Conference USA announced the results of its preaseason football coaches poll Wednesday. No surprises -- no FIU players on the preseason all-conference team, FIU picked solidly seventh in the seven-team East Division.
Coaches unanimously predicted Marshall to win the East. No surprise there, either, with the Thundering Herd having seven preseason all-conference selections, the preseason Offensive Player of the Year (quarterback Rakeem Cato) and preseason Defensive Player of the Year (defensive lineman James Rouse). Any other result would match the bizarreness of the 1976 Academy Awards when Rocky somehow beat Taxi Driver, All the President's Men and Network despite Network winning Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay with landmark artistic displays by each winner.
The College Football Performance Awards, which loves it some FIU, put sophomore tight end Jonnu Smith on its preseason watch list for being among the nation's best tight ends.
SWIMMING & DIVING
Having a GPA over 3.5 and competing at the NCAA Championships got FIU's Sonia Perez named a Scholar All-America by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America. FIU's 3.13 team GPA for the spring semsester earned the team Scholar All-America designation.