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Should FIU leave CUSA and go independent?

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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 3:35 pm   
Cougar

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There are a few things that are clearly affecting FIU football support and our University's image as a whole.

1. We have are primarily a place for Miami Dade College/Broward College AA transfers.

Let's be real, how many FIU students (or alumni for that matter) had FIU as their #1 college choice. We can't lie to ourselves the answer is few. But why is this? You can point to subpar academic prestige compared to say UF, UM, UCF etc. You can also point to the subpar "college experience" being primarily a commuter school. Point is, for the vast majority of people, FIU is a fall back option. That is what I believe is the primary reason why the "FIU Pride" is lacking.

How can we improve this?
BE MORE SELECTIVE WITH ADMISSIONS. We keep trying to take more and more students when instead we should be trying to pick BETTER students. This does not only mean more academically competitive students but also more students outside of Miami-Dade/Broward. Why is it Miami kids want to go to UCF but very few if any Orlando kids want to come to FIU? I am strong believer in expanding the geographical reach of the FIU brand. Decreasing class sizes while focusing more on freshman admission (vs transfers) and continuing the on campus/university city housing should be the move going forward. BTW continued University City expansion can be a huge game changer in terms of creating a mini college town. We are a long way from that though.

2. We have no tradition
WE HAVE 3 WINNING SEASONS in our history. Yeah 3! I know most or all of us on here are die hards and will continuing watching no matter how bad our team is but most people don't think this way. This is obvious but we have to give the student body something to be proud of. Imagine the son's and daughter's of FIU fans growing up hearing about the great times their parents had at FIU games. This is the type of thing that builds pride but takes time. Let's hope the Butch era is the start of this but you guys have to keep in mind even if we went UNDEFEATED this year the stadium would not be packed. The fanbase just isn't there. Now 3 or 4 years of continued success (championships and big name wins) and we can start to build something. Also, FIU administration has done a poor job of embracing the little history we do have. Why don't we put TY Hilton on everything we can. Why not sell some TY Hilton jerseys at the book store. Bring Carlos Arroyo and Raja bell out to basketball games. These are things that make too much sense and are being overlooked.


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:56 pm   
Cougar

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:01 pm
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FIU Beisbol wrote:
Liberty???? (like, freedom?)



Liberty University (the one Jerry Falwell founded) is going FBS independent next year after transitioning this year.

They have very well funded sports teams but for years they could not get into a conference and
to avoid a lawsuit the NCAA to allow them to join FBS as an independent.

Supposedly they offered CUSA 20 million to join. CUSA said no.


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:21 pm   
Golden Panther

Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 11:25 am
Posts: 586
Amen on the concept of a new brand builder! And I would be the first to admit that the conference issue would take some time to resolve. However, we could surely appeal to a new AD that upgrading the schedule to the extent possible meantime is a priority, and stuff like hot dogs and hot tubs could be addressed as well. I don't think that some of the dreamier stuff is worth talking about at this point, but I do think a letter writing campaign to the president and the AD search committee, not to mention to the new hire, could have some impact, assuming Pete is really going to leave. No one (new) is going to turn away from good ideas that are not too expensive.


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:25 pm   
Juvenile Panther

Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:48 pm
Posts: 10
FIUFan24 wrote:
There are a few things that are clearly affecting FIU football support and our University's image as a whole.

1. We have are primarily a place for Miami Dade College/Broward College AA transfers.

Let's be real, how many FIU students (or alumni for that matter) had FIU as their #1 college choice. We can't lie to ourselves the answer is few. But why is this? You can point to subpar academic prestige compared to say UF, UM, UCF etc. You can also point to the subpar "college experience" being primarily a commuter school. Point is, for the vast majority of people, FIU is a fall back option. That is what I believe is the primary reason why the "FIU Pride" is lacking.

How can we improve this?
BE MORE SELECTIVE WITH ADMISSIONS. We keep trying to take more and more students when instead we should be trying to pick BETTER students. This does not only mean more academically competitive students but also more students outside of Miami-Dade/Broward. Why is it Miami kids want to go to UCF but very few if any Orlando kids want to come to FIU? I am strong believer in expanding the geographical reach of the FIU brand. Decreasing class sizes while focusing more on freshman admission (vs transfers) and continuing the on campus/university city housing should be the move going forward. BTW continued University City expansion can be a huge game changer in terms of creating a mini college town. We are a long way from that though.

2. We have no tradition
WE HAVE 3 WINNING SEASONS in our history. Yeah 3! I know most or all of us on here are die hards and will continuing watching no matter how bad our team is but most people don't think this way. This is obvious but we have to give the student body something to be proud of. Imagine the son's and daughter's of FIU fans growing up hearing about the great times their parents had at FIU games. This is the type of thing that builds pride but takes time. Let's hope the Butch era is the start of this but you guys have to keep in mind even if we went UNDEFEATED this year the stadium would not be packed. The fanbase just isn't there. Now 3 or 4 years of continued success (championships and big name wins) and we can start to build something. Also, FIU administration has done a poor job of embracing the little history we do have. Why don't we put TY Hilton on everything we can. Why not sell some TY Hilton jerseys at the book store. Bring Carlos Arroyo and Raja bell out to basketball games. These are things that make too much sense and are being overlooked.


FIU(#216) is much closer to UCF(#171) academically than UCF is to UF(#42) and UM(#46). There's no real comparison there academically. It's UF, UM, and FSU then everyone else in terms of academics to be honest.

I agree FIU should be more selective in accepting students but there are a number of challenges. For starters most of the top notch students that go to FIU live in the South Florida area and choose FIU because it's close to home and affordable. Just like recruiting athletes you have to recruit the top students in South Florida before heading anywhere else. It's also hard to be selective with the transfer students from Miami-Dade because four year institutions have an agreement with colleges like Miami-Dade that requires them to accept the students upon completion of their associate's degree. Of course departments have their own requirements but the University still has to accept the students: http://www.finaid.org/otheraid/partnerships.phtml. FIU definitely needs more on-campus housing and to try and shed the tag of being a commuter school. I'm not sure FIU will ever lose that tag because it is a large Public University in a big city but it can have a mini college town feel if done right with the University City plan.

That being said if FIU keeps rising in the rankings the quality of student will improve. These rankings are very political and subjective but quality prospective students always look at them. The law school attracts a lot of out-of-state students for this reason, it's the top public Law school in South Florida.

To me the top selling point for FIU and what makes FIU and Miami different from the other state universities is its diversity and international nature. However, the bottom line, is that winning both athletically and academically is the most important aspect of boosting pride in FIU. Win in those two areas and the rest will follow.


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:40 pm   
Cougar

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:37 pm
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Please no hot tubs. Thats a gimic and trashy. Some better food (food trucks?), a beer garden would be cool.


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:14 pm   
Juvenile Panther

Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:25 pm
Posts: 86
We can't be more selective. The purpose of FIU is to serve the greater Miami-Dade community, not become an elite academic institution. Our whole existence is based upon necessity. It's in our "governing documents/guiding principles" stuff (I forgot what those things are called).


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:27 pm   
Juvenile Panther

Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:25 pm
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For the record, I also vote No on going independent. But, I think the resources and stability granted by a conference is useful. It's helpful to be a part of a team/gang/group of like minded institutions (whatever).

If you really want to play out this fantasy, then at least wait a few years for Butch to makes us consistently competitive.

I'm also not sold on this idea that if we get decent schools to show up, we can guarantee better attendance or interest from the community. Miami plays some good schools, but any year they are on track to do anything but compete for a conference championship (excluding the FSU game) no one shows up. Do you really think if we're not consistently winning games against P5 schools people will show? Do you really think we can consistently compete against P5 schools in the foreseeable future? I don't. So, why don't we let Butch do his thing (which is working pretty well in his first year), win CUSA once or twice, and then talk about next steps...

Besides, Diagodog has mentioned hot dogs so many times, I'm fairly certain if we upgrade that stand we'll instantly add, at least, 1,000 people to the game. :mrgreen:


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:27 pm   
Cougar

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2015 6:37 pm
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theDude wrote:
We can't be more selective. The purpose of FIU is to serve the greater Miami-Dade community, not become an elite academic institution. Our whole existence is based upon necessity. It's in our "governing documents/guiding principles" stuff (I forgot what those things are called).



Charter. And yes, agreed. It's a point of pride. We give more STEM degrees to Latinos than any other university. And it may not bring fans to football games, but this is way more important that that.


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:24 pm   
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So undefeated UCF comes in at #14 in the playoffs ranking. Again, what is the AAC doing for that program..if your mission as a program is just to get to a decent bowl game, then cool stay in the G5.

If it's to blaze your own path, and win A national title, get out. You're wasting your time.


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:36 pm   
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theDude wrote:
For the record, I also vote No on going independent. But, I think the resources and stability granted by a conference is useful. It's helpful to be a part of a team/gang/group of like minded institutions (whatever).

If you really want to play out this fantasy, then at least wait a few years for Butch to makes us consistently competitive.

I'm also not sold on this idea that if we get decent schools to show up, we can guarantee better attendance or interest from the community. Miami plays some good schools, but any year they are on track to do anything but compete for a conference championship (excluding the FSU game) no one shows up. Do you really think if we're not consistently winning games against P5 schools people will show? Do you really think we can consistently compete against P5 schools in the foreseeable future? I don't. So, why don't we let Butch do his thing (which is working pretty well in his first year), win CUSA once or twice, and then talk about next steps...

Besides, Diagodog has mentioned hot dogs so many times, I'm fairly certain if we upgrade that stand we'll instantly add, at least, 1,000 people to the game. :mrgreen:


No one shows up? Not as many people show up but people do show up. In a stadium that fits 65k, if 25k show up it looks empty. 25k don't fit in our stadium.

Not to mention that hard rock is far and you have to pay for parking. If we constantly had good teams coming to pay us, I'm sure we could at least fill our stadium 80%. Which would be a fantastic crowd.


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 PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:32 pm   
Cougar

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This might not be the right thread, but what can we do to make games more, i dont know, hyped up? For one, everyone is sitting down, which is strange for college games. Two, what is the panther claw thing the dazzlers do but no one else does? Three, can we get better music? I feel like its all top 100 pop stuff. Watching LSU play Neck and seeing how electric the crowd gets makes me wonder what FIUs song would be.

Colombia bias has me choosing MAPALE https://youtu.be/AZHkBUa4HgE


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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:54 am   
Juvenile Panther

Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:25 pm
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SP1029 wrote:
theDude wrote:
For the record, I also vote No on going independent. But, I think the resources and stability granted by a conference is useful. It's helpful to be a part of a team/gang/group of like minded institutions (whatever).

If you really want to play out this fantasy, then at least wait a few years for Butch to makes us consistently competitive.

I'm also not sold on this idea that if we get decent schools to show up, we can guarantee better attendance or interest from the community. Miami plays some good schools, but any year they are on track to do anything but compete for a conference championship (excluding the FSU game) no one shows up. Do you really think if we're not consistently winning games against P5 schools people will show? Do you really think we can consistently compete against P5 schools in the foreseeable future? I don't. So, why don't we let Butch do his thing (which is working pretty well in his first year), win CUSA once or twice, and then talk about next steps...

Besides, Diagodog has mentioned hot dogs so many times, I'm fairly certain if we upgrade that stand we'll instantly add, at least, 1,000 people to the game. :mrgreen:


No one shows up? Not as many people show up but people do show up. In a stadium that fits 65k, if 25k show up it looks empty. 25k don't fit in our stadium.

Not to mention that hard rock is far and you have to pay for parking. If we constantly had good teams coming to pay us, I'm sure we could at least fill our stadium 80%. Which would be a fantastic crowd.


Yeah, I really don't care about the specifics of how many people show up to a UM game. What I care about is the trend. Comparing the number of people that show up to UM and FIU games is silly. Even if we both played the same teams, UM would always outdraw us. But, my point is less about that and more about if we can't actually beat the "good" teams that come and play us, people are not going to show up to games. Any belief to the contrary is hogwash.


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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:54 am   
Golden Panther
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Building A Dynasty wrote:
It seems CC's main point for going independent is to play better teams. I am skeptical FIU would truly be able to get a good group of teams into the Cage if we went independent. If it were so easy, why are we not doing it for our out-of-conference games? I think instead you would end up with a schedule similar to UMass.... Basically playing a bunch of different G5 teams at home. It's true that no C-USA program draws a lot of fan interest, but I don't think going independent would fix that.

I will say, with TV contracts starting to tank, I don't think going independent is as crazy as it was before. Nonetheless, I think there are still more pros for remaining in C-USA than there are for going independent.

The problem with attendance is rooted much deeper than the opponents FIU plays. It's a cultural issue that was exacerbated by many losing seasons in a row. Fix this cultural issue and begin to win, and then playing in C-USA will be fine.


That is my main point. If FIU can get into a conference with schools that would draw crowds to the Cage... then get in and stay in. But I think we all agree that's not likely. At least, not right now.

Independence was a death knell in the age of big TV money. But that's now gone. And how do conferences like CUSA and the Sun Belt survive in their current form without that money? Especially if they don't draw well at the gate? It really would make more fiscal sense to break the two leagues apart and re-form them into something more geographically sensible. I'd love to have Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Coastal or Appy over any of the Texas schools. FIU doesn't need to play games in Texas.

I'm not trying to diss CUSA or the schools in them. They're good schools, mostly. And they're at FIU's level of competition. I just don't see how it works out long term. Is there anything to suggest that WKU, MTSU or any of the others will motivate the base to come out within 5 years? 10 years? I don't think so.

If FIU were in a small town where they're the only game... then I can see that playing out. Many of the others in CUSA are in that exact situation. But this is Miami. People here know what big time college football feels like. You can't feed them ground beef and call it steak. They know the difference.

Isn't one of the biggest reasons to have football to elevate FIU in the eyes of the community? How do you do that by beating up on schools the community has never heard of or care about? And how does playing in CUSA give you real opportunities to shine nationally? Playing in a conference title game that no one outside of diehards watch? A bowl game that'll be forgotten as soon as it's done?

Your point about the schedule is a valid one. New Mexico State and Liberty have struggled, too. Even BYU has. But FIU has one big thing going for it that they don't... being smack in the middle of the most fertile recruiting ground in the country (or one of them, anyway). And lower P5 schools want inroads into those grounds. For them, a game at FIU could help sway a talented recruit to them because it'll give his parents a chance to see him play without going on a road trip. That kind of thing matters.

Keep in mind also that, in a conference, you have to block off most of your schedule for conference games. You only have 4 out of conference games or 3, depending on the conference. As an indy... you can have 12. Offers a lot more flexibility.

Also, as has been pointed out already, it's easier to talk P5's into home and homes when you're not in a G5 league. FIU's actually done pretty well on that front in CUSA. I think they'd do a lot better as an indy. I would think a minimum of 2 home games every year against P5 teams is doable as an indy. Maybe 3.

FIU likely would have to play a fair amount of teams no one knows early on... but that's no different than it is in CUSA now. But if you can sub out a few of those for lower tier P5 schools as an indy and keep it going in the years to come, it's a good start. Win a few of those... and now you're commanding real attention. Like Liberty did when they beat Baylor in Waco this year.

Speaking of Liberty... look at their 2018 schedule. Army. New Mexico. Virginia. Auburn. Granted, all on the road. But they're likely to turn at least 1 or 2 of those into home games in the future. What was FIU's most notable opponent this year? UCF. That's it. Granted, we got screwed out of Indiana this year... but imagine a few more games like that on the schedule.

As proof... look at the top 10 most attended games in FIU history.

1. 22,682 Duke L, 31-27 10/1/11
2. 21,010 Florida A&M (Orange Bowl Stadium) W, 40-23 11/27/04
3. 20,205 UCF W, 17-10 9/17/11
4. 19,872 Rutgers L, 19-14 9/11/10
5. 19,226 Indiana L, 34-13 9/1/16
6. 18,524 UCF L, 53-14 9/24/16
7. 17,961 Old Dominion W, 41-12 10/24/15
8. 17,568 North Texas W, 41-16 9/1/11
9. 17,378 Florida Atlantic W, 41-7 11/12/11
10. 17,314 Saint Peter’s W, 27-3 8/29/02

Only 3 conference opponents on that list: ODU, FAU and UNT. And 2 of those 3 came during the 2011 season... before this year, the best in FIU history and also TY Hilton's senior season. Above them... 3 P5's (Duke, Rutgers, Indiana), 2 games with UCF (1 of those also in 2011) and a specially marketed game with FAMU back in the Strock days. If you go between 10 and 20... you have a few other P5's, including Maryland and USF.

Yeah, you have to build a winning culture... but if you want people to really care about those wins, they have to come against schools they know and care about. We know CUSA doesn't have those teams. We know lower P5 schools draw better.


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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:11 am   
Golden Panther
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theDude wrote:
For the record, I also vote No on going independent. But, I think the resources and stability granted by a conference is useful. It's helpful to be a part of a team/gang/group of like minded institutions (whatever).

If you really want to play out this fantasy, then at least wait a few years for Butch to makes us consistently competitive.

I'm also not sold on this idea that if we get decent schools to show up, we can guarantee better attendance or interest from the community. Miami plays some good schools, but any year they are on track to do anything but compete for a conference championship (excluding the FSU game) no one shows up. Do you really think if we're not consistently winning games against P5 schools people will show? Do you really think we can consistently compete against P5 schools in the foreseeable future? I don't. So, why don't we let Butch do his thing (which is working pretty well in his first year), win CUSA once or twice, and then talk about next steps...

Besides, Diagodog has mentioned hot dogs so many times, I'm fairly certain if we upgrade that stand we'll instantly add, at least, 1,000 people to the game. :mrgreen:


If FIU were to leave CUSA tomorrow, they'd probably have to stay in the league at least 1 more year, or maybe 2. How long do you think it'd take Butch to get the guys he needs to compete against lower P5's and win on a regular basis? I would say 4 years, max. Probably closer to 3.

It doesn't do any good to play P5's if you're getting waxed on a regular basis. But the same is true in CUSA. At least there's an upside when you play P5 teams and the occasional money game. If you get beat... it's expected. If you win... it's a big deal.

With Butch here, I like our chances more now than ever before. If anyone can pull this off, it's him.

Also... filling a 25,000 seat stadium isn't the same as filling 70,000 at Hard Rock. Miami, at its very worst, can usually draw at least 30 to 40. I see no reason FIU can't get to 20,000 on a regular basis with a steady diet of P5 home opponents, as long as they're winning. Maybe not right away, but within 5 years... sure.


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 PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:28 am   
Golden Panther
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SP1029 wrote:
So undefeated UCF comes in at #14 in the playoffs ranking. Again, what is the AAC doing for that program..if your mission as a program is just to get to a decent bowl game, then cool stay in the G5.

If it's to blaze your own path, and win A national title, get out. You're wasting your time.


And if that's happening to UCF now... imagine an undefeated FIU in CUSA. We might get shafted for a 1-loss American team. Or Mountain West. Or even MAC. Seriously.

Now imagine an undefeated FIU as an independent... beating at least 3 or 4 P5 schools along the way... if not more.

Which one has the better argument for getting into the playoff? Or an Access bowl berth, at least?

Also... if FIU can do well as an independent... would that not also be more attractive to the American if they need a team in the future? Or maybe even the Big 12? Can FIU hope to get something similar if it does well in CUSA?

I suspect the answer is no, short of UCF and USF leaving for whatever reason, and only because the American would want a Florida school. In that scenario, they probably take FAU, too.


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