER]; FIUChris (290); FIU Fanatic (299).
8-4: Puma (244); FIU Voice (252); Clawing Cancer (257); NYCFIUFan (267), outofthecage88 (267); fiufan751 (276); MIA/NY Josh (323).
7-5: Fomenter (259); FIUJM (279); FIU 0406 (283); TheChampionUnderdog (286); SouthPaw (311).
6-6: Max (282); gpantera (332).
GPP: 9-3, (251).