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Can FIU Close Down The Hooters?

TROY, Alabama -- Another early one on Thursday morning for your Panthers as their second game of theFiubase Sun Belt Tournament begins at 9 a.m. (Troy time) and 10 a.m. (Miami time).

We'll have a LIVE GPP BLOG of FIU's second Sun Belt Tournament game beginning at 9:45 a.m. (Miami time).

No, FIU (thanks, Sam Lewis photo) is not out at a Hooters right now thinking about the UL game over chicken wings. Thursday for FIU is an elimination game with the Florida Atlantic Hooters.

Winner gets the loser of the Louisiana/Middle Tennessee game on Friday at 4 p.m (Troy time), 5 p.m. (Miami time).

The loser gets the fine Bar-BQ provided by the Troy University staff (great baked beans and pulled pork)Hooters and if it's FIU - a flight home to Miami, if the Hooters are the losers then they get a bus ride back to Boca Raton. Yes, FAU took a bus up here.

So hopefully by now the 11-3 loss to Louisiana is out of your system and you have either: 1) come down from that ledge or 2) gotten yourself enough of your favorite adult beverage or 3) hit the gym for the last 8 hours -- maybe with MC, who was voted on an ESPN blog as the Ledge fittest college football coach in the nation.

I know most of you were expecting FIU to roll in this tournament, but the fact is the Panthers don't -- yet -- have enough talent on their roster to take down the Sun Belt big boys of Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky, Troy or Louisiana. Yes, FIU defeated all these teams during the season, but to beat them all in a tournament right now is a tall order.

And I stand corrected from a comment I had on the Live Game Blog earlier today -- the fact is FIU has 0 players on its 25-man roster with Sun Belt Tournament experience. That's right zero, zilch, nada, goose egg, a bagel, a doughnut, 0. Originally, I said 16 of 25 FIU players had no experience.

You can read some of the comments from the players in the game story in the MH 2morrow and both Turtle and Tyler Townsend said that "nerves" got to the Panthers early on and if you were in Troy you could easily see that.

Now with the Hooters on deck manana, you would expect those nerves to be out of the way. Tom Ebert gets the start and the Hooters are without their best hitter, William Block, who kills FIU pitching. Block is ineligible, because of grades and stayed home in Boca Raton. Block is also a senior so his college career is over.

Still, FIU needs to get off to a fast start against the Hooters so that these Panthers get some confidence and keep playing in Troy as long as they possibly can.

Whether Thursday is the last game of the season for FIU or if it happens to be Saturday's championship game, the Panthers made a 14-win improvement and a 15-loss improvement from 2008 (20-36 in 2008 and 34-21 in 2009) when some of you were calling to bring back -- "He's bigger than me and he wantedGravy the ball".

I believe Clawing Cancer put it best on the last blog: whatever FIU gets from here on out this season is gravy. Enjoy gravy!




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