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2 posts from August 20, 2013

August 20, 2013

Bowling for A Fistful of Dollars

Call it Cobblin' Conference USA after the way FIU's new conference home has managed to retain primary connections with six college-affiliated football bowls. Remember, one of the important upgrades for FIU (and the other immigrants to C-USA) was the greater number of primary bowl tie-ins compared to the Sun Belt or dying WAC.

C-USA is doing a little time splitting, reaching agreements wtih the Heart of Dallas Bowl and, on the other side of the Metroplex, the Fort Worth's Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl that will have a C-USA team in one Metroplex bowl or the other from 2014-19. They've got the same deal with the Beef O' Brady's Bowl and the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl -- three times in each. They've reupped with the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and added the New Mexico Bowl for that same time period.

Then, C-USA reportedly thought outside the borders, er, the box, according to ESPN. Thomas Robinson Stadium in the Bahamas holds only 15,000, but for a bowl involving a Conference USA team, that might mean "PACKED HOUSE ROCKING!"

C-USA has been looking at someplace in South Florida to stick another bowl game. There was Marlins Park talk back in June. Now, ESPN says they'll be using FAU Stadium, which is new and nice, nicely-sized for a lower tier bowl and needs events to help pay off the enormous debt FAU incurred in building the joint. 

This year, Conference USA's got a primary connection with the Beef O'Brady's Bowl; New Orleans Bowl; Military Bowl; Heart of Dallas Bowl; and Liberty Bowl.

Why are there so many bowls? Sports cable networks need the live programming.


Tuesday, before the afternoon

In skipping Monday night's practice, I missed the team playing on a homemade Slip 'n' Slide with head coach Ron Turner joining in the skidding.

Tuesday, running back Anthon Samuel remained out with a concussion. Sick wide receiver Glenn Coleman tried to practice, went into the locker room and got an IV, tried again and couldn't do it. While Turner talked to Coleman for a while after practice, a Detroit Lions scout talked to defensive line coach Andre Patterson. Patterson should put that in his schedule: "Post-practice analysis of Greg Hickman and Isame Faciane for NFL scout."

Freshman quarterback Israel Paopao hopped about on crutches and a walking boot on his right foot. I always wince whenever I see one of those, knowing both how long a foot injury can take and what an incredibly miserable hemmorhoid of a human being the injured person becomes until recovery. But this boot protected only a sprain.

Senior tight end Zach Schaubhut worked as a placekick holder for the second consecutive day. Not only has punter Chris Ayers bobbled a few snaps, but Schaubhut actually played quarterback in high school, thus putting teeth into a fake field goal or bad snap situations.

Part of the team drills worked on the offense coming out from inside their own 5 yard line. Redshirt junior quarterback Jake Medlock hit redshirt sophomore wide receiver Dominique Rhymes over freshman Brad Hyman-Muhammad for a 99-yard bomb. Later, Medlock found someone who could be his new favorite target, freshman tight end Jonnu Smith, up the middle on a seam route.

When the 2s took the field for that drill, freshman linebacker Treyvon Williams showed the instincts defensive coordinator Josh Conklin was talking about in today's Herald story (http://www.miamiherald.com/sports). Running back Lamarq Caldwell churned toward a left side hole and Williams filled it with a muffled "CRACK" (they weren't in full pads).


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