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Vegans Begone! It's Beef O'Brady's Bowl for FIU

The only team in town that's going bowling this season will do so across the state on Dec. 20.

As expected after Cincinnati withstood a furious comeback attempt by Connecticut for a 35-27 win Saturday, thus keeping UConn from being bowl eligible, the Beef O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl extended FIU an invitation that the school accepted. The opponent hasn't been determined, although it'll likely be Pitt if it comes from the Big East.

A second consecutive bowl trip, the second in the program's seven Division I seasons, follows the school's first eight-win season and a season in which the Panthers recorded their first win against a school from a conference with an automatic BCS bowl bid.

"These last couple of seasons have been a historic run for us and hte opporutnity to continue to play into December," FIU head coach Mario Cristobal said, "in our home state, in a bowl game of the caliber of the BEef O'Brady's Bowl is an honor and privilege."

Cristobal expressed happiness at being able to go into a recruit's home Saturday night and immediately talk about FIU accepting another bowl bid. He also mentioned how nice a sendoff it would be for the program's seniors, many of whom came to FIU after a 1-11 2007 season.

FIU athletic director Pete Garcia said though the invitation came around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, they had been talking with the Beef 'O Brady's Bowl people for two months and said the bowl was always FIU's first choice.

Though the Sun Belt Conference's tie-ins are the New Orleans Bowl and Mobile, Alabama's GoDaddy.com Bowl, it's obvious why FIU would prefer this game over the other two: a three and a half hour drive for most FIU students on holiday break, a game that allows everyone to be home for Christmas and New Year's and an ESPN-connected game getting "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" hype.

Garcia said he expects FIU to sell out its allottment of around 5,000 tickets easily (ticket offices are already open or phone at 305-348-4263) and hopes to take 8,000 to 10,000 fans over for the mid-week game.

The dominoes that had to fall for this to happen began Thursday with West Virginia winning a wild game with South Florida 30-27 on a walk-off field goal. That kept South Florida from being bowl eligible. UConn's lost took it out of contention. That created a hole on both sides, Conference USA and the Big East.

Before Thursday, it was entirely possible FIU could get shut out of the bowls, despite an 8-4 record and win over Big East co-champion Louisville.

"There are so many moving parts," Garcia said. "To say things were changing by the day is an understatement. They were changing by the hour."


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Comments

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As of 4:45pm it looks like we might be heading to the BOB Bowl.. I think we should get a final answer by tonight or at the latest by Sunday Brunch.. From what I understand the only game that mattered to the BOB people was the UConn game (which did go FIU's way). The other two games did NOT go FIU's way but we will see.

Right now its looking like:
FIU Vs. Marshall

or

FIU Vs. Pitt

But I will not get my hopes up until Pete or someone with more info (like FIU Athletics) makes it official..

Go Golden Panthers!

Gooch7:
also in the mix is a possible FIU vs SMU match up. Doesn't matter much to me, as long as the panthers are on one side of the ball.

This needs to be front page material WTF !!!! Sorry media covergae for the 13th largest school in the nation. What a joke.

Incredible!!!!! can't wait for Dec 20th

GO PANTHERS!!! We're all off to St. Pete, I'm bringing my entire class!

I told u all this morning X-gift to FIU from the gods. Make OBabalawo proud and win! Finish the Stadium & OBabalawo will bless thee school more!

Quote OBabalawo Nevermore!

Great Job!!! Lets go make it 9-4!! Good Luck!

I can not think of a team and a Senior class more deserving then our FIU Panthers.

Go Blue and Gold!!!!!

Miami Herald control by the hating University of Coral Gables, I mean University of Miami... Realize that the only Bowl the U will be going to is the Toilet Bowl!! FIU on the rise! The U going backwards! CAn't stop this Miami Herald!!! Any other non bias newspaper, this would be on the front of the sports page!

Maybe they are waiting for the opponent to be announced.

Good job by DJN, but it is really ridiculous that after 4 hours of being announced, not evena small headline with a story...other than this blog...on the ONLY Florida school south of Gainesville going Bowling. I mean, more coverage of the offer by FAU to their new incoming coach.

Sorry, but it is ridiculous....

Oh well. So very happy FIU is going bowling, so......

Stop the grassy knoll stuff, folks.

I'm down to cover this as well as do our overall bowl stuff tonight. I made the original version of this blog post from a birthday party as soon as the UConn game ended, then updated it after I got confirmation FIU was going to the Beef O'Brady's Bowl, then again after the press conference. Then, I drove home to work on the overall FIU/Orange Bowl/BCS story.

I didn't put up a short story version of this because, frankly, it wouldn't be much better than the blog post and I thought they'd been teasing off the front page of the overall website and the front of the sports page to the blog since the first post.

I just cranked out an early version of the story that'll appear tomorrow and told them to hustle it up on the website. If you want to blame anybody for there not being a story version up already, blame me. It was my decision whether or not to crank out a short, traditional story version in addition to the blog post and, with all the other stuff I'm doing tonight, I chose not. If you disagree with that decision, I'm sorry. Maybe it was the wrong one.

Back to figuring out who'll be in the Pointsetta Bowl...

It almost seems like the Herald is not in the business of breaking news. I am trying to withhold judgement until the AM, but my initial take on this is that there are two possibilities: sorry reporting or sorry integrity. So far, DJN has been neither but there really ought to be some reaction from MH.com besides a blog post when you consider this story is nearly 6 hours old.

I really try to not be too critical and to not over think this stuff, but it seems like a number of people are a little surprised at the lack of an actual presence of this breaking news on the sports page.

I think the general feeling is that somehow a 1-11 team hiring a new coach is bigger than the local, public university's young, developing football program has made it to a bowl game for the second year in a row after setting school records for wins in a season and T.Y. Hilton playing one more game for his hometown team before he moves to Sundays.

I guess what I'm saying is, as the fanbase of the sports program of a local, public university, we would appreciate a little more exposure from our local, community supported newspaper. Especially around big events such as this.

I remember as if it were a meal ago when the Garret Wittels story ran right after our bowl win last year. I'm not saying that was a conspiracy, but some people did suggest that the MH sat on that story for a little while. It would probably pay to not sit on this story considering some of the reaction that's happened already.

It is us against the world, just keep fighting and focus on building our program. We are building a winning tradition, 2 straight years of bowl games.

DJN, although I appreciate u taking the tme to explain it. I expect to see a story of this on tomorrow's website & on Sunday's print. Thank you for your work! FIU fans get ready for the Beef O Brady Bowl!!!!! TAMPA., St. Petersburg!!!!!

theblacsheep sounds jealous. I understand the U is playing in a more dominant Bowl this year. It is called the Toilet Bowl, and they have downspiraled to get there. How does it feel, knowing u will be flushed down the toilet? FIU is Miami's real University. In only 6 years of divsion play, they are on there way to a second consecutive bowl. They loss 3 games by a combined 10 points. The game against Sun Belt champ Arkansas State was close until the end. They got to a Bowl, by facing injuries to two of their best and most important players. Quarterback Wes Caroll and T.Y. Hilton. Furthermore, if u saw the game against Duke it was unbelievable how much the refs cheated. I guess thedy couldn't take a "Sun Belt" team from beating 2 BCS conference opponents. FIU best UCF, which dominated BC. I recall the U losing to BC. Also, barely getting by a 1-5 conference USF team, 6-3 score. REally? Struggling with Bethune-Cookman for the first half?? The U is old news buddy. Get use to it. FIU is relevant, heading to their 2nd Bowl in a row!!

How is the news that FIU is going to a bowl game NOT on the front page of the Herald?! This is huge news! Come on Herald!

DJN,

I hope you don't take my post as an attack. Reading back on it, I could see how you might. There was a lot of negative reaction to the perceived lack of attention from the Herald some people (myself included) and I was trying to explain it (poorly, I think). Anyway, life goes on...

6 hours...not even an AP story that was out there in many newspapers around the nation. I'm not blaming DJN at all, but if he has to take the blame for his paper practically ignoring FIU's bowl invitation and acceptance, then so be it. But I mantain my thoughts on this, and very respectully share my point of view. The Point put it very well out there as well.

Ok, back to celebrating. BTW, Neal's opinion column was, once again, very good.

Very dissapointed with Herald's response - and if this is DJN's fault, then very disappointed with DJN.

I GUARANTEE YOU that if UM announced a press conference to say what bowl they were going to, it would have been front sports page news! Instead we have some high school report from yesterday on there, followed by a Dolphins "plenty to play for" story ......

Ridiculous.

You guys are ridiculous.

dude you all need to Freaking chill.. so it wasn't on the front page at night... its there this morning. get this entitled attitude out of of your systems...

FIU on the Rise - you know what really sounds jealous? bringing up some nutjob from four blogs ago just so you can talk about the University of Miami instead of your own team which just got an invitation to one of the country's most prestigious bowls by virtue of every real team being ineligible.

FIU beat UCF who beat Memphis who beat Tulane who beat Alabama-Birmingham who beat Southern Miss who beat Navy who beat Delaware who beat Richmond who beat Duke who beat UVA who beat MIAMI!!!!

Y'all know FIU and UM had a common opponent, right?

theblacsheep,
most likely you are a "U hater" so while your team is sitting at home, we will be on the road to St. Pete to try to win two bowl games in a row. The "U", which has had a football team since 1926, has 5 national championships. Congratulations, but this (FIU) is an up and coming program and for you to bash FIU, which is a program that is not even 10 years old, is pitiful on your part. You have no class like most of your fellow classmates/alumni at UM. So please refrain yourself from commenting on a historic event for the best program in Miami today.

In Dukes first 10 years of football (5 w/o a Coach) they had 7 winning seasons. Your pathetic fIwho Pansies has only 2 winning seasons in your first 10!
...and EVERYONE knows the football dynasty that The Blue Devils have become, right?... smh

Good luck in Brady's Penis Bowl in Dicksburg against your usual Girl Scout Troop!

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