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Football Gameday XII, Men's Hoop Home Opener

Things have been quiet in this corner of The Herald blog world the last few days. I had some Dolphins duty Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday, though I wasn't assigned to it, I would've gone by FIU's football practice if it didn't occur the same time as Grandparents Day Thanksgivng Assembly at my daughter's school. I don't miss assemblies -- period. And I don't go to Thanksgiving practices unless ordered to do so. My job on Thanksgiving around our house used to be to start and maintain the mimosa flow as the wife cooked turkey, two kinds of stuffing, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes . Since my daughter's arrival, I occupy her on Thanksgiving when she isn't helping the wife and start the mimosa flow a little later in the day.

And the only "Black Friday" I deal with is on the Steely Dan album Aja. I don't think of the day after Thanksgiving as "Black Friday" unless it's short for lay-my-Black-butt-on-the-couch-and-watch-football-and-eat-leftovers Friday.

So, FIU vs. Middle Tennessee State. You really want in-depth analysis of a season closer against a 2-8 team that's probably pulled the chute like Don Garlits crossing the line? Brotha, please. FIU wins 38-14.

But that's just one black man's opinion. I could be wrong.

What you really want to know about, if you want o know about anything, is the bowl sitation. I'm not going through all the permutations. It's late, I'm tired and it's the kind of thing that makes even my eyes glaze over. Reader's Digest form: FIU needs as few bowl eligible teams as possible elsewhere, particularly in the SEC, Conference USA and the Big East. So, FIU fans if you see a team with five wins playing a team that already has six wins or no shot at six wins, root for Team B.

Also, FIU needs to hope selectors look at the pluses.

Plus: FIU should have a nice 8-4 record. Plus: FIU's a fun team to watch -- touchdowns from way back there, on any kind of play, games with drama. They'll give you the kind of show The Holiday Bowl used to every year (in fact, last year's Pizza Bowl seemed an offspring of the Holiday Bowl during my teens). Minus: FIU will be fourth in the Sun Belt behind another bowl eligible team, Western Kentucky. Big Minus: FIU doesn't travel better than anybody. Nobody with six brain cells really blames FIU for this. The rest of the country gets it when they bother to think about it -- the school draws the vast majority of its students from an area much of the country wishes they could get to, not leave, in December or January.

I'll let you know if there are any bowl scouts gladhanding around the press box Saturday.

Oh, last week, Louisiana-Monroe's Kolton Browning running or throwing on almost every second half play reminded me of two strips from Bull Tales, the college predecessor of long-running comic strip Doonesbury. In trying to get this out as soon as possible with flights, connections and breakfast, I forgot to track them down to include here. Click on the link, http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/archive/yale and go to strips Nos. 4 and 5. The quarterback, B.D., was a takeoff on Yale quarterback Brian Dowling, who had his fellow Yalies so giddy in 1968, one student said, "The thing on most campuses is saying, 'God is dead.' We think he's wearing No. 10." The player with the comeback in No. 4 is a takeoff on running back Calvin Hill, who would go on to produce a fine NFL career and basketball star Grant Hill.


A "chanticleer" is, basically, a chicken. A tough chicken that's the Alpha Chicken of the yard.

That's Coastal Carolina's nickname. Tonight, the Panthers try to keep control of their yard for the first time this season. Coastal's already beaten quality programs Clemson and Maryland on their way to a 5-0 record. FIU (1-3) needs a good result, something positive before young spirits sink despite older folks best efforts. 


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