UM coach Al Golden threw roses toward Southwest 8th Street Monday, talking up Mario Cristobal and FIU. He likened the situation he turned around at Temple to what Cristobal has dealt with at FIU. Golden said he and Cristobal "talk and text often" and that Cristobal has been nothing but helpful to him. I asked how often they had the opportunity to converse or texted during the season.
"During the season, you hardly get to talk to your own wife," Cristobal joked. "but we do have a tremendous amount of respect for him and the job they did at Temple, certainly the job they've undertaken at Miami."
Cristobal brought up defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio, whom he knows from Rutgers, and said he wished them all well. To the next obvious question -- do you want to see UM and FIU start playing each other again? -- he replied:
"I've been asked that question a lot the last couple of days. It seems every time we take a step forward, people try to distract from what the whole purpose of this season is. It would be great. It's certainily not a major part of the equation. I think any time crosstown universities or in-state universities can play -- with a great example being this weekend with UCF -- you have a chance to really pack of the stadium and fill up the stands with alumni and family. It makes for a great event. Especially with two programs going in directions they weren't going in before.
"I think it would be a great thing."
MOVIN' ON UP, NOT TO THE BIG EAST SIDE...
The football stadium holds 20,000 and, with the north stands, looks like a Division II stadium or an upscale Texas high school stadium. Last week, I saw members of the track team working on the shot put on a grassy area between the soccer field and the arena: sandlot track? I've always liked the arena's look, inside and out. But the capacity is more suited to a fertile family's quinces celebrations than big-time college basketball and FIU draws crowds that fill only a slice of the arena.
Think about the above when somebody starts talking Big East or ACC as FIU's new home once conference realignment settles. There's still too much to be done for FIU to be seriously considered for those groups in the near future.
Someone Tweeted there are 15 football players in her History of the Beatles class. So, for them, I include the song used one afternoon when my daughter asked me to sing her into her nap. Nite-nite...