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Best and Worst Moments

FAUOwlAccess.com's panel decided that the top moment for FAU football in 2010 didn't happen on the field. We also chose the worst moment from the past season.

Originally published on 12/28/2010

by Fau OwlAccess Staff Report

BEST MOMENT
And the winner is: Stadium financing approved

The Best Moment from the 2010 season may well be the top moment from the first decade of FAU football. The Owls had been talking about an on-campus football stadium ever since Howard Schnellenberger brought football to Boca Raton. On Sept. 16 that vision became a reality when the Board of Governors approved the financing plan for FAU's new 30,000-seat stadium. Less than a month later FAU ceremoniously broke ground on the stadium and the Owls expect to play their first-ever true home game in 2011.

WORST MOMENT
And the winner is: Meltdown at Arkansas St.

This category seemed to have far too many choices. Three of the four voters selected different worst moments. Two, however, put the Owls' fourth quarter meltdown at Arkansas St. as the season's low point. It's hard to remember that FAU actually led by a touchdown before allowing 28 points in a little more than five minutes. Oh yeah, that game also contained the now famous on-air melt down from play-by-play man Dave Lamont. We'll fight any one of you who disagrees with this selection...

 

Ballots: Best Moment

Chuck King – FAUOwlAccess.com
1. Stadium passes
2. Rusty in the NFL
3. President Saunders holding Shula Bowl trophy

The approval of the football stadium financing deal by the Board of Governors was arguably one of the biggest moments in the history of Florida Atlantic University, let alone the football program. The on-campus stadium will raise the profile of the school while making it easier to recruit top players to Boca Raton. I wasn't sure whether Smith getting drafted went too far back in history to be considered this season, but his start for the Titans as a rookie certainly made plenty around the FAU program proud. And it's always fun to watch the annual celebration when FAU defeats Florida International.

Ken LaVicka – ESPN 760
1. Stadium approved
2. FAU's three "franchise" QB's meet on one field
3. FAU wins 5th straight Shula Bowl

FAU's on campus stadium passing was the culmination of 10 years of hard work by Howard Schnellenberger and multiple administrators. When ground broke on the site of the new stadium it signified a new age of a Florida Atlantic football program that, in only a decade, had established itself as one of the top programs in the state. When FAU ventured to Western Kentucky it was a fortunate bye week for Tennessee rookie quarterback Rusty Smith - a man who was credited by Schnellenberger as being a major architect of the new on campus stadium. Prior to that afternoon's kickoff, Smith, former FAU signal caller and current wide receivers coach Jared Allen, and current QB Jeff Van Camp all met and posed for photographs on the field. One photo created an in-person time-line of FAU football history. The Shula Bowl trophy stays in Boca Raton indicates FAU's continued its superiority over FIU.

Marcus Nelson – FAUOwlAccess.com
1. Large crowd attends groundbreaking ceremony.
2. Board gives stadium approval
3. Shula celebration

Construction had already started, but FAU officials held a well-attended groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 15 to celebrate the upcoming on-campus football stadium. Former and current players soaked in the moment as ceremonial shovels hit the ground to signify that Football in Paradise is just a year away.

Brian Rowitz – ESPN 760
1. Winning the Shula Bowl
2. Stadium vote being passed
3. Floyd and Blanchard return to the field

As cliché as it sounded heading into game week, the Owls said to throw out the records for a rivalry game and that’s exactly what they did as they handed FIU its first conference loss of the season. Keeping the Shula Bowl trophy in Boca Raton is something that has become a yearly tradition at FAU. This edges the stadium vote for the sole reason that we still have to wait and see that the Owls are playing in it next year.
 

Ballot: Worst Moments

Chuck King – FAUOwlAccess.com
1. Van Camp fumbled snap against ULM
2. Injuries to centers
3. Housler drop against North Texas

FAU led ULM 17-12 late in the fourth quarter and was driving to put the game away when Jeff Van Camp couldn't handle the snap – a common issue all season. ULM recovered and on the ensuing possession marched 55 yards for what turned out to be the game-winning score. It was a game FAU should have won, but instead became the Owls' fourth loss in a row. This play encapsulated FAU's struggles – offensive line issues, untimely mistakes and near misses. The No. 2 choice actually was a series of moments which saw three FAU centers get hurt in the early days of training camp. If Housler catches that fourth down Van Camp pass on the final drive against North Texas, the Owls would have been in good position to win that game. What would that have meant to the Owls' season?

Ken LaVicka – ESPN 760
1. Polo, Joseph hold party after loss, suspended for USF game
2. FAU fans calling for Schnellenberger's firing
3. Owls show no fight with season on the line in 2nd half at Middle Tennesee

Tavious Polo and Daniel Joseph throwing a party following an embarrassing loss to North Texas was a slap in the face to the FAU football program, which is why they were suspended. Heading into a difficult match-up vs. South Florida, FAU was without two senior leaders. FAU fans who called for Howard Schnellneberger's head during the 2010 season certainly showed a propensity for short memories. Two years without a bowl appearance hardly creates a crisis scenario, and Owl fans need to remember that without Howard Schnellenberger there is no FAU football program.

Marcus Nelson – FAUOwlAccess.com
1. Fourth-quarter meltdown at Arkansas State
2. Schnellenberger FG against MSU
3. Polo, Joseph suspended

FAU led Arkansas State 16-9 with 13 minutes remaining before the Owls turned the ball over the next three times they had the ball. Arkansas State took advantage each time, scoring three TDs in 2:11 to end the game and send FAU radio announcer Dave Lamont into a tirade that went viral on the internet.

Brian Rowitz – ESPN 760
1. Arkansas St collapse
2. Not showing up at MTSU
3. Kicking FG at Michigan St.

Whenever you have a losing season, there are many moments that are considered disappointing so picking just one isn’t exactly that easy. The Arkansas St game sticks out because the Owls were still in the bowl picture and still alive for a Sun Belt title after 3 quarters of football. The Owls bounced back nicely by winning 3 straight after the ASU loss but a win that day in Jonesboro could have sent this season in a much different direction.

About Our Panelists: Chuck King and Marcus Nelson founded FAUOwlAccess.com in January 2009 and at least one member attended every FAU practice and game this season. Broadcaster Ken LaVicka is the voice of the Owls for ESPN 760, hosts the Howard Schnellenberger Show on FAUOwlAccess.com and the FAU Sportspage with Howard Schnellenberger. As ESPN 760's engineer for FAU football, Rowitz attended every FAU football game. He also hosts Owl Talk, a weekly podcast on FAUOwlAccess.com.
 

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