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Yup -- it's FAU & Middle

 

Multiple reports are saying what I projected last night by crossing some streams -- Conference USA will invite FAU and Middle Tennessee State to join the conference in 2014.

This not only means the Shula Bowl revives after a year in suspended animation, but FIU breathes a sigh of relief across the board. Spreading a conference all over the map creates travel time and money nightmares for the schools on the edges. It does the same for all the other schools during basketball and volleyball seasons when a school being 600 miles from the nearest conference mate defeats the ease of using the "travel partner" arrangement in scheduling.

I don't understand any pouting over playing FAU in football. FIU doesn't have much tradition. What rivals do the Panthers have that stir their fan base? Or the players? They're not staying in the Sun Belt, so the Western Kentucky dislike will fade. Central Florida? For reasons that rank as pettiness, FIU's not playing the University of Miami any time soon. Might as well keep developing something with the Division I school in the metropolitan area that'll play you. What's the point of one more home game against an opponent most of the fan base doesn't care about (remember that Akron home opener attendance?) or one more road game you can't reach by an easy drive?

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I actually like the idea of having FAU in the same conference, its an easy road trip and the rivalry has major growth potential.

I think FIU played its best, most complete game of the season against FAU. I agree with Chia that we would benefit from brand separation, but maybe this is for the best.

I'm all for playing FIU. Its an easy road game to attend + we have history with them.

DJN,

I agrer with all you are saying and I know any saving that FIU can take the better we will be for it. But such was the case for continuing the games even whild beign in a different conference.

In any case... I've been to 8 of the Shula's in the rivary. I guess I have many more to go. Plus after going to dustHart stadium the new digs are pretty co.

Whatever! Moving on, lets get to the firing, evaluating, & hiring of coaches!

GO Panthers

DJN, would be interested to hear what reasons you think UM doesn't play FIU in the major sports.

I also love the FAU idea. But I hope we can keep the UCF games going for many years. When they come down they bring between 4K-6K people and this year we brought up at least 1000 fans to UCF (which is pretty sad, but at least its a start). The series is 1-1 and neither game was a blowout even though we played like total crap at UCF. As for the other 3 non-conference games we need to have an EASY opponent and then a school with a big name like Duke, UNC, G-Tech, etc..

Right now I just hope the 2013 recruting class will be a bunch of HARD WORKING kids. I don't care if they are 1 star or 10 star just bring some pride to Panther Country..

Go FIU!

SouthPaw, it's because when we played some cowardly lion with an inferiority complex body slammed UM's placeholder on an extra point because Miami's tight end bowed to the crowd after scoring a touchdown, starting a bench clearing brawl that reflected poorly in the national media on the only university anyone has heard of.

But I'm glad FAU is moving with you, rivalries can't be overstated in college football.

Cool but we should drop the Shula name. I am a huge Shula fan but bit just seems like a forced connection. Call it the Beach Bowl or something.

I agreee with the name change. Shula will always be King in Miami but the connection is no longer there. Don't like the Beach Bowl, but something otehr then Shula Bowl. Does Coach Shula show up to the game anymore?

Go Panthers!

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