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Then, came Benson...

Not this guy...


...but this guy...


The Sun Belt officially announced incoming commissioner Karl Benson (above in a photo from sportsnola.com) and introduced him via teleconference.

Benson presided over the Western Athletic Conference over the last 18 years as it waxed and waned similar to Charly's intelligence. Before that, he was the Mid-America Conference commish for four years. Benson's Costa Concordia captain jump to the Sun Belt as the WAC undergoes shrinkage and change shows the man possesses keen survival instincts, at least on an individual level.

His vision for the conference is of more schools, 12 of which play Division I football (unlike Denver and Arkansas-Litle Rock), with a conference championship game in football. Nothing new there. Outgoing commissioner Wright Waters has said the same thing. Benson wants to keep the Sun Belt in Florida to maintain a conference presence in a state so fat with football talent.

No fool he, Benson surely knows Conference USA wants the same thing for its mega-conference alliance with the Mountain West, which spun off from the WAC during Benson's watch (Flowers for Albequerque?). That means FIU and, as Three Dog Night sang, one is the lonliest number. So bringing FAU in along with FIU would merely pass along the Florida-free problem to the Sun Belt.

"We've (the schools and commission) have to show them the Sun Belt, in its current composition, has areas of achievenment equal to what any other conference may otter," Benson said. 




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If FIU and FAU are in such high demand why don't they stay in the Sunbelt until a real conference makes an offer?

Their ceiling is an inch high in this crummy conference and there isn't a single team that general college football fans have ever heard of - but take a look at the would be 'super conference', by my count Marshall, Air Force, and SMU are the only teams anyone has heard of and they're not exactly powerhouses.

Big East is garbage too but most of their teams are household names and all the good teams are bailing, leaving plenty of open spots.

Why not hold out, what's the point of locking into a new contract with a different crappy conference?

Buc Nasty: the C-USA/MWC merger would be a step up, but in a sense I am inclined to agree with you... we can do better. But you can't wait for too long, or opportunity can and will pass you by.

Fact of the matter is that the Big East ain't all that anymore - they'd probably love to have FIU, just need to wait for a timely defection.

How racist is the ending of the Benson intro? The things you don't notice as a kid.

I would take a C-USA/MWC invite right now. Though the caliber of teams are not great, it is still a step up from the Sunbelt. Hopefully we get that invite, dominate the league for severeal years and begin to flirt with the Big East. However, the way college football is heading these days, every conference may get AQ status which means playing harder teams might now work to any teams favor.

What's so racist about the end of the Benson theme? He was the butler.

A couple of points:

1. FIU in the MW/CUSA merger is a step up in the main thing that matters: $$$$. The "Coast to Coast" Conference will attract a large TV contract, which in turn will divide up to its member institutions. This means a (approximate) 2 million dollar bump ANNUALLy to FIU's budget.

2. The "BCS" bids are going the way of the Dodo. Meaning that in future bowl TV contracts, the money won't be split by BCS have and have-nots. The "Coast to Coast" Conference has several bowl tie-ins, which means (you guessed it) more $$$

3. While correctly stated, the conference merger isn't the biggest step-up in the world, it is a step-up, bottom line, regardless of what anybody wants to say. More TV games, better chance at the NCAAB tourney, bigger name teams (ECU, Marshall, Tulsa, Hawaii, SMU, etc are much better than Lafayette, Monroe, UALR, etc).

4. Joining "Coast to Coast" continues forward momentum, and helps change perception locally. FIU is a VERY young program by any standard, specifically as a football bowl-subdivision affiliate. It continues the trend of forward momentum, and allows FIU a bigger stage to continue to succeed and in the future be more attractive to larger conferences. Locally it shows that FIU is growing, is moving in the right direction, is WANTED by people outside of Sth Florida, so it's OK for it's alumni to support it, and for the local media that is OK to cover. BTW, did you guys read that awesome Miami Herald conference expansion article mentioning FIU? Yea, me neither.

4. FIU will be competitive right off the bat if it joins "Coast to Coast". It does FIU no good to move into the Big East and be a doormat in all sports, moving into the "Coast-to-Coast" will allow FIU to be competitive in all sports right away.

This is a no brainer for FIU, and why Pete Garcia gets paid the big-bucks. Since he started at FIU, he's been making every move to get ready for this moment, making FIU as attractive as possible. While Angelos at FAU has been sitting, and waiting, Garcia at FIU has been aggressive and proactive, and FIU has been reaping the benefits (Beef O'Brady bid anyone? ALL PG) will continue to reap the benefits.

Blacsheep, that is a very sound, brilliantly written, factual and engrossing comment. You do your family, your education, and your community proud. Keep up the literary blissful commenting, nobody does it best.

That was sarcasm btw, for the "special crew" that likes to troll around here.

I don't feed trolls, so I'll just say this: Know your history. Every athletic program in Florida that has won anything starting as "garbage" or playing with/against "garbage".

UF was mostly irrelevant until Tebow (1 National Championship prior to the Meyer/Tebow run)

FSU was a girl school, then terrible at Football until Bowden

Miami was sooooo bad that Burger King used to give you a ticket to a game in the OB with your whopper, and still had an empty stadium

Point is, FIU is in year 6 (SIX!!!!!) of Bowl Subdivision Status, and already can boast a conference championship, back to back bowl appearances, and alums playing in the NFL. It is clearly a young program on the rise with a great campus, the best recruiting area in the country, and a vibrant, growing student body. If you don't see the potential there, you my friend are BLIND.

You want to be a troll and call a young team garbage, go ahead, I guess you gotta do something with your free time. As for me, "Haters Gonna Hate", I'll enjoy the ride that FIU is on as a school and an athletic program and laugh at the trolls that waste a perfectly beautiful Sunday in Miami spewing non-sense.

Enjoy the misery!

PG did'nt get FIU the Beef O'Gradys, UM sitting home voluntarily did.

If we want to go down that route Steve, then UM sitting home voluntarily didn't get FIU the Beef O'Brady's bid, UM not able to police a rouge booster under their noses did, specially when he cussed out the Compliance Director in 2008 and they continued to receive his checks and turn a blind eye.

See what I did there? And if you think that Garcia courting the bowl for 6 months and selling the travel potential of an in-state school to bowl officials, then you really don't know how this whole "Bowl Championship Subdivision" thing works. I said it once, and I'll say it again, it's all about $$$$. And BOB Bowl was plenty happy with FIU selling out it's ticket allotment.

FIU's whole program is garbage

Trash day, see two post above. UF, FSU and Miami also were considered as "garbage" by idiotic trolls, and now they have a combined 10 National Championships... guess they didn't believe on the whole "garbage" thing, right? But please keep enlightening us with your deep and fact based commentary.

Trolls are funny, you can sense their uneasiness with FIU's young program and initial success.

Good god man, FAU was NEVER ranked #4 by anyone!

Are you thinking of USF? I think they got up to #2 in the AP.

Hey Sheep, if you're gonna troll, research your facts first bud. It'll help you not look like a bitter, uniformed, no-life troll.

FAU has NEVER been ranked, EVER. USF was #2 one week on the BCS poll a couple of years ago.

And like I said, year SIX (that's the number before seven and after five) of FBS ball, and already been wanted in the conference expansion race.

You sound like more of an uninformed troll with every post. FYI

FAU was #4? And this guy is calling people delusional? Wow! Just stop posting and shoot yourself now.

Bahahaha, you do realize that is a DIVISION 1AA POLL?

You're killing me sheep, every post it gets even better.

Hahaha, that's amazing!

Great work blacsheep.

Man, this guy blacsheep does my job for me. You couldn't script a bigger imbecile.

That's a Division IAA poll. And yes, you're still delusional. Please shoot yourself.

So by your logic, FAU has trumped anything UM has done recently. FAU has won their conference more recently. They've won a bowl game more recently. And when was the last time UM had an 11 win season? Not as recently as FAU. So I guess you win. FAU is better than UM too.

Silly Canes fans, you too are a commuter school! Had the chance to walk through the great U campus last week. What a nasty, ugly campus. I feel bad for those so-called college students paying a fortune for a commuter-community college experience! What a joke the U is. At least FIU has a modern growing campus. U fans are delusional thinking the U is anything other than sun tan Uummunity college for rich spoiled northern kids. I don't think FIU will be ranked in the next ten years, but at least they are getting better every year academically and in athletics. Cant say that about the Commuter School in Coral Gables.

Haha, are you joking me? A nasty, ugly campus? UM is the most gorgeous campus in the country, besides maybe Princeton with it's castles.

And a bigger proportion of our student body lives on campus than live on UF's campus - WTF are you talking about?

Oh, and BTW, UM is getting better academically, they've gone from the #71 university in the country to #38 in the past 10 years.

UF has gone from #56 to #58 in that timeframe.

FIU incidentally has gone from outside the top 200 to still outside the top 200, but it's safe to say they've gotten better academically and not worse like UF.

I hope you were kidding when you said UM is most "gorgeous" campus outside of possibly Princeton. Man, you are delusional (and i am not using the silly delUsional thing here cuz I am worried about you buddy). First of all, the U is not even the most beutiful campus in Florida. FSU (I've been there), in my opinion, is. I put UF second in FLorida.

Next, if the U were in North Carolina, it would be maybe fourth or fifth. See photos of North Carolina (ive been there), Duke (I've been there), Wake Forest, and I believe Elon. In Massashusetts you would be laughed off of the State with your silliness. See Harvard (been there), MIT (been there).

Uof Chicago is nicer. So is Northwestern. Rice is beutiful. So is Dartmouth.

In fact, I am getting tired so let's just say UM is even last in the ACC. Georgia Tech has the big city thing going for it and nice buildings ranging from old to modern. I've been to UVA and that is stunning. Also go to the Naval Academy in Maryland and West Point. I've been to both and UM looks like a landfill next to them. I've heard Dartmouth is beutiful. My favorite was the University of Washington is Seattle. I may be wrong but darn what a setting. Then again I love Seattle. Man, are you ok?

Right, UM isn't a commuter school and isn't declining academically as it's the highest ranked school in the state with the most improvement in the country over the past 10 years.

So you write a diatribe about the subjective beauty of campuses. Like I said, I think Princeton's the most beautiful with its castles from the 1700s.

It's a subjective thing but you're completely full of sh*t. No one who's been to UM's campus would call it a landfill or ugly. NO ONE would call Georgia Tech's campus more beautiful than ANY other school.

i never said GT is the most beautiful b/c it clearly is not. But I did say it is nicer than the U right after mentioning that every ACC school is nicer than the U. And by the way Nova Southeastern has a nicer campus then UM. Seriously, UM overall is nice??? What is wrong with you?

By the way, look at most of your comments whether you go by Buc or any other name and you will find lots and lots of SUBJECTIVE remarks on your part! AND you should know that most rankings of academics and even sports are mostly subjective. Like say, UM's 2001 football team. Most UMers (maybe even U)feel that was the best in history based on the # of draft picks. Heck they may have been, who knows b/c that is subjective. So who's full of sh*t?

And sorry but UM is a landfill. Maybe that's why they cant win at football. Once you moved from the landfill Orange Bowl they lost their mojo. I know, I know that is subjective.

Gotcha, everything's subjective, academic and athletic rankings are subjective and meaningless, and you think that Nova and Georgia Tech have nicer campuses than UM.

Thanks for that brilliant analysis, much appreciated.


scUM's campus the most beautiful in the country? Take a trip outside of Miami once in a while buddy. Not even close regardless of one's subjectivity. I'll take any ACC school over scUM, with Virginia my top one.

A second unbiased opinion that Georgia Tech's hodgepodge of ugly brick buildings scattered across downtown Atlanta is more beautiful than UM's Coral Gables campus.

You guys sure do have an eye for beauty.

I missed all the fun.... but Buc really? UM is a nice campus? It's not ugly but you sure are a homer nasty. Oh well, whatever. I agree Virginia is nice but doubt UM is in the top 100. For that matter not too many Florida schools are that nice, except FSU. Sorry Gator troll but UF is average, yet nicer than UM. OK got my biased opinion in. By the way, I have not said anything about FIU's campus which is much improved than when I was there and nicer than UM's architecture. I will admit that Coral Gables is nicer than Sweetwater. Now we need an 'Nole fan to show up and we are set!!

Hey and blacsheep, FIU may be a joke to most of Florida, but not too many North and Central Floridians respect UM either. And they don't perceive it as a great education either. Sorry, its a fact blacsheep!!!

North and Central Floridians don't perceive UM as a good school?

Moot point, they're not beating out the northeasterners for admission anyway. UM is far and away the best academic school in the state, regardless of what jaded lovers think of it.

Readily accept the homerism though, I work on campus so I enjoy the beauty of the campus in the morning and late evening every day.

UVA has a building designed by Thomas Jefferson, Princeton has 18th century castles. My taste is for tropical paradises, I've never been on FIU's campus but I've been to UF and FSU and I guarantee I'd rather be at FIU than either of those schools, FSU looks like Va Tech, there is no difference between those two brick city campuses.

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