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Shannon, Bielema do lunch in Orlando

University of Miami coach Randy Shannon sat down with Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema and several out of town reporters Wednesday to talk about the Champs Sports Bowl. Here's some of what each coach was talking about.

First, Shannon...

Randy ShannonOn playing in the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl: "It’s big for us. Our players have done a great job of working to get into this position where we are today. I think the more we continue to work is progress. I think this is one of the best bowls for us, we know that we couldn’t win up in the Orange Bowl and we feel that the Champs Sports Bowl is the next best bowl for us and our fan base. We drew a big crowd when we played Central Florida, we drew a big crowd when we played South Florida and when we played in Tallahassee against Florida State we had a great crowd there. The showing throughout the state is unbelievable and I think the fan support is going to be unbelievable when we play Wisconsin on December 29."

On whether or not playing in Orlando is advantage for the Hurricanes: "Not really. It’s a situation where you just have to go out and play. Two great teams that go out there and try to get a 10th win. When you have those kinds of teams that go out play hard and physical and know what to expect from each other and have a lot of respect for each other, were going to go out and have one of those games that one will remember and enjoy the night."

On whether the common notion that players in the South have speed and players from the Midwest have size: "Everybody recruits speed. It’s not going to be a situation where were going to be faster than those guys or they’re going to be faster than us. We have a big offensive line, they have a big offensive line. They have big guys on defense, we have big guys on defense. It’s going to work itself out. Its just a myth that if you’re down south you run faster.

On recruiting in South Florida and building the program: "I think with this young football team that we have right now with a quarterback that’s a sophomore, receivers that are sophomores, defensive backs like true freshman Ray Armstrong, redshirt freshman Vaughn Telemaque and sophomore Sean Spence, we have a lot of young guys on this football team, especially on our defensive front. These are all young football players that play hard and with a lot of excitement and experience. The more they mature, the better off we’re going to be as a football team. We’re going to continue to recruit the state of Florida and that’s the one thing that we have the most success from. We’ve got two players from Orlando and we’re going on the west coast and also getting players from South Florida. You can’t get all of them, but if you can get a nucleus of them and go outside the state, you’re going to be ok."

On the matchup against Wisconsin: "They can run the football. They are a big, hard-nosed team that believes in establishing the run and they’re not going to bend in the run game. They are not going to sit up and go “okay, if we can’t run the ball in the first 20 plays then we’ll start throwing it." They’re going to come out and still establish the run. They are going to play hard-nosed defense, stop the run and not give up big plays. They’re going to play great special teams. When you look at both team its kind of equal. I’m a defensive coach, Bret is a defensive coach. Both of us believe in running the football, playing great on special teams and playing hard defense. It’s going to be a matchup that you’ll want to see. There’s going to be thrills and some highs and lows, but the team that stays focused in the fourth quarter is the one that will win it."

On the Miami fan support: "They’ll be a lot of fans there on December 29. A lot of ex players have called in getting tickets for the game, a lot fans from south Florida and our alumni base in Jacksonville have been buying tickets. They keep selling the tickets in Jacksonville. Across the state they’re going to come see a great game and give the University of Miami great support."

Here is what Bielema had to say...

Bret Bielema  On playing in the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl: "To be able to play Miami, a quality opponent, really works on our behalf. There was talk and speculation about where we would might end up and I know our kids, if they would have told us we have the chance to play Miami, the 15th ranked team in the country, they would have been excited. To come full circle from where we were a year ago in this game and make the improvements we have is a great way to end the season."

On the mystery of the bowl selection process: "This was a very unique year, because we when we found out, we were on a plane flying back from Honolulu, Hawaii, so it was very rare in those regards. There are certain things that get slotted, but because we have been so good these last few years, we have been in Florida the last six years in a row, either in Orlando or Tampa and both bowl games here. More than anything our fans, because we got 18 inches of snow today, are excited to come down to Orlando. I don’t think anyone is going to argue with the opportunity to land here and see the sunshine. And the way we get treated here, it’s a great city, great town and a great organization with the Champs Sports Bowl and Capital One Bowl."

On the trip to Orlando: "It’s a great trip and our kids are excited to come here. You’re going to see a couple guys who have never made this trip because we had so many freshman playing significant roles for us. I know we’ll come down on Dec. 23, give them a day off so they’ll have a chance to take in Orlando on Christmas Eve and then we’ll get to work and ultimately capitalize with a good showing at the game."

On the player’s familiarity with the Orlando surroundings being an advantage: "I know they love the hotel we are staying, but I think our kids were excited about the matchup. The fans and the media can talk about where were at and the festivities, but the bottom line is you come to a bowl game to play a quality out of conference opponent and we can’t ask for anything better."

His thoughts on the Badgers regular season: "I think if you asked anybody before the season where we were picked, I think we were seventh or eighth in the league. Going into the last ballgame to be able to win a Big Ten Championship, unfortunately the right teams didn’t win, but we have made a nice transformation to what we do well. John Clay is the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Award. Chris Borland, who is Freshman of the Year for the league which is rare as a defensive player. I think this team has made giant steps, but the great news is that we are very young and we have an excellent opportunity to be very good in the future."

On Wisconsin running back John Clay: "John is a big back who runs angry. He is very gifted athletically and has done a better job this year of where he needs to be in the whole package, and the good news is he’s only a sophomore."

On the matchup against Miami: "It’s a unique matchup and that’s why we love bowl games. I’ve known Randy for a number of years and Mark Whipple, his offensive coordinator, is a good friend of mine. I think the matchup in itself will be neat because everyone is going to talk about the Florida speed versus the Midwest size of Wisconsin and we have big people, but I think a couple of our guys can run as well."


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Great piece Manny. Any update to Coach Shannon's contract extension?

First! Nice post Manny. Now to see if we can put those myths to rest.

Good stuff, Manny. Any word on whether Whipple's sticking around? Odds Bill Cowher poaches him to the Carolina Panthers in the offseason?

Already got my tickets for the game, good to have it in my hometown!
Lets dominate CANES

After watching the Badgers steam roll Hawaii, this could be a very good game.

If we play our A game and keep the mental errors to a minimum (No ints J12) we will prevail.

Go Canes!!!

LOL. RS says it's a myth about speed in the south and size in the midwest, and Bielema confirms it.

Should be an interesting matchup, but I don't see us falling to these guys.

Anyone have access to inside the U? do you know who the 5 star prospect clements is trying to draw to us?

What's the word with fox for the wisconsin game

First! Thanks for the article manny. I can't wait to watch this game. I'm still steamed that FSU skipped us in the lineup just because of bowden's retirement, but hopefully this will make our boys more pissed off, to the detriment of Wisconsin! The Badgers aren't used to seeing the type of speed we have at the U! GO CANES

lets tee it up i cant wait ! GO CANES !

Manny I love you bro but you've got to start using apostrophes so it can read easier. Note: were vs. we're.

Speed if not utilized properly can be a non-factor!

Go Canes!

This is going to be a great game and a good bowl for UM. Anyone that thinks that Wisconsin is a pushover has not seen them play. This will be a battle, hope our guys are up for it.


Coach Bielema says "the bottom line is you come to a bowl game to play a quality out of conference opponent and we can’t ask for anything better."

Another quality out of conference opponent, like Oklahoma. If we cannot play for a title, I am glad we at least get to go against a smart and classy coach and team like Wisconsin.

Let the Gator have their farewell game blowout, we have a great matchup that will be more entertaining and more intriguing to the football fans out there.

Gator bowl will get high ratings at the start and finish to watch Bowden do his "Dead Man Walking" impression, but our GAME is ganna get more watched.

FSU is smoking us in recruiting!! What's up? We are losing recruits and they are gaining 5 stars. And these 5 stars will live up to the hype, I'm sure.

Shannon record is 21-16...it hasn't been this bad since 1978. Irrelevant team and bowl.


Once the Canes take a big lead with the passing game, Wisco's running game will not even be a factor...

FL ST crushed these guys last year. Let's do the same and this matchup will be good practice for Ohio State next year.

GET ready to bring it to he BADGERS Canes....This will be smash mouth football not doubt about it. Look for the "U" to light up the Badger secondary with some big plays.


Shannon says "A lot of ex players have called in getting tickets for the game, a lot fans from south Florida and our alumni base in Jacksonville have been buying tickets. They keep selling the tickets in Jacksonville."

Nice, a quick dig at the Gator Bowl, without mentioning them by name. Yep, you would have sold alot of tickets to the Gator Bowl with the Canes there, too. But you chose the blowout over the best matchup, foolish mistake.

Jahkari Gore has signed with LSU. I really did want to keep it in the family with Gore coming to Miami, as has been tradition. I think we just stopped recruiting him, which is a shame! I would rather have him then Hall! HE is a little clip from what the LSU website is reporting...Merritt sees a bright future for Gore, who had a fantastic career at Columbus. “He’s gotten a lot more mature, a lot stronger. He had over 2000 yards of offense this year, over 5,000 on his career. He had 31 touchdowns this year. He had three or four touchowns this year that were longer than 90 yards. He’s got great big play ability.”Gore had offers from around the country, but narrowed his choices down to LSU, Florida, Cal and Alabama.

While it was assumed that Gore would follow the footsteps of his cousin Frank to Miami, Merritt said it caused a distraction during the recruiting process for Gore.

“The only negative for Jahkari was this junk with him and Miami. Through no fault of either Jakhari or the university, the community tabbed him as the next Cane. And the problem was that people talked about it all of the time. He was getting calls from reporters, and he’s a different kid from Frank. And so he was put between a rock and a hard place.” Merit said.

He continued, “We knew all along he’s not a Mark Whipple type running back. He was looking at programs that use guys his size. So that’s why it came down to LSU and Florida.”

Merritt said the decision to move away from Miami was easy for Gore.

“I don’t mean this against the University of Miami, but Jahkari was choosing between two of the nations top programs. He was down to two teams that are at the national championship level. We knew all along he was deciding between better programs".

Manny? Did Randy actually say"We KNOW WE COULD NOT WIN up at the Orange bowl"? does not sound like a winner to me. What does this say to the teamand recruits? We are not good enough? I tried to pull for this guy from DAY 1 even though i thought it was a bad move for THE U.This is disturbing.A head coach should NEVER say we know we could not win.

Bring IT ON !!!


Looks like a great game, against a very strong team.
I believe we will have to have our short passing game honed to perfection, and throw the deep ball when appropriate.
I have a feeling we won't run real well against these guys, but we must not abandon it.
Berry needs to play earlier, and Graham needs to step up.
Most of all, jacory has to take care of the ball.
He does, we win.

Go Canes.

Manny, can you get a helper to approve comments? It is tough to know what folks have said when their comments are held over 24 hours in some cases.

I am sure this will be around comment 50, but the approved comments is still at zero. An intern or even a trusted reader could approve the comments for you, so that more timely discussion can occur.

Just my opinion, nothing personal....

On the Miami fan support: "They’ll be a lot of fans there on December 29. A lot of ex players have called in getting tickets for the game, a lot fans from south Florida and our alumni base in Jacksonville have been buying tickets. They keep selling the tickets in Jacksonville. Across the state they’re going to come see a great game and give the University of Miami great support."

We going to show you how to pack a stadium south fla canes fans!!!!!

Glad to see some mutual respect there!

Good stuff Manny.

Hello Manny, We know that ND, Cincy, and FSU are going through coaching changes. Any chance that UM can get any of their freshman or sophmore transfers on our line. UM may be able to capitalize on some good guys that can protect JH.

Any thoughts...

First out the gate baby!

I'll be heading down from ATL to Orlando and really looking forward to this game. I'm hoping RS will let Whipple do his thing and exploit the speed advantage we have at the skill positions.

Please don't be too conservative in this one. A 13+ point win means Top 5 ranking to start 2010 season.

Go get 'em Canes. Don't forget to watch The U this Saturday 9PM on ESPN!

Randy is wrong there were alot faster than them

Manny, nice article on the Belen win.

I do find it odd that no comments have been approved in three days.

I am not saying the Gator Troll is preferable, just that I hope this is not an attempt to make us WISH for the old days of the wild wild west.

I WILL BE AT GAME SEC 212! GO CANES!!!!!!!!!!!

WATCH "THE U" TONIGHT ON ESPN 9:00PM............

The U was awesome!!!! I've been downloading Luke booty music all nite!

dam not one post.. either none are getting approved or people just stop posting on here (like me) since the new rules..

thanks for the info anyways Manny

MANNY, will you write an article sometime soon? I'm dying here!

Miami has trouible playing against teams they are supposed to beat. Wisconsin will wake them up with an early 21-0 lead, while JH will continue to throw interceptions. The Wisconsin DB's will be waiting for the deep blooper ball JH throws. This will not be an easy game - GET READY CANES !!!!

RAndy is just being PC

However, that John Clay rb is a beast. He's 240-250. Reminds me of Tashard Choice. This game is goingto be Allen Bailey's. We shut Clay down its o-vah.

The U was awesome. That Uncle Luke is a trip. Every time he said soemthing, he said it with a smirk and a "wink wink". Hey, they broke NCAA rules, they paid the price. Ok. However, they were the greatest shown in cfb and still are. People loved to love and loved to hate the U. Some even hated thatthey loved the U.

Tad Foote was a weenie.

Vinnie T looked like he threw that game. I mean, its hard to say, but I don't remember seeing the footage of all of those ints with such clear above-the-field shots, and in some of the ints, he wasnt being rushed, and he threw it like... right to the defender! It wasnt even close in some cases!

Bernie Kosar. What is happening to you my man!

Jimmy Johnson- We in So Fl love you man. Your love for the canes is reciprocated by the cane nation.

Dennis Erickson- I have no problem with him. He was smart- he didnt want to mess up what he had.

I listened to Le batard's cobnversation with Bill Simmons. He made a good point- There should have been more conv about the underlying tone of racism that was beneath all of the hatred against the UM football program. I'm sorry. It has to be said. I've said it before. The media, the establishment, TV announcers, etc. hated it. Were scared of it. None of it was that bad. It was all a show. There were hardly ever dirty hits like the one Willis McGahee took against OSU. Fights were always two-sided.

Does anyone know where I can get the picture of Sebastian in cuffs used in The U?

Manny we could use a newer post. The Corbin movie was fire. Growing up 20th st in oakland park was just like how the directors described. Great way to bring in the season.

Will some one tell me how fsu is getting all of the top recrutes? I don't get it they went 6-6 and are getting all of the top recutes..

Watching the U, I got to see how close this team came to getting even more titles.

Looking back, there were at least EIGHT other chances where we were one win away from a title:
1985 versus Tennessee. Win, and get #1. VT throws away the game.
1986 versus Penn State. Put in a healthy and non-color blind Walsh instead of VT, and we win easily.
1987 versus Notre Dame, Cleveland Gary scores a TD, they call it a fumble, then ND ducks playing #2 for the title. Their cowardice leads to calls for a playoff, quieted down by the Bowl Alliance.
1989 versus BYU, only loss on the year, while showing they were the best team in the country the rest of the season. The Miami Rule is put in place so that anyone with a U on their helmet could not celebrate.
1993 versus Alabama. Erickson's playcalling too predictable, Alabama D sniffs out the short stuff and we end up losing.
1994 versus Nebraska. Leading into the fourth quarter, Miami gets "tired" and Nebraska finally wins an Orange Bowl against us.
2000 versus Washington. Santana Moss makes two catches in the end zone that the refs claim was out of bounds. We lose that game, and the BCS chooses FSU instead of Miami for the title game.
2003 versus OSU. They call spearing on the play that knocked out McGahee and busted his knee, so that we drive for a winning TD instead of a tying FG and letting Porter call a bogus PI call.

So, from 1983 to 2003, 13 of the 20 years were title chances for Miami. That is a DYNASTY.

recruiting update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Manny on vacation = depression

Badger Here - Look forward to playing you. It will be a good game - we aren't as slow as you think and are not all about 3 yards and a cloud of dust.

Best of luck minus the scoreboard....

section 118.....parking at U LOT.....PARTY HARD...CANE FAN PARKING LOT...GET YOURS TODAY...

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