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Gotta Love the Ladies

OCALA -- So you're asking yourself, what the hell kind of blog post title is that, Pete?

For starters, this is a G-rated blog so dismiss any other thoughts. It also has nothing to do with the golf tournament I'm up here in Ocala covering.

Or the adventure in getting toFiusoccer Ocala or the Seinfeld episode at Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Ocala. Will get to all that non-sense at the end of this post.

For now let's recognize the FIU ladies sports that have been ripping through the Sun Belt Conference this fall.

On Wednesday morning your FIU women's soccer team -- regular season Sun Belt Champions -- open the Sun Belt tournament against Arkansas-Little Rock in the mouth of the rat or Boca Raton as is more commonly known.

The lady Panthers soccer team went from sixth place last season to first place this season -- to become the first Sun Belt team to do so. On Tuesday, FIU received 6 honors from the Sun Belt Conference.

The following Panthers were named to the All-Sun Belt team: Katrina Rose, Thaisa Moreno, Amy Jackson, Kaitlyn Savage.

Savage was also named Freshman of the Year and FIU coach Thomas Chestnutt won his second Sun Belt Coach of the Year award.

At the SBC Tournament at Florida Atlantic, FIU will be seeking its first Sun Belt championship since 2000.

Fiuvolley The FIU volleyball team (thanks Richard Lewis for both ladies team photos) keeps rolling right along. The Panthers have won a program-record 17 straight matches and are 24-2 on the season and 14-0 in the Sun Belt.

It seems the last time FIU lost a match they were inventing this thing called the internet.

FIU volleyball has just four more matches before the Sun Belt Tournament, which takes place in Western Kentucky on Nov. 19.

Will have an in-depth feature story on the FIU volleyball team in the MH in a couple of weeks before the ladies leave to Bowling Green, Kentucky.


Aaapaw Up here in Ocala covering the state golf championship. Wednesday is the final round and if it finishes on time, I will haul bass down to Miami to LIVE BLOG and catch the FIU basketball exhibition game at 7 p.m. All the information you need on the Panthers first exhibition game under Isiah is on the previous post.

Check back on the GPP on Wednesday afternoon as I will post an update as to whether or not I will be able to make it back to Miami on time to run a LIVE BLOG of the FIU hoops exhibition game.

Hopefully, getting back to Miami will be a lot smoother than what it took me to get to Ocala.

The cliff notes version of Tuesday's adventure: flat tire on the rental (fairly new Nissan Altima) on the FloridaBizarro Turnpike somewhere between Fort Pierce and Ocala. Wait about 1 hour+ for AAA, because the tire jack in the rental was from the year 1923.

Take tire to get plugged at Tires Plus. Mechanic says the hub cap is dented and fixed tire or new tire will not help this car. Mechanic says: "Even with a new tire, you will have a blowout on the way back to Miami".

Call Enterprise ask for a new car. No cars available in suburban Ocala Enterprise location. About 5:30 p.m. now and in about 2 hours there will be cars available but only in the Ocala airport location which is about 30-45 minutes away from where I'm at.

Arrive at Enterprise airport location and it is the "Bizarro Enterprise" location. If you watch Seinfeld, then you know what I mean ("Bizarro Jerry" episode [photo, above right] -- not Jerry, George and Kramer, but Kevin, Gene and Feldman).

At this Enterprise location, everyone is constantly asking if you have been helped or what can they do to make your Enterprise visit the best it can be. There are 4 to 5 employees working quickly to get everyone their cars. They ask "would you like some refreshments while you are waiting" and "We are working quickly to get you in your new car and on your way". Sure enough, got a car in less than 5 minutes and on my way. 

Red Before I left the Enterprise office, I told all 5 employees that you guys are the "Bizarro Enterprise" compared to the usual Miami office I deal with. Four of the 5 employeers were Seinfeld fans so they got my remark and started laughing. They had to explain what I meant to the 5th employee.

Was given a red mini-school bus or Chevy HHR as is the name of the auto. So if you see a red mini-school bus in the FIU parking lot on Wednesday night then you know I'm back in Miami.

Aaapaw Turtle released his 2010 schedule with some pretty good series for FIU baseball. The Panthers open with a 3-game home series against Maryland. Check out the rest of the sked at fiusports.com. BTW, interesting sked tidbit: South Florida cancelled their baseball series with FIU in 2010, because FIU dropped the Bulls in football for Rutgers. The biggest questions heading into the 2010 season right now is who will be the Panthers Nos. 2 & 3 starters after Scott Rembisz??

Aaapaw Football notes: The Sun Belt Conference signed an extension with the New Orleans Bowl today to guarantee a Sun Belt team vs. a Conference USA team in the bowl game through 2013. However, stay tuned, because the SBC champ may not automatically go to the New Orleans Bowl in the near future.No Word out of the SBC office is that they are working on sending the Sun Belt champ to another bowl game with the New Orleans Bowl being the second choice for the Sun Belt. No specific bowl games have been discussed where the SBC champ would end up at.

Receiver T.Y. Hilton was running and not jogging on his pass routes in practice Tuesday so that is a good sign so far this week.

The answer to NYCFIUFan's question of: Pete, Any reason why FIU hardly plays noon or 3:30 games on Saturdays?

PP: I've been told, because FIU feels they would draw the most fans for a night game. Although, I personally like the day games, because of friendly deadlines and once all the writing is done then the rest of Saturday is free.


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The attendance was horrible for the noon game this year! Takes time from tailgating too!

Did you see the crowd for the Buffalo game last night v. BGSU? When I joined the telecast, couldn't have been more than a few hundred in the stands.

There attendance was less than 10,000.
I watched the game and was just looking at their facilities - one of the weaker programs in the MAC.
Not great facilities, but some are better than ours, and gives us an idea of what we need. It helps when they are the only university in the NY University System that plays Div I/FBS.

Pete your crazy! I would have asked for OT pay if I had to go through all that just to cover a Golf Match. I hope you got to see plenty of good golf once you made it up to Ocala..

Well we are only 3 days away from another big time game. If we can pull of the upset this would make this neightmare season feel a little better. I personally think our conclusion to our season will look somehting like this:
Middle Tenessee= L

Finish= 4-8 (WOW!! What the heck happened)

I just hope Basketball and Baseball have a better outcome.. As for the Ladies Teams they are playing amazing! Keep it up!!!

Go FIU!!

All my love for our lay panteras! The male team should learn from them....

Is it just me or is ther other people that think we should have a mor realistic schedule? I think playing 2 or 3 teams in the Top 25 every year does NOT help in any way other then the $800,000 check that we receive to get our butts kicked. I think we can play ONE top ranked team. Example:

Rudgers or USF
Sunbelt Game
Sunbelt Game
Bowling Green or Maryland
Sunbelt Game
Sunbelt Game
Toledo or Purdue
Sunbelt Game
Sunbelt Game
Sunbelt Game
Sunbelt Game

We would have a greater chance of actually going 7-5 and attracting more fans to the stadium. People want to see a WIN instead of watching us lose by over 40points to UF..

Gooch7 - stop crying. You should want to play those schools. Not only are you getting a big pay day - you are playing the best and measuring yourself against it. You are getting your players experience for the games that matter. Geez - you sound like such quss - are you one of the posters here who likes to post about how Miami is scared to play FIU? If so - your post would suggest it is the other way around.

You have a point. You want to play good schools. If you ever knock one off ... you get a huge W.

People... playing these "big schools" means NOTHING if they don't play HERE. That's why I'm glad we are playing UCF, Duke, Louisville and others that are willing play us at home.

I don't care how "big" the schools are, as long as they come to play us in The Cage. THAT is what matters. Forget the UFs, Alabamas and whoever that wants to schdeule us as a money game or as a 2-for-1... those days are done and over with, as they should be. I want at least six home games from 2011 on. Period.

How can you get a big school to come and play you when your stadium can't even hold their fans?

Fermenting - Since when does a visiting team need a whole stadium to play an away game ?

Rutgers? (Big East), Duke?(well...but hey, from the same ACC as um and fsu), Louisville? (Big East), or Texas A& M?.....something like that?.....Those teams..."big" or not in anyone's mind...have already signed a home-home contract with FIU Football....

You really think those are big teams? Those teams are not "big schools" when it comes to football. That's pure delusion if you think so, but proceed. Duke is a big program when it comes to basketball and lacrosse, not football. A&M is obvious, considering their president is a FIU alum. Rutgers is doing it purely for recruiting exposure. See their 5 year old billboard in Miami. Are those guys that are winning their conference championships? So they aren't the typical body bag games, are they? Mind you, those three teams are pretty bad in football, and that includes Rutgers. So you have home and homes with traditional bottom feeders at big conferences...what makes you think you will get, much less deserve, a home and home with big programs? Mind you, I said big programs, not average, not flash in the pan, not coattail riders.

Do you think FSU, Alabama, UF, Miami, and other true big programs are going to sign a home and home? You have to bring something to the table guys. You don't bring any national exposure, you don't bring any recruiting pros, you can't even accommodate all their fans (which will outdraw yours at your own stadium), and they wouldn't make any money.

It would be foolish for any of those to sign a home and home. They automatically become the other team's biggest game, drawing their best effort, and leave with barely enough money to cover their expenses for trip down, give their traveling fans a poor gameday experience, and then either get blasted for coming out sloppy or scheduling a weak OOC SOS. If they do that, they might as well stay at home and profit in the millions. Sunbelt teams are going to be body bag games for true big programs, it's just one of the things that remain constant in College Football.

What is a "big team"?...It's all in the eye of the beholder...but in the big scheme of things, it is irrelevant, as we all know the important thing is to have some teams agree on home-home series. That was the point. Please, read my post, and try to understand what I meant before making assumptions of whether I meant what a "big team" is (I didn't), and also don't fool yourself into believing you are an authority in determining so.

Regardless of who the president of Texas A&M...they are coming to FIU. Period. No need to come up with excuses. Besides, she is no longer the president there, btw.

You found another excuse for why Rutgers is coming to Miami. Does it really matter? No, unless someone wants to deviate from the point of the post. You should've left the excuses out of the discussion, as it's evident that most smart decision makers make their business decisions precisely because there is something to "gain" by doing so. Obviously, FIU and the rest of the teams that have signed the home-home series (Duke, Texas A& M, Louisville, Rutgers, and UCF...so far) believe so.

The point is, if Texas A& M, Rutgers, Duke, and Louisville are not "big" programs in your mind, my mind, or anyone's mind for that matter...is irrelevant....who cares?. The point he was making is he'd rather play the above mentioned teams at home, rather than play a money game like Alabama, Florida, etc. away every year, as this is Pete Garcia's scheduling strategy, from his statements. Hope you understood it this time.

You clearly don't understand the definition of a big program. He DIRECTLY references UF and Alabama. Clearly, A&M, Rutgers, UL, and Duke have never been near UF's program, even before their run in the past 3 years.

See, in your original post you try to deflect from the point. He referenced UF and Alabama. He said those days are done and over with, as they should be. They aren't, since UF and Alabama aren't scheduling home and homes. They might just never do it since FIU is at the mercy of the state and as such is relegated to the back of the line behind the other more traditional and important programs, rendering their financial situation as tedious at best. This is most evident in the ever extending deadline behind the stadium expansion.

By saying it means nothing unless they play here is a direct implication that he expects those programs to sign for 1 and 1.

I don't need to declare myself as an authority of what a big program is, it's self evident. It's an undeniable truth. You try to imply that there is a possibility that those programs can be big by saying "big or not". They clearly aren't, no matter what side of the fence you are on, unless you suffer from delusions.

If you had any bit of objectivity you would know the sole reason Rutgers is coming down is for recruiting. I bet you Greg Schiano and their AD would probably just come out and say it if asked. Scheduling you isn't for the money, national exposure, SOS, or any other reason besides recruiting.

The point is, while it's great that some of you get to see these programs come down, you won't see it for long unless you sign these body bag games. You won't be able to pay the teams to come down to play you. Just looking at attendance, bowl payoff/split, TV deals, and FIU's aforementioned tedious financial position, makes it near impossible. If you can't afford a band, you won't be able to afford paying these schools unless you are robbing Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. The cutting of the many programs in the past year or so would seem to indicate such.

And yes, Texas A&M's president, former FIU alum, is no longer there. She had to resign for doing a horrible job, but do you know when that schedule was made? Under her tenure. You really think she didn't make this happen and forced it upon the AD?

So you see, playing these body bag games is a NECESSITY for you. Every program has their price, you're no different than the other small programs, and this seems to be an extension of Garcia's ego. When the well runs dry you might see him balking at this stance, if he's even around at that point.

Amazing how someone can write so much, basically to say nothing more than agreeing with my point, which was to explain the point of the original poster. Deflecting, changing one topic to the other, thus showing some weird need to feel better....

You obviously can't read past a highschool level if you don't see the thesis behind my post. I guess I'll hold onto that nonexistent need and just revel in the facts behind the truth.

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