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Will The Last FIUer or UMer To Leave, Please Turn Out The Lights

Fiuhoop The last game of the Miami crosstown series ends tonight between FIU and UM with the final hoops game between the schools. It will be the last time the Golden Panthers and Hurricanes meet in any of the 3 major sports. (Thanks to Alex J. Hernandez and Sam Lewis for pics)

If you recall, UM did not renew the football series after the 2007 season and after FIU baseball defeated UM in Coral Gables earlier this year, Hurricanes coach Jim Morris said no mas to the Turtle.

Tonight's game should not be close with FIU missing 4 of its 5 starters and UM Ttjm loaded with talent this year. It's a shame the series ends tonight, because with the way FIU is developing its athletic program, the series has the chance in the future of becoming the UCLA/USC of the east coast.

Yeah, yeah I know UM has everything to lose and nothing to gain if they keep playing FIU, but so what, if you're good enough that shouldn't be a problem and you shouldn't lose, right? Eventually, if FIU keeps recruiting like they have been the last couple of years and keeps developing talent, the playing field will level.

Fiufoot Yeah, I know some that read the previous statement don't want to hear it or may say that's crazy talk. But until the new athletic administration arrived at FIU, the Golden Panthers athletic program and teams never had any real direction or any emphasis on recruiting. However, with the university dedicating more resources to FIU athletics, the new on-campus stadium and with the new athletic administration and coaches all that is about to change in the very near future.

Tell us what you think of the end of the crosstown series and vote in our poll below the Pawse.

Logo GOLDEN PANTHER PAWSE

Congratulations to the FIU Golden Dazzlers and cheerleaders on their new swimsuit calendar and on having the most popular story on the Miami Herald website on Thursday. If you want to check out the story and some pics click FIU's Finest ....Here on the right is the cover photo of the 2009 calendar.Dazzcover

You can buy the calendar for $10 at fiugoldendazzlers.com or at fiucheerleading.com.

Apaw Good to meet another of our GPP readers -- pantera dorada -- at the Dazzlers Calendar Launch Party on Thursday.

To your questions:

Jsuarez88: Pete! please keep us updated with recruiting news...We are all curious about what's going on with Neat, Mallory, Flores, Gilliam, McBurse, Van Dyke, Akins & others? and also on the JUCO's:
The-Liar, Gatlin, McGee, Green & others? & one last thing, people are comparing Elliot Cain to a young Sean Taylor??? that sounds like a dream come true, is there any truth to that?

GPP: Will start the FIU recruiting roundup next week. For now here are some tidbits to tie you over. Neat is still an FIU commit, but Ole Miss is coming on strong. Mallory is committed to FIU and you can watch him play in the state championship game vs. Bolles on Saturday night at 7 p.m. on Sun Sports. From what I'm hearing, FIU has a real good chance to get Flores, despite the W. Michigan flirtations. Van Dyke looks like he'll make it BTW 5. Akins is still deciding. Theliar is going to USF, McGee is going to UM. As far as Cain compared to ST, not sure how much you can read in to those comparisons, especially when the kid hasn't played a down in college. He does have good size for a safety.

alt7787: Pete I dont know if you can quell my fears, but tell me this wont happen next year. actually a better question would be, why did an extremely talented FIU team (maybe the most talented to date) go 0-12? Im really looking forward to seeing McCall, Hilton and Perry next year as well as Gaitor and others on defense, but im concerned that next year might be a repeat of 2006. Am i just being stupid?

GPP: Easy there, alt7787, we haven't even reached signing day or the 1st spring practice. That disastrous 2006 season started from the top on down. To start, there was no discipline with the old FIU coaching regime and that translated into how the team practiced every day and prepared for games -- which most of 2006 FIU was not prepared going into its games. While FIU did have a solid D that season coming off a season in which they led the nation in tackles for loss, the FIU O had no imagination or reason with their play calling. Plus, there were no game-changers like a T.Y. or hopefully Neat. We (media) were calling what plays FIU was going to run from the press box before they ran them in most games that season. Yes, there was some bad luck in 2006, but you also make your own luck by being prepared.

esteban688: Pete i heard from good source that AJ Grant has chosen to play in the AFL??

GPP: Will look into that, but the AFL is having money troubles right now and they may cutback on teams next season that are having trouble staying in the black.

FIUFanatic: Pete, Would you please find out what are the implications for next year's recruiting class with the scholarships reductions due to the APR and infractions?

GPP: Fanatic, both FIU football and baseball already had all their scholarships restored. So there is no impact on recruiting. FIU men's hoops does have to give up one more scholie and then all of FIU teams will be back to full strength -- scholie-wise.

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I can second PP on the part where people in the press box were calling in plays before they happened. That was the year I was PA (before Roman). I wasn't in the press box area where Pete was... I was in the upper level... but people there were doing it, too. I wasn't... I was kind of busy. Besides, I'm not that brave. :)

Funny thing was, Strock was supposed to be an O guy and the play-calling for most of his tenure was pretty vanilla. Especially that year. Actually, I remember having some conversations with Senor Pelegrin that season about Strock's play-calling. For the record... I still think it's hard to get creative when your O-Line can't stop anyone from hitting the backfield in less than 2 seconds. But he could've at least tried some new plays.

Anyway... it's a freakin' shame the UM-FIU series is ending. It shouldn't be happening. I can understand football not being played, at least until FIU gets better as a program, but there's really no reason the series shouldn't continue for baseball and basketball. Fortunately, life goes on. Both programs will be fine. FIU will still climb up regardless. But there's no doubt in my mind that South Florida as a whole would benefit from these two playing one another yearly. I would throw in FAU, too.

There's something to be said for local rivalries in college sports. They bring a flavor you can't get anywhere else. Take it from someone who lives in North Carolina... people here get positively geeked when any combo of UNC, Wake, Duke, NC State, ECU, the other UNC's (Wilmington and Charlotte) and all the other state schools play one another.

Considering FIU has no other real rivals but UM and FAU, and UM in reality has no others but FSU, UF and FIU... this is a bad business decision. No other way to put it.

UM not playing FIU in the three major sports is inexusable and an outright admission by UM that they are scared of FIU. They know the monster that FIU can (and will) become, and they are simply running.

For a program like UM's with so much pride in its football program to cower away from FIU is embarassing. I honestly don't know how the students and players can hold their heads up when they walk the streets of Miami.

In a way, I can't blame them. We've only played twice, and even in those two games, FIU with a far less talented team and coaching staff, put a scare into the Hurricanes by playing them close. Both games were within reach well into the third quarter.

I have no doubt that FIU will overtake UM in the near future as the preeminent football program in South Florida. FIU is a bigger school, it is a better school, its far less expensive, much more diverse and truly represents South Florida in a way that UM never has or will.

I agree with the both of you, this is ridiculous... I have just lost a lot of respect for UM, this is just plain cowardice. This was a rivalry that had so much potential to flourish and they are destroying it. Well they can only run so far, soon they won't be able to ignore FIU and they'll have to confront us. We just have to keep looking towards the future and keep improving. They'll come back begging to renew the rivalry in the years to come.

It's a shame because I grew up a Canes fan and I was looking forward to FIU/UM showdowns every year, and now they back down. Well forget 'em. They just exposed themselves for the cowards they are. GO FIU!!!

wow a calendar? Congratulations FIU Golden Dazzlers and cheerleaders

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