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Congrats, FIU ... Now what?

So, we all know that FIU is headed to a bowl game.

But which one, you ask?

We'll find out in the next seven days, but if I was a betting man, I'd say put money on New Orleans.

Here's why:

First off, FIU is a great story. The Panthers are a first-time conference champion, playing in a big media market with a flair for the dramatics (see: Hilton, T.Y.).

Furthermore, while FIU fans probably won't pack the Superdome (heck, they couldn't pack FIU Stadium Saturday), with Louisiana-Monroe's elimination from bowl contention, none of the remaining eligible teams -- FIU, Troy and Middle Tennessee -- will bring more than a few thousand to the Big Easy.

One other point. It's the worst-kept secret that the GoDaddy.com has a Bieber-sized crush on Troy, what with the university some 150 miles from Mobile. So a back-room deal might be arranged between the two bowls and the Sun Belt, allowing Troy to slip to GoDaddy and convincing New Orleans to take FIU.

One scenario that looks less and less likely: FIU falling to Detroit's Little Caesars bowl. There's no way I can see the SBC allowing its conference champ -- and as Mario Cristobal called it, the best story in the country -- falling to a terciery bowl, and allowing the bowls with the top two tie-ins to pass it over.

One other point: Bowl invitations are officially announced this coming Sunday, but if New Orleans truly is interested in FIU, we'll probably pick up some serious buzz in the next couple of days. If all is quiet, it might mean NOB still has interest in MTSU, which could make Saturday's regular-season finale the "Escape From Detroit" bowl.

I'll keep you posted.


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