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Posts Tagged ‘Florida International’

P.S.R. 1-124: Week 2 Re-Ranking

With the weekend in the books, here’s a look at how the country ranks — using the original rankings as the starting point, with the season’s results as rationale for any movement. The top 25 teams land a one-sentence breakdown. The rest? Not so much. Part of the perks of being one of the best. Think your team is too low? Feel another team deserves more credit, less credit? Let’s hear it below. It’s a delicate ranking process, particularly with only one week in the books, so you may see one team ranked below a team it just beat — see Texas State and Houston, for example. Don’t be alarmed. Everything will become clearer by the end of the month.

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    Clemson Carries the A.C.C. in Week One

    Until – and perhaps after – Clemson sealed a 26-19 win over Auburn with a late interception, the A.C.C. was the loser of the opening weekend. Was Clemson’s win a weekend-saver for the conference? I’m not quite sure. But it was absolutely a game-changing win for the Tigers; more on that below.

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      No. 50: Florida International

      Remember when you caught a fish this big? It wasn’t this big coming out of the water, of course; it was just a little guy, big enough for eating but not nearly large enough to put on a plaque and hang on the wall. But something happened on the way from the lake to the front door: the fish grew. It went from two pounds to five pounds. Five pounds to a dozen. A dozen pounds to the largest catfish ever seen in these here waters. It nearly took your arm off – no, it was so big you capsized, nearly drowned in the waters, had to fight and thrash for hours to wrestle the biggest fish in the history of the county into your arms and to shore. Exaggeration. Embellishment. Every story can be improved just a little bit. Except here: Florida International really was as downtrodden, forgotten, underfunded and woebegone as the stories made the program out to be when Mario Cristobal first walked through the front door in 2007. At F.I.U., no exaggeration is needed.

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        Conference USA Expands; 3 From the F.C.S.

        Alright, so we’re here. One day, when we all look back on the expansion era, we should view the day Conference USA added three teams that had combined to play in 45 games since 1941 as the tipping point – you know, the moment when things got really out of hand. Texas-San Antonio, which began playing football a season ago, has 10 games to its name. Charlotte is still 16 months away from playing the first game in program history. Old Dominion has played in 35 games from 2009-11, but none from 1941-2008; the Monarchs rechristened their program three seasons ago after that 47-year absence.

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          Revisiting the Coaching Class of 2007

          We’re now five years removed from the coaching class of 2007. This 24-member group included Neil Callaway, who was discussed yesterday today as part of the U.A.B. preview, as well as more than a few coaching luminaries: Nick Saban, Brian Kelly, Mark Dantonio and Jim Harbaugh, for example. Callaway, who won 18 games over five years with the Blazers, is the impetus for the idea behind the post, as well as just one member of the class of 2007 who never came to close to matching the promises made at their initial press conference. No coach loses his introductory press conference; for many, however, it’s all downhill from there.

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            Looking Beyond 2012 in San Antonio

            Will Texas-San Antonio step right into the F.B.S. and win games? I wouldn’t bet on it. The Roadrunners have a number of issues, none looming larger than the team’s absolute youth and inexperience: this is a program with only 10 games under its belt, by the way, and it’s only natural that an already rocky learning curve hits another gear when you substitute teams like Bacone and McMurry with teams like Louisiana Tech and Utah State. Expecting anything more than a delightfully bumpy first season in the F.B.S. — the fans will love any team that shows up — would require an extreme stretch of logic; it would ask that the Roadrunners turn into Rocky, the lovable David that unseats Goliath, and that’s not happening.

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              Non-B.C.S. Teams Get Into the Recruiting Act

              You won’t find the highest-ranked non-B.C.S. conference signing class anywhere on the list of this year’s top 50 classes, according to Rivals.com. But you will find a pair of programs, Utah and T.C.U., who have clearly benefited from their new conference affiliation. The Utes’ class came in just outside the top 25, thanks in large part to an eight-man offensive line haul that help should keep Jordan Wynn clean and Kyle Whittingham happy in 2012. The Horned Frogs continued to make hay in Texas, sweeping up a number of second-level recruits that may flown in under the radar, while adding a quartet of recruits from SEC country. How would Utah and T.C.U. have done on the recruiting trail had each remained part of the non-B.C.S. conference landscape? Not as well, one would think.

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                Unexpectedly, Cristobal Isn’t Rutgers-Bound

                How is it possible that two sides so clearly destined for each other couldn’t hold hands and cross the threshold? It wasn’t about the relationship: Rutgers knew Mario Cristobal and Cristobal knew Rutgers, thanks to his three-year stint as a Greg Schiano assistant. It wasn’t about ability: Cristobal can coach, as he proved over five years at Florida International, and replacing Schiano at Rutgers would clearly mark a step up the coaching ladder. It wasn’t about a better option on the horizon — for Rutgers, at least: If not Cristobal, the Scarlet Knights would turn their sights inward toward interim head coach Kyle Flood. No, it wasn’t about relationships, it wasn’t about ability and it wasn’t about a better option. So what prevented Rutgers and Cristobal from walking down the aisle?

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.