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FIU signs No. 1-rated Baseball Players in U.S. & Canada

Machado Yes, it is Shula Bowl VIII week, but let's take a little timeout here to acknowledge the work FIU baseball coach Turtle Thomas and his staff did with the latest FIU baseball signing class.

Who does FIU baseball think it is signing the No. 1-rated position player in the U.S. and the No. 1-rated position player in Canada?.........The New York Yankees?

Brito High shortstop Manny Machado (left) -- rated the No. 1 position player in the nation by Baseball America --signed with FIU. Here on the left is Machado hitting in a game at FIU's University Park Stadium.

Canadian Junior National team catcher Kellin Deglan (right) -- rated the No. 1 player in Canada -- also signed with FIU. In the photo on the right, Deglan is hitting in the Blue Jays home park -- Rogers Centre, formerly Skydome.

Machado led the U.S. National team in hitting this summer as the Americans won a gold medal.

Both players are expected to be highly drafted in next June's Major League Baseball Amateur Draft andDeglan may never set foot on FIU, but you never know. Machado is represented by Scott Boras, who has been known to play hardball with MLB clubs before so maybe MM decides to end up at FIU.

For details on the rest of FIU's 2011 signing class click here: newest FIU Baseball players

SHULA BOWL VIII COACHES DINNER

No, Howard Schnellenberger and MC did not wrestle or wring each others ties to see who would kickoff on Saturday. Instead, there was a lot of mutual admiration for both your Panthers and the Boca Raton Hooters by both coaches on Monday night at the Stadium Club at FIU Stadium.

HS said he was "sweating bullets" on the sideline during last year's Shula Bowl, because FIU was on the verge of knocking the Hooters out of bowl contention. Of course, you know what happened toward the end of the game as the Hooters erased two FIU 14-point leads and came back to win 57-50 in OT.

Sbowl Although the Hooters lead the Shula Bowl series 6-1, four of the seven games have been decided by 10 points or less. Saturday should be no different according to HS:

"I just know it's going to be a competitive game. It's going to go down to the wire and the team that comes out of it with a win will gain a great deal of momentum into the off-season.''

For FIU, a win would give the Panthers their best Sun Belt Conference record ever (4-4) since FIU joined the conference in 2005. It also would leave FIU one game shy of last season's 5-7 record, which considering how this season started, it would not be the worst thing on Earth and at the same time provide some momentum into recruiting as we are T-minus 64 days and counting until Feb. 3.

MC thinks the Shula Bowl series has the potential to develop into one of college football's best rivalries:

"If you watched college football this past weekend you see Alabama and Auburn going at it. You see Florida State and Florida, and Clemson and South Carolina. You look at places that are jam packed with enthusiasm and excitement and it didn't start that way, but it has become that and that's what is going on right here. Two special programs that are building and building is special, because it allows you to put your thumbprint on it.''

Sure, the Hooters are the Panthers rival, especially since the team across town doesn't man up and play FIU. Yeah, I know we'll get the blog hits on this one.

Logo PANTHER PAWSE

Aaapaw Check out on Wednesday at the Miami Herald's FIU page a story on retiring FIU media relations guru Rich Kelch written by MH intern Michael Zeff.

Aaapaw LIVE GPP BLOG of Shula Bowl VIII begins at 6:45 p.m. from FIU Stadium on Saturday night.

Aaapaw Will have Hooters beat writer Ted Hutton on here later this week with his take on the Shula Bowl. Here's what TH has been up to for Shula Bowl week: Ted's World .Dazz

BTW, as you will see on TH's blog, the Golden Dazzlers leave the FAU dance team in the dust. In case you need a reminder here you go.........

Aaapaw For now, let's get your thoughts on what is most important about an FIU win in the Shula Bowl....

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The day I get excited about an fau game will be: (a) the day FIU is going for the SBC Championship or a Bowl Berth
(b) the day FIU football has fallen to the point where we have no hope of ever being anything more than a mid level team in a horrible conference.
Other than that, my fellow Golden Panther fans will prove that this game is no different from any other SBC game by having 8-10K in attendance. Go F I U!

I couldn't agree more, FIUPantherFan.

FIU Panther Fan. I could not agree with you more. The University of Miami has just scheduled USF for the next 5 years in hopes to create a South Florida rivalry game. I understand that there are many hurdles shceduling the University of Miami in football but that it is a true rivalry game that will eventually be the true rivalry game of Florida. Also, after Zeeks and Turtles 2010 recruiting class, I'm interested to see Mario's 1st 5 star recruit!

Question - How does Manny Machado have an agent as cited in your blog - yet is still eligible to play college sports? I thought the hiring of an agent excluded you from playing in college.

I do agree with your story though. Even though these are great recruits - who cares, neither will ever play a day at FIU.

This game couldn't be scheduled at a worst time. With this week's Art Basel (the largest art show in the country and second largest in the world) it really sucks that this game is at 7pm with all the events going on in Miami Beach and Downtown/Midtown. Although I am well aware that most football fans in general could care less about it, there are a few educated and enlightened individuals that are looking forward to this art event. If this game were at 3:30pm instead, it might actually attract some of the older alumni that actually have lives on a Saturday nights and in particular this Saturday evening. I have had to cancel numerous social gathering to attend some of the night games and vice versa when it came down to the North Texas game. I personally know people that wouldn't mind coming with me to a game if it wasn't for the 7pm kickoff time.

What's everyones take on this?

UM is scared to play FIU, period.

As far as the poll, I'd really like to see the GP's win this one against the owls. We need to even out the series and bring back the trophy to its rightful place!

And wow, the Dazzlers are really cute! Thanks Pete for the eye candy.

CC...

Blog doesn't say anything about Boras being his "agent." High school kids now-a-days have representatives, which in this case is what Boras is doing for Machado as state Machado, who is represented by Scott Boras.

Two different things even though everyone knows that Boras is an "agent" when he deals with the highly touted kids, he represents them until they sign their pro deal.

PP...nice job with the lovely Dazzlers photo...i can't wait to see Hutton's rebuttal.

RLFIUMBA11: ... doesnt that art festival go on for 4 days? i thought i heard that and if i am correct your "inlightened" self can go one of the other days.. as for the night life of Miami being ruined.. you do realize that the night life in miami doesnt start till about 11pm right? this isnt boca,ft. myers, or the rest of college towns across the nation where the bars close at 1... this is miami. granted i do not know your age so maybe you wouldnt want to be out that late.. im just stating that in my opinion a game that ends by around 9:30/10 doesnt hinder a night life...

as for everyone that still calling UM out for not wanting to play us... please just stop.. its over.. they do not want to play us.. look at it this way.. the 2 teams in florida that do not want to play us now have each other in what i will begin to call the "i hate FIU bowl" ...

I won't attend a 7:00 pm game. Has an Alumni survey been done to determine when the most Alumni will attend? By the time the game is over and I get home (North) It is after midnight.

Perhaps Pete can ask Pete why the games are scheduled at 7:00 pm.

Mike, I think its because that's a time when the temperature is most comfortable. Noon or 3.00pm games are real broilers.

roary says more dazzler photos....

I think we are coming up with excuses about the night life and everything. Last year the Shula Bowl was scheduled during thanksgiving weekend and the attendance was 16K. Let's all have a good time, make this a big rivalry. This benefits both programs. If you wanna go out later, you still have plenty of time because the game ends by 10:00pm.
Screw UM!
GO OWLS.

Mike, a survey has been done and most people did not like the early starts to the games. Most like the 6:00 or 7:00 start as it gives them most of the day to do other things and the students can just keep the party going after the game ends. It's also ~10 degrees cooler and no sun beating down on you.

7pm games are PERFECT! Remember the Halloween game at Noon. Talk about dehydration, and yes i was drinking more then just beer. I hope they NEVER change it from 7pm. One of the few things they got right from the beginning.

As for the Art show.. Sorry there is probably 4 people in the enire FIU fan base that are in real debate between the art show and a college football game.. BTW the schedule was done 3 years ago, so the real screw ups are the Art show people..

As for the game... I think it should be another great game. Its funny how both teams can be having pathetic seasons, but they step up and play their best game of the year against each other. True college football!

Pete..How did FIU do in Baseball recruiting compared the the rest of the conference??
Do we have ANOTHER Top 25 recruiting class?

Go FIU!!

Regarding Starting Time, The players answered in an interview they prefer the afternoon starting time. For years the Dolphins have used the 1:00 pm starting time as a home field advantage. I think the higher temperature is a real advantage for us.

It is pretty sad that we can't fill a 20,000 seat stadium. Something must be wrong. Is it marketing, a coaches show, advertising, reaching out to the community? Whatever the problem, it needs to be fixed.

FIUFan you said a survey was done. Who was asked, students, people who live in South Miami, the alumni, or the people at the games? If we are looking for 40,000 people to fill our stadium then the time will have to be changed.

I disagree Mike, the time needs to stay the same. Look at what happened on halloween, the game was emptier than any other this year.

I also think the 6 or 7 pm time slot is the best. BTW, the survey was done for most every fan, including alumni and season ticket holders. My friend comes from West Palm Beach for every game, makes it a point to 'reserve' every home Saturday game, and drive back to WPB. Granted, he gets there after midnight as well....

Maybe a 6 pm start (the first 2 years I believe had this kickoff time) would be a bit better for people coming from 2-3 counties away.

Ahh....don't believe there have ever really been 16k for ANY of the Shula Bowls, announced crowd notwithstanding.....example...FAU announced over 16k for their last game, and according to people, if they had 4,000-5,000 people out there was too much.

Stop crying about the time and get your Artsy Fartsy butt in that stadium.

BTW, pretty amazing Turtle can actually recruit these guys who are considered USA's #1 ranked position player, and Canada's top catcher as well. I don't expect to see any of them two to wear FIU's jersey, but just the fact they are beginning to sign with us bodes well for future recruiting!!

And bring the rest of your artsy fartsy friends...let's pack that house!!

It should be a fun game.....both FIU and FAU fans in a nice atmosphere.....let's pack the Cage!

Stop crying about the time and get your Artsy Fartsy butt in that stadium.

Posted by: FIURage

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If We want someone to spend their discretionary income on our events we must (1) advertise (2) make it convenient. It isn't convenient for me to get home after midnight. If our attendance is 10K that I would guess most of the attendees live fairly close to FIU. Most, not all.

If the attendance was lower on halloween, my guess is that people didn't know of the time change.

Make it convenient to attend games.

Everyone knows college football = night games on Thursday or Saturday.

No need to change that. Tailgate in the cooler afternoon, walk to the stadium.

Does anyone know if FAU is having free shuttles to the stadium? I would love to see that stadium full, even if half of it is a bunch of hooters.

It should be a big turn out, it's going to be a cold one too. Low of 48 I believe. If you haven't made it out to an FIU game, you've got to come this Saturday.

You coming CrazyCane?

I posted in the last blog but i think it was right before the new post.

Does anyone know if kegs are allowed in the tailgate lots? Or more importantly, are kegs specifically banned? I'm going with a pretty big group and plan to do some serious flippity cup, beer pong and funneling. A keg is definite plus.

This pick doesn't matter either way really, but the perfect record would be nice. Considering no bye for one team and the disappointing showing against Western Kentucky, I'll pick the Panthers in this one.

FIU - 37

FAU - 33

Hey thats all I was waiting for.. Fomenter actually picked FIU.. He has been perfect all season so now I feel a lot better about the game!

I also think its going to be a close win for the Golden Panthers. Defense better come and play cause the hooters can score. As for the crowed, it should be just as big as opening day (about 15K). I don't think we will get the 20K that everyone hopes for!!

Go FIU!

I hope the students show up in masse for this game. Not much talk on these internet message boards about the game. Anyone from campus have any news as to how it's being advertised?..if at all?

I don't expect to have more than 12,000-14,000 on hand there.

I Agree 7pm is the best time, it's cooler then !!! GO Golden Panthers!!! I will be there cheering on #86 Harris "Pooh the Bear Harris" !!!

Gotta love our dazzlers!

FIU - 41

FAU - 34


GO PANTHERS!!!

I gotta say no one wants to go to a noon kick-off in Miami in September/October, heck even November. The Dolphins have the advantage of having an insanely huge fanbase that will show up rain or shine, no matter what the temperature is. A couple weeks back when they played here in Charlotte, I saw probably 50-100 Dolphins fans randomly wherever I went that day. And I live 15 miles from downtown in a suburb.

Needless to say, yes, the 7 PM kickoff is a disadvantage for some (like I wouldn't be able to take my 2-month-old), but it's the best time for the majority of people. Sure, we would have an advantage over some opponents by having a noon kickoff, but I don't see many fans showing up at noon in Miami, especially when it's 85 degrees and climbing. Let alone the fact that the younger crowd is up until 2-4 AM (or even later) on Friday nights.

Score: FIU 36 FAU 34

no kegs allowed but you can always hide it in between 2 open car doors so they cant see it. thats what we did last game!!

With regard to alcohol:

YOU MUST BE 21 Years of age to consume alcohol within the designated student tailgate lot 6 just east of the stadium.

My recommendation is to bring beer in coolers, funnels I've seen, ICE LUGEs etc....I don't think kegs will be permitted ?

Call FIU Public Safety and ask.

Hopefully both Machado and Deglan suit up for FIU. Turtle is a great recruiter, one of his strengths when he was at LSU, and over the next couple of years should put together a real top notch team.

ok let me make my prediction now... i think the fact that FAU just escaped against WKU is to our favor.. the fact that we had a week off.. is to our favor.. the fact that they are just as bad as us... to our favor.. FIU wins.. shoot out style.. 45-38

just an aside.. Pete you really pissed Ted off lol he took a few shots at you and a few shots at our Lovely Golden Dazzlers.. saying that they will always been second best Dance Team in the Belt.. appearantly he has some beer goggles on cause he posted a picture of both the Dazzlers and the dirty Hooters... ya.. even their loyal fan base disagrees w/ him

Fanatic, I have seen flyers up around campus. I was impressed. They actually flyers up on classroom doors. When I got to class last night, there was one on our class door.

By the way, I hate day games just for the heat. If it was cooler down here, I don't think people would have a problem. So, my vote goes for 7pm starts! :)

Let's bring a friend with all of you and have as many FIU'ers as possible down at The Cage!!!

They have been posting flyers?

That's great!

I was thinking a big banner might be good, but I feel that individual flyers on class doors are harder to ignore and gets the word out much more (seems you can put flyers everwhere, but the banner sits in one place)

I saw a whole bunch more flyers up at PC! :)

FIU Beats UM in volleyball!! Congrats Ladies for such an EXCEPTIONAL year!

Men's hoops win on the road tonight @ Florida A&M. Congrats gentlemen & Coach Thomas on the first road victory this season!

Now, LETS BRING THE SHULA TROPHY HOME AGAIN!!!

GO FIU!!!

You got it right, Ultimate! Let's do it FIU!

say it again Ultimate!

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