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FIU fans up in arms after latest loss

It's a reflex as old as sport itself: When things aren't going right, someone (most often the coach) is to blame, and heads must roll.

After FIU's lackluster 21-9 loss to Florida Atlantic Saturday, that boiling point was reached for many in the Golden Panther Nation.

Need proof? Look no further than the message boards at FIUGoldenPanthers.com, where as of Monday morning, a 43-post thread had exploded, with calls for Mario Cristobal's job.

These aren't your typical FIU bashers, but true-blue fans who have followed Cristobal's three and a half years on campus closely.

When it comes to these matters, I've always taken the long view. Let's get to the end of the season and reassess. A midseason change accomplishes next to nothing aside from a quick PR boost for the school. And the loss to FAU didn't change a whole lot for the Panthers (as I noted in today's Herald).

But if FIU continues down the road it's been on this year -- 2-5 overall, with losses to Rutgers, Texas A&M and FAU that could (and probably should) have been wins -- the question will at some point have to be asked to FIU President Mark Rosenberg, Athletic Director Pete Garcia and the Board of Trustees.

Before we get too crazy, however, here are a few points to keep in mind:

1. Cristobal is Garcia's guy, and given the deep hole they inherited (NCAA sanctions, 0-12, etc.), my guess is PG wants to give MC every chance to succeed.

2. MC has one more year on his contract, and given his relatively lucrative salary (in the neighborhood of $400K), FIU might not have the money to eat that, and hire someone else -- considering the athletic department's entire operating budget is $20 million this year.

3. The Panthers should be really, really good next year. They're losing just four or five starters, and should have even more depth and talent coming in with another year of full recruitment. And if FIU doesn't get it done (i.e. bowl game, winning record) then, a move would be likely.
   
Combine that with words from a reliable source (granted, which came before last Saturday's loss) that MC wasn't going anywhere, my guess is he'll be back in 2011.

That could all change, of course, if the team completely goes into the tank the rest of the way. Should be interesting to see how they respond Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe.

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We all want what is best for the program. And believe me, we all feel these losses and the disappointment that comes with them. But now is not the time for a rash decision. Let Mario finish out his contract, it might be worth the wait and hopefully (for our own sanity) at this time next season we'll be asking for it to be extended.

O.K. Adam. If you say we're going to be real good next year I'll give MC one more year on your word. But if we blow next year then I want both of you fired...jk :-)

It's good that you guys picked up on this and published it. It feels like us die-hard fans have only minimally held coaches and the AD accountable for this program's historical performance to-date. But the tide is turning. We're tired of the yearly excuses (e.g. new program, we're building, no weight room, missing scholarships, and on and on). Cry me a river. We're not expecting you to take down Alabama, but you can't even beat 1-5 FAU?!? No more excuses. You want fan support, earn it.

Nice write up Adam.

I'm in the "let Mario finish his contract" camp. Firing him at this point accomplishes nothing. Who else can step up at the moment?

Even though we have some great talent, we're still weak at some positions. Our secondary is slow and our linebackers miss too many tackles. That's one explantion as to why we give up so many big plays.

Let Cristobal finish the season and his contract and go from there. We have some great talent coming in and next year is the year where Cristobal will have all his guys.

Get rid of the spread though. I absolutely hate the spread because it really limits what you can do. 3rd or 4th and 1 our of the shotgun? Come one. Line up behind center and sneak it for a 1st down. We have great receivers that would benefit from a pro style offense. Lets get that in.

I'm not sold on Mario or Pete Garcia, its time for change. Both are the highest paid in the conference and what are we as fans getting in return? Excuses..Rosenberg do us a favor end this now!

ahora si !
quien es tu papa?

It is hard to be an FIU fan. Like others I am glad that the Herald is picking up on our frustration. We are too big of a school, in too good of a talent hotbed to be this bad year in and year out. No more excuses, give us W's!

i agree thanks to the Herald for seeing that the big story here us that the mist due-hard FIU fans have HAD IT! no excuses just start beating someone new NT and WKU make up most of Marios wins. let him finish out tge year but he has to deliver this season and next.

I'm one of the diehard true-believers and I'll never jump off the bandwagon, I'm an alum. But you're right OC, I don't need a bowl game win, just something to take into the off season. I was hoping that would be a win over FAU; But now, just something, beat Troy or some other school we never compete against. Win more games than the previous year, blow the doors off of some cellar dweller. Something for us to hang our hats on till next year. Please.

Adam, honor when honor is due as you did a very good job in posting this information, the level of frustration of even the most ardent supporters of FIU Football, plus putting things in an even keel perspective after that debacle in the loss this past Saturday. Agree with your perception and, while not having inside information, I see this post as a true representation of the immediate future of FIU Football. Thanks.

I am frustrated, but I understand that we're not completely ready yet. I know our team should be in its prime next year with the best production at every position taking the field and with most of our starters returning and making something happen.

At the same time, Jesus Christ am I tired of losing. Just tired, tired, tired. I was so hyped for the FAU match up that once it was over, I just really didn't want to deal with anything for the rest of the day. Tired, tired, TIRED of losing.

I have been saying from the start that Mario has until his contract is over to prove that he can build a winner. So it looks like he's going to put it down to the wire.

Must win game this saturday.

Mario Cristobal is a great recruiter, he is a great salesman...he reminds me or Jorgito at Hialeah Car Sales...what I am saying is that he is a used car salesman, not a football coach. You can get all the players you want, but if you coach D-1 football like a high school game you will never win. Let him finish his contract, FIU doesnt have money; but I tell you he has been a great dissapointment when it comes to the X's and O's

Solid post resulting in my first contribution to this thread. Keep it up.

Anthing less than 6 wins would be a complete disaster in my opinion. There is no more room for error. No more excuses now.

Thanks for posting this, seeing how I'm sure the official FIU blog won't.

I'm glad hardcore FIU fans are starting to hold MC and company accountable.

We need to win this Saturday. A loss here will probably snowball into a loss versus Troy.

thank you adam and justin, maybe FIU will read this and act upon it.

mario, great guy...horrible coach.

I agree with the prior posts. Enough is enough! We don't need a used car salesman as a football coach, always promising this and that...and never delivering! Winning is winning and clearly MC hasn't been able to deliver no matter how great he spins things or says his latest recruits are!

Keep in mind he's employed thanks to Pete Garcia, the same guy that ran the Browns into the ground! I realize we probably don't have the $$ to buy out MC's contract, but something needs to be done and fast!

Most coaches in the NCAA would be lucky the have all the chances/years that MC has had. I'm tired of losing!! Let's get a real coach...fire MC!

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