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To quote The Marx Brothers and Phil Collins....

"Hello, I must be going."

 

This is my first post since last week because I've been doing that Hanukkah/Christmas thing with the family as well as being stuck in Dolphinland up in Davie. The latter is where I'll be spending this week, back around Camp Mitch more next week (I hope).

But, as for this week...

A) Despite the doubts of a lucid commenter on a previous post, I still trust my sources close to Mario Cristobal who say progress is still being made on an extension. I'm curious to see if the school pusts a little more financial bass in the escape clause.

B) The women's baskteball team's Sun & Fun holiday break tournament offers two chances during the holidays to see sophomore guard Jerica Coley. FIU opens against Albany Thursday night and faces either Charlotte or Auburn Friday.

C) Men's ball heads to the last place in the Sun Belt anyone wants to go when they're having basketball trouble, Middle Tennessee State. This team that's been on the road for all but three games so far plays one half like they just listened to "We're An American Band" and another as if they just listened to "Turn The Page" with little pattern.

 

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Money to the tank!

I thought Mario already signed a new contract/extension over the summer?

Modification to contract... increase to MC and increase buy out should another school come calling.

Coach Cristobal is asking for a couple things to change in our Athletic Dept, as well as a longer extension then the one he received over the summer. I strongly feel he wants to stick our and find a way to get FIU among the Top 25 in less then 5 years. People need to understand that he just said NO to $2m.. How many of us would be able to say "No" to even half of that (not me)..

The things his asking for are ALL very reasonable and some of the things will not only benefit the football team but the entire Athletic Dept. At no point is Cristobal asking FIU to match the $2m (he knows what the answer will be).. Will FIU find a way to screw it up (possibly)? MC is the BEST recruiter and a pretty damn good coach as well. I just wished the "playbook" would CHANGE in the offensive side!

Go Golden Panthers!

so true..chiapanther and Gooch7....

Mario didn't say no to two million. He didn't get the job, Pitt didn't want him. He interviewed because he wanted the job but he didn't get it..

He is not a great coach, he is all what we can afford..

Really glad that MC decided to stay. The defense this year was great. The offense (or really just the QB play) was inconsistent but showed flashes of (what I thought was) great potential.

You really have to hand it to Mario for focusing on recruiting great athletes. You could see where athleticism (on offense and defense) made up for a very predictable, mostly boring offense that couldn't move the ball consistently against any defense that was halfway decent.

On another note, the defense appeared to be very well conditioned. They looked stout through A LOT of 3 and outs against Marshall (Can we credit the coach for the off season conditioning? Or is that the players?). Too bad WC didn't connect with WT on the one pass he threw down field during the entire game.

Blue&GoldHeart,

When did Pitt call you to let you know they didn't want him? OR was it either side's agent that called you? Or maybe you had a power lunch with Pitt's AD who gave it to you straight.

Man, you're well connected (sarcasm).

Are you sure your heart's blue and gold?

gpantera,

I don't understand why saying that MC is a mediocre coach and that is all we can afford with our budget makes me less of a FIU fan than you or anybody else.. Last time I check we are still 4th in the worst conference in FBS..

Is funny how the MC watchdogs try to turn any criticism of his coaching as an attack to FIU.

Blue & Gold:

Don't you ever get tired of repeating the same thing over and over? Ok so MC isn't the best coach. But who's better in our price range that is willing to stay and is a great recruiter? Can't you admit that the guy has turned this program around? Are you that negative and full of hatred for this guy? Seriously try optimism for once. Your glass isn't half full, it's completely broken!

Blue & Gold-

What a coinsidence that Pitt waited until the day after the Beef o Brady Bowl to name their Head Coach.

You are probably right they were not waiting on Mario's decision.

Blue & Gold,

Nice try, but like we tell school children, let's focus.

You wrote: "Pitt didn't want him."

Prove it. Cite your source. How do you know?

Now let's stick to that one quote. Don't distract by throwing in other related arguments.

If you can't prove it, then it exposes you as either a lier and/or a rabble-rouser and/or a misguided fan prone to non-fact based hyperbole. Which is it?

Blue & Gold,

Last you checked:

- FIU was 0-12 when MC took over the program
- FIU just completed back-to-back winning seasons resulting in back-to-back bowl appearances.

These facts are not subject to dispute.

If that's mediocre, you may wanna revisit your criteria.

gpantera, what are you talking about, they hired someone else...

They were interested in Cristobal but at the end of the day he wasn't their first choice, as evidenced by the fact that they chose someone else (if you believe that he turned down a two million a year job at an ACC school then you need to have your head examined).

And two 'winning' seasons in the Sunbelt and two garbage bowls, those aren't mediocre results.

FIU is young and these last two seasons were big improvements for them but honestly you're the one that needs to revisit the criteria for mediocre because FIU isn't there.

UM has been mediocre. UF and FSU are mediocre. USF is close to mediocre. FIU is a bad team that's greatly improved from being atrocious just a few years ago - they'll get there soon enough if they pay Mario Cristobal enough money to stay.

I disagree with Real Talk and totally agree with gpantera.. Unless someone has hard core proof that Pitt simply said "No" to M.C then don't post it. I think MC is the RIGHT guy for the job at FIU for many reason's.
1) Best recruiter in the STATE (other schools will recruit better athletes but they also have way better situations).

2) You can't put a price on his high emotion he always shows (great for the players to know your coach is 100% into the game and not a dead beat).

3) His a Miami boy and will always be a Miami Boy because he loves this city.

4) Money aside, the only other job that would be better then the FIU job would be to go back to UM as the Head Coach (simply because that is where he played). Im not hating that at all and totally respect it.

5) He took a team of 0-12 (with half the Scholarships missing) and made it into a Bowl winning team in a very short time.

And all this is coming from someone that thinks the O-Cord should be canned. His one of the problems we have with our very talented yet non productive offense. So is Cristobal going into the Hall of Fame any time soon? Probably not but his a damn good coach and a better recruiter..

Go FIU!

Ñññooo! These arguments are schizo, disorganized and incoherent.

I may be asking for the impossible, but let’s try to stay on task and examine one component at a time.

ISSUE 1 – GOLD&BLUE

My issue with Gold&Blue’s statements is his declaration that “Pitt did not want him.” If that’s an opinion, than that statement needs to be retracted and restated, “It is my opinion that Pitt did not want him.” The original statement could only be accepted as fact IF Gold&Blue has direct access and knowledge from the involved parties. To date, he has not provided said evidence.

ISSUE 2 – MEDIOCRE?

Regarding our disagreement regarding the definition of “mediocre” please allow me to explain. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word as, “of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance.”
Real Talk, you call all these other Florida college football teams as “mediocre” yet FIU, at 8-5, as “a bad team.” Real Talk, you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. When measured against FIU’s not-so-distant past, FIU is on fire (From 0-12 to 8-5 in a few short years). When measured against other teams in Florida, FIU has the second best record in the state, which is well above mediocre. According to Real Talk, “FIU is bad.” With all due respect, Real Talk, Imma go with the text book definition.

Listen, Real Talk, neither you nor Blue&Gold are gonna get me out of the holiday spirit. If you guys are FIU Fans, who needs enemies? I guess unless we’re playing for the Sears Trophy next season, you’ll maintain FIU is bad and Blue&Gold will argue they are mediocre. Either way, you’re both a tough crowd. As for me, I’m gonna enjoy the rapid growth of this program and be grateful for a Panther Program on The Rise.

Happy holidays to you both.

P.S.

Gooch7, thanks for chiming in with some sense. Happy holidays.

Where's your hard core proof that Cristobal took a million and a half per year salary cut to stay at FIU Gooch? If none of us are allowed to say anything without proof and we're not allowed to use common sense to suggest what most likely happened then I guess this one will have to remain a mystery forever.

And come on, gpantera, do I really need to explain to you why FIU's 8-5 record doesn't put them on the same level as teams with less wins in the ACC or SEC?

Don't mention anything to Gooch since this is speculation based off the Post Gazette's coverage but it sounds like Cristobal started negotiating with FIU for a raise and other improvements for the program and Pitt decided they couldn't wait on him to make up his mind.

The important thing now is that FIU doesn't think that it somehow has the upper hand. They need to pay Cristobal because until he gets a raise to at least a million dollars a year he's going to be a lame duck coach whose name will be floated around most head coach openings.

gpantera,

Nobody walks away from one and a half million bucks. More when that money represents 3 times the money that you are already making.. If you really believe that he left the money on the table to stay at FIU, you are out of your mind. If he interviewed for the job is because he was interested and he didn't get the job.

FIU is 4th in the Belt, same thing than in 2005 (look it up)..

FIU this year beat 5 Sunbelt teams with a record of 8-52 including victories against each other.

In our 8 wins FIU only beat one team with winning record, Louisville that a the beginning of the season didn't have a QB and were struggling. Again FIU is the only team in FBS that didn't play a Top-25 team..

Cristobal has recruited great players like Willis Wright, Corey Tindal or Larves Mars, right? Have you seen these guys playing and helping the team.. Of course not..

FIU only went to a Bowl because of political reasons. WKU beat FIU on the field (in one of Cristobal's coaching classics) and they deserved to go the Bowl. The reason why the picked us is because we are closest to St. Pete.

I am a FIU season ticket holder and alumni and I care about the football program and school in general same as you guys. I am very concern about the direction of the program and lack of ability of our coaching staff to make adjustments that can really take this program to another level.

It's sad, I read some of the posts of the idiot UM fans that publish here and I get pissed, but sometimes they are right... Celebrating a 4th place in the SunBelt and a loss in a Bowl (where we were not supposed to go) is sad. Our 8-5 record is a joke if you see who we played.. Comparing this record to FSU or UF is pretty pathetic..

All right, I am going to enjoy my holidays too..

Blue&Gold a.k.a. Cup Half Empty

I'm sorry you're "concerned about the direction of the program." Are just joking with me now? Our record keep improving (FACT), our bowl appearances are trending up (FACT)yet somehow, to you, this is the wrong direction?

Perhaps you can talk to the university about reversing these trends. I'm sure the Panther fans can't wait to thank you personally. #smh

You surgically select Willis Wright, Corey Tindal and Larves Mars to support your narrow view. Are you suggesting that all the other programs in the country hit on every recruit? If you'd like a list of those recruits that did work out for FIU, I'll supply it (TY, Rhodes, T. Williams come to mind, among many others). But then again, that would work against your argument, so I'm sure you have little appetite for FIU's recruiting list of success.

C'mon Blue&Gold? Did Mario slap you around as a child? What's your beef with that guy? Sorry if more winning and bowling upset you. Sorry if that 0-12 program from a few short years ago isn't racking up national championships fast enough for you. I guess you're never gonna please all of the Panthers all of the time.

Signed,

A Grateful Panther a.k.a. Cup Half Full

Real Talk,

Please look up "Straw Man Arguement" then stop doing it.

Who said the FIU's 8-5 has anything to do with the SEC or ACC? I stated the fact. FIU is 8-5 which gives them the 2nd best record in the state (FACT). You could spend your time explaining why anyone should celebrate the other programs in the state that struggled to approach .500 - As for the rest of us Panther fans, we're hoping FIU keeps adding wins to the win column, continue bowling and continue growing, depsite the haters.

Playing a similar level of competition a few years ago, they went 1-23 over a 2 year period. By comparison, 8-5 is empircally a phenomenal improvement. DO THE MATH!!! But according to you, "FIU is bad." That's why you gotta love blogs. You don't have to do the math. You can just talk straight outta your backside then cop an attitude when someone breaks out a calculator and checks you.

It's not a straw man argument, the comparison to ACC and SEC competition is completely legitimate - those are the conferences UM, FSU, and UF play in.

We just see things differently, I don't think it's all math, I think the growth in the program is much bigger than the jump from 0 to 8 wins would suggest and the 8 wins themself aren't indicative of where FIU still is.

Most sensible people would agree that all wins aren't equal and that in the context of all of D1 football FIU is still a bad team.

But I understand how some fans could delude themselves into thinking otherwise.

Pantera,

How many loses are going be needed for you to open you eyes and see that this is team has not improved that much since 2007 as you think?

Think about it.. do you think that we are going to beat a much improved Louisville next year? or that we are going to beat Duke or UCF playing away? Are we going to lose again against 3 SunBelt teams?

We will be playing without Hilton and playing an inexperience QB.. Our defense is not that good either, we allowed 30+ points 3 times this season against ULL, Arkansas State and Duke (I wouldn't say the cream of the FBS).. of course the defense was better when we started playing the FAUs, MTSUs, Troys and ULMs of the world that can't beat anybody..

ULL and Arkansas turned around thier program in one year after a series of terrible seasons.. We are still 4th in the Belt after 5 year of MC and we are applauding our coaching staff for such a terrific job. Until we don't realize that we are not getting better we won't be able to turn things around to make the necessary changes.

We are really living in fantasy land and wasting valueable time.. we will wake up though but somebody will need to come in an start over..

By the way, I have nothing against MC, I just think he is not a good coach (in the same way every Athletic Director in the nation think, that's why he is still here)

Blue&GoldHeart - you have absolutely no argument to make that Mario Cristobal isn't a good coach and that other schools don't want him.

Look at the improvement since he got here - Pitt is the first of what will be many schools that try to hire him away unless FIU pays him.

Real Talk,

Wins are no longer a measure of the growth of a program. I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for clearing that up.

Blue&Gold,

Even though the loss totals keep shrinking year-over-year, you ask the question, "How many loses are going to be needed for you to open you eyes...?" That's a curious approach. It's an afront to my common-sense-o-meter. Maybe when we hit 0 losses, and we're undefeated, i'll suddenly realize that 0 losses actually equals FIU stinks and we should through the entire undefeated coaching staff bums out on their backsides. (You guys must be pulling my leg - it's the only reasonable explanation)

As for starting over, I thought that's what we did after the zero wins season. I'm struggling to understand how an 8 wins should result in the same conclusion as teh 0 win season. 0 wins and 8 wins equal the same thing to you. Hmmm. I'm trying to meet ya halfway fellow Panther, but my basic math skills just can't accept that 0 and 8 equal a draw.

I'm done. I'm going back to my simple world where more wins equals improvement.

Happy New Year.

gpantera,

Six of our eight wins were against teams that have a combined record of 16-56 including five games against each other (so it's actually 11-51).. I am happy that we beat these teams but in reality these are "junk wins" and don't show the reality of our program.

Every time we played a team with a winning record this season we lost (exception Louisville, but again you can't compare how they started the season and how they finished and we will taste it next year). UCF proved to be a pretty bad team all year long (even losing to UAB that got beat by FAU).

You can't tell me with a straight face that this team is getting better, or that the future is looking up. We are just a middle of the pack SunBelt team after 5 year of Cristobal. We were that in 2005 in our first season in FBS.

Just my humble opinion.. Happy New Year to all of you!!

You are what your record says you are - Bill Parcels

8-5 GOOD
1-23 BAD

Don't care who you are playing, team has improved light years. If you can't see it, you don't know football

Happy new year all.

gpantera - think you misunderstood my last post, I'm saying that FIU's progress is even GREATER than the jump from 1 win in Cristobal's first season to 8 this year would indicate.

But for all that improvement FIU is still a bad team in the context of D1 football. Mediocre programs schedule Lou-La, Arkansas State, and Western Kentucky as their out of conference cupcake game, mediocre teams would not lose to those kinds of schools.

All wins aren't equal, this isn't the NFL, and you aren't always what your record says you are. There are 14 teams in the top 25 with the same or worse record as Arkansas State and the only reason ASU isn't close to being ranked is that their wins are against Sunbelt teams.

FIU can get there but not until they move to C-USA and not if they let Mario Cristobal go.

FIUforever,

4th in the worst conference in FBS after 5 years on the job= NO GOOD.

Cristobal is average at best. In other programs he would be fired after this, we keep applauding mediocrity.

If this were 2011, I'd tell ya that you can only play the schedule you're dealt. The only context FIU can be measured against is the SBC (FACT). According to Blue&Gold's logic, an undefeated season in the SBC wouldn't amount to success. Well if that's the case, than I recommend ya stop following FIU Football because an undefeated season wouldn't satisfy you.

As for the 4th place finish, it should be mentioned that this year is a mathmatical anomaly. In year's past, a 6-6 record has won the SBC. It just so happened that this year, an 8-4 finish wasn't enough. By comparison, it happens every now and then that even a 10 win NFL doesn't make the play-offs. It doesn't make them bad. It just an anomaly.

Nevertheless, it's now clear that unless FIU is in a AQ conference and racking up Nat'l Championships, you're convinced the FIU is under-performing.

That's what I would've said in 2011. But it's 2012 and i'm no longer gonna try to reason with those committed to a negative outlook, so my official response is,

"That's an interesting opinion, Blude&Gold. Go Panthers!"

Happy 2012, Panther Nation

Actually, the Sun Belt conference is not considered as the worst anymore. And perhaps ASU wins over NIU, Its a possiblity that Sun Belt finish in the 10th spot. Not much of a wower, but hell that can only means that the sun belt is improving and becoming more competetive. Look even Malzahn is going to the belt.

Blue & gold,

You are the most negative FIU fan by far. The fact that others don't agree with you does not mean they are blinded or even wrong. Perhaps everyone else is overly-optimistic, but darn you are the most negative person here always. Maybe you are too young or too naive. I don't know what to think but I do feel sorry for you. This is no way to live life. Face it, you will never be happy with any of your teams, your life, girlfriends, etc. There will always be something wrong.

As for FIU, I am proud of the accomplishment of this team. I am proud to be a fan of this young program. And I will continue to support the team. Btw, this team will eventually have a very disappointing season one year in the future. I will still support the team, and yes I will upset with the coach and players, etc. But at ten years old this program is an incredible story that should be supported locally. And if you haven't noticed it because of your negativity, well at least understand that these UM fans are taking note. They are here to instigate and denigrate our team. This is good because they too understand the FIU accomplishment.

Yes MC is not the best. But he is great at many things. And he is working with a budget that is a fraction of UMs budget. And UM has history and well paid coaches and better facilities. And maybe he wasn't hired as you say or he didn't act fast enough as the media reported at one time. Either way he was a top candidate of an ACC school. And we will lose him soon.

Finally, you do not give credit to other sbc schools at all. By your stds FIU should be undefeated yet you don't mention the amazing recruiting classes from wku or asu and others. Look the sbc is getting better. It is not the ACC but it is better. Enjoy the growth and the family attitude at the games, etc. The winning will continue to come and the program will get better and better (with setbacks here and there). Stop this already. All good things take time (at least that is what they say).

You're all saying the same thing - FIU has gotten much better, they're still not good compared to other D1 teams, but they're probably the best program in their crummy conference.

They need to keep their coach, Blue&GoldHeart is flat out wrong on that, FIU would replace Cristobal with an absolute nobody.

Where do we draw the line on labeling teams crummy? Top 25 are good and everyone else sucks? So then the other 95 squads suck. Got it. Oh wait, do you get credit for sucking in a better conference. If FIU was consistently, say 5 and 7 in a AQ conference, how many folks would be proclaiming FIU's a good team?

Or does historical accomplishments factor in? Do you get credit in the present for not having sucked in the past?

I've been around S.FL long enough to know that unless you're competing for championships, all the fairweather fans either disengage or hate. That is why i'm hopeful that the FIU community buys into the program, so it can weather the invetiable ups and downs of college football.

Listen, my school of thought is dominate where you are. If that's the SBC, then focus on that. If tomorrow, we're in another conference, then the goal is to dominate that conference. If you stick to focusing on your present, everything else will fall into place. Everything else is merely a distraction.

Go Panthers!

SBC better than MAC the last two seasons. SBC can, with increasing consistency, compete and beat mid-tier AQ programs. SBC is not excellent, but they're less crummy than Buc Nasty would have you believe.

gpantera, you can draw the line wherever you want but if you think like 90% of college football fans the undefeated and one loss teams are great teams, the top 15ish are good teams, and the next 30 or so, the teams that pop in and out of the rankings over the year, are mediocre. Everyone else had a bad year.

Your way of thinking is right on point, FIU fans do themselves a disservice by worrying about being the 'talk of ESPN' and comparing themselves to teams outside the Sunbelt.

I was being generous with 'crummy' but the MAC sure fits under that designation as well. College football is anything but balanced - there will never be an undefeated team from the Sunbelt, MAC, MWC, or C-USA playing in a national championship and for the past few years an undefeated team in the Big East wouldn't have made the cut either.

Just the way it goes, none of that has anything to do with FIU right now. Pay your goddamned coach, what's the holdup???

http://mcubed.net/ncaaf/tvc/index.shtml

gpantera,

The problem is that we are not domination the Belt, even Buc Nasty is wrong we are not the best in our conference.. After 5 years of Cristobal we are still 4th.

I would give respect FIU wins if we would have won a game against an SunBelt Conference team with a winning record.. but, we didn't..

!0 years is a long time.. In that span USF went from their creation to being ranked #2 team in the country (they did it after only 5 years in FBS), FAU after 6 years from their creation (and only 2 in FBS) won the Sunbelt once and two Bowl games.

We have being sold that our development has being incredible and fast. I don't believe that, our development has been stopped by a coaching staff that can't win the big games and keep living of excuses.

Another myth is that if Cristobal goes we will get a terrible coach. That's not true, there are several coordinators out there that would come to FIU and do a better job than MC. In fact you can see that Arkansas State, WKU and ULL were transformed very quickly after their coaching staff was changed..

FAU thought three years ago that their program was incredible and their coach was amazing. Look what happened there.. look in that mirror. Seven of our eight wins were against teams that had a losing record, every time we faced a team with a winning record we lost..

Are we really getting better?

OK Buc Nasty. I don't take issue with anything you wrote on this last post. For now, i'll take focusing on the SBC and making some consistent noise out-of-conference as well.

By the way, if FIU or any D1 non AQ school:

"is ranked in the top 16 of the final BCS Standings and its ranking in the final BCS Standings is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the BCS bowls."

That's the rule. So even from the SBC, a BCS bowl is technically not out of reach (Thank you Boise State for providing proof of performance over the last several years).

But again, just win against whoever is lined up against you and the rest will work out just fine.

Now pay Mario and staff and let's keep this program growing. #TeamFIU #FIUFamily

Blue&Gold,

I really want to put this conversation in the rear view mirror, but I just can't let your misinformation go unchecked. I can deal with your epic stubborness, but the FIU slandering is simply out of bounds.

You wrote:

"After 5 years of Cristobal we are still 4th."

The word STILL implies that we've been living in forth place in perpetuity. Did you miss last season, when FIU won the SBC?

You wrote:

"10 years is a long time.. In that span USF went from their creation to being ranked #2 team in the country (they did it after only 5 years in FBS"

10 years is a long time to accomplish what, exactly? How many programs acheive #2 ranking in 10 years? Do you recall the fluky nature of that season when USF got to #2? Every team in front of them kept losing that #2 ranking so it eventaully fell to USF who promply lost it. USF is one example of how many D1 programs?

You Wrote:

"FAU after 6 years from their creation (and only 2 in FBS) won the Sunbelt once and two Bowl games."

While you were drowning in your sorrows, FIU did the same thing in a similar time span. So what's you're point?

You wrote:

"FAU thought three years ago that their program was incredible and their coach was amazing. Look what happened there..."

Are you suggesting the programs don't go through ups and downs? Do you recall that inside of 10 years ago, both LSU and Alabama sucked. Those same two teams play for a title this week. UM won 5 NC's and could only must 6 wins this season. If you don't know that ALL PROGRAMS ARE SUBJECT TO UPS & DOWNS, then you don't know college football.

It's becoming clear that your bias is not fact based, but rather comes from a deep down dark and personal place. You weave two are three weak arguments together to diguise your disdain for the current coaching staff. Just say you have an irrational dislike for the coaching staff. That would be much more acceptable than these half-baked arguments you're using to support your position of constant negativity.

I promise to give you the last word, Blue&Gold. Write whatever rubbish you'd like. I'm done with so-called FIU fans like you. I'd wish you a Happy New Year again, but you're clearly determined to make it suck for you...good luck with that.

In my mind FIU has made tremendous strides in the college football arena. I say this, because, when i graduated from FIU, there was not even a team and like many South Floridians, I rooted for the only game in town, UM. Subsequently, being an FIU Alum, who doesnt live in South Florida, but in the northeast, its awesome for me to be able to hear them boasted about throughout the country.

Thus, yeah i say despite their current conference FIU is on the rise.

I do agree this season was a bit disappointing, in terms of not running the table in the belt.

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