MLK would be proud. Never have so many in Miami under the age of 70 organized and campaigned so hard to head for St. Petersburg.
Between The Beef O'Brady's Bowl being a 3.5 to four-hour drive from most FIU students, the bowl possibly needing a team and FIU needing a bowl, FIU fans have decided upon an aggressive courtship. Sort of like Charlie Dog...
The blitz of the bowl's Facebook fan site https://www.facebook.com/#!/stpetebowl?sk=info and Twitter feed forced acknowledgement from the Beef O' Brady's Bowl folks on both social media spots. On Facebook, the bowl said:
"We love all the support FIU fans, BUT, you've got three hurdles to overcome. USF Football, the Pittsburgh Panthers and UConn Huskies would have to lose this week. While possible, and we are watching closely, the BIG EAST Conference has the spot, UNLESS they don't have a bowl eligible team left for the Beef O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl. Keep up the enthusiasm as it may come down to Saturday afternoon to see who'll be traveling to St. Petersburg, Florida!"
South Florida (5-6, 1-5), which the game would love to have, hosts No. 23 West Virginia (8-3, 4-2) Thursday night. West Virginia needs the win for the Big East title and is coming off a 21-20 win in its yearly Backyard Brawl with Pitt. Speaking of Dan Marino's alma mater, the Panthers host Syracuse at noon Saturday. Both are 5-6, but one of Syracuse's wins was against 1-AA Rhode Island. UConn's 5-6 and likely to get D-Con-ned by 8-3 Cincinnati, which still has a shot at the Big East title.
And who's clinched a share of the Big East championship? Louisville, which FIU spanked up in bourbon country.
What I found interesting in the message was no mention of the Conference USA side of the game. I've written what follows several times in the last two weeks, so feel free to skip it: by my count, C-USA has six commitments to non-BCS bowls and five bowl eligible teams to fill them. That's down to four teams if Houston smokes Southern Mississippi in the conference championship game and goes to a BCS bowl. Perhaps the bowl's figuring on getting a C-USA team how ever things fall this weekend.
While some bowl projections put FIU in the BBVA Compass Bowl, I'm not sure why, if you follow the money, it makes sense to take FIU over Western Kentucky for that empty slot. Unless, that is, Western Kentucky winds up going somewhere else, in which case the Compass Bowl just might phone Camp Mitch with a late date request.