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Posts from November 2011

Leach removed his name from consideration for FAU vacancy on Tuesday

FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos fought the good fight in his efforts to bring Mike Leach to Boca Raton, and it appear the Owls weren't totally out of the running for Leach's services until last night.

Angelos said he received a call from Leach on Tuesday night during which he withdrew his name from consideration for the Owls job. Leach said he had found work elsewhere.

We learned today that elsewhere is Pullman, Wash. Numerous sources are reporting that Mike Leach has accepted the job at Washington St.

Angelos talked with Leach on multiple occasions during the search. There was even the chance that Leach might stop by the FAU campus on Wednesday during planned travel within the state of Florda.

The relationship between Leach and Angelos dates back to college, where both attended Brigham Young simultaneously.

While Angelos didn't land Leach, it's at least impressive that he had the high-scoring Texas Tech coach thinking about a school with as little name recognition (and football revenue) as FAU this long into the process.

Despite Leach's decision, Angelos is still targeting early next week for the announcement of a new coach.

Sources with knowledge of the search said a handful of candidates are still in the running to replace Howard Schnellenberger – a list that includes (not necessarily in order) Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, Florida State associate head coach Eddie Gran, Houston offensive coordinator Jason Phillips and Purdue offensive coordinator (and former FAU offensive coordinator) Gary Nord.

Wednesday’s Required Reading: Saunders takes in FAU football practice

FAU President Mary Jane Saunders was a special guest at football practice on Tuesday and spent most of her time at the Tom Oxley Practice Fields talking to Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger.

 However, in addition to graciously taking time to answer few questions I had for her concerning the coaching search, she spent plenty of time talking to some of the FAU seniors, like RB Alfred Morris (pictured) who will be playing their last game on Saturday.

“They wanted so much to win in the new stadium and felt so badly about not winning the opener,” Saunders said. “But winning was great because we have so many seniors who are feeling good about what they did and I think they wanted to win one for the coach. I think they are in good spirits and I think they want to win another one for Howard on Saturday.”

 To read more from Saunders, including her thoughts on the coaching search, click here.

Today's Links...

Owl Access: Can't wait for Kansas
Sun-Sentinel: Seniors hope to go out with a win streak
Palm Beach Post: FAU basketball hoping an upset over Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse will set a tone
Monroe News Star: Schnellenberger ends career against ULM
Lafayette Daily Advertiser: Hudspeth mum on jobs
Florence Times Daily: Bowden, AD to discuss contract 
Tulsa World: UL fighting tokeep Hudspeth
Denton Record-Chronicle: UNT’s McCarney appreciates seniors in rebuilding



FAU gives out Game Balls for first time this season


I mentioned on Monday that Howard Schnellenberger has a policy that FAU doesn't nominate Players of the Week to the Sun Belt Conference unless the Owls win.

That's also the policy for awarding Game Balls, although we do award our own on after every game – although Schnellenberger is not happy with us doing that.

Of course, that means this season there haven't been any Game Ball winners until FAU defeated UAB on Saturday.

Here are the team's official game-ball winners

  • Offense: RB Alfred Morris and QB Graham Wilbert
  • Defense: NT Jarvis Givens and LB Randell Johnson
  • Special Teams: CB Curtis Cross
Tuesday's Required Reading: McGee gaining momentum as deadline nears

Florida Atlantic is less than a week from its goal of having a new football coach, but doesn't have its man just yet.

In the last few days Athletic Director Craig Angelos has been in communication with many of the candidates telling them to sit tight while the process plays out.

We are also hearing from our sources that FAU is having serious talks with Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, who we reported last week had interviewed for the position, and he possibly could have an offer to be the next coach already in hand.

While it seems the coaching search is into high gear, maybe FAU should slow down on this search with so many jobs opening up the last few days, perhaps opening up whole new pool of applicants.

For instance, maybe Angelos should at least talk to former Florida and Illinois coach Ron Zook, whose mother lives in Lake Worth, and former UM coach Dennis Erickson to see if they would be the right fit. While neither would be guaranteed success, either could fit what Angelos is looking for.

It might no look so great to take a little extra time after a senior athletic department officials guaranteed FAU would announce a coach by Dec. 5, this is simply too important of a hire to be rushed by a self-imposed deadline.

Today's Links...



Monday’s Required Reading: Morris snubbed as WKU’s Rainey wins Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week award

Western Kentucky running back Bobby Rainey won the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week Award on Monday, getting the nod over FAU running back Alfred Morris.

Not to say Rainey doesn’t deserve it. Rainey rushed for a season-high 227 yards in WKU’s 41-18 victory over Troy on Saturday. All Morris did was rush for 198 yards and four touchdowns vs. UAB.
However, the key stat I believe is 3  – that’s the number of times Rainey has won the award this season.   
Contrast that to Morris, who not only hasn’t won the award, but hasn’t even been nominated this year due to Howard Schnellenberger’s policy of not nominating players for the conference weekly awards unless the Owls won the game that week.
While I’m sure Rainey deserves the award this week – and certainly  the Sun Belt’s Offensive Player of the Year Award, it would have been nice if the voters would have tried to spread the accolades around as each time the weekly award is given to the same player it sort of diminishes the excitement of finding out who won.
Today's Links...
Sunday Morning Quarterback: ESPN notices Morris' performance, but is it best in FAU history?

After beating UAB 38-35 on Saturday, FAU not only earned a light day at the Oxley Center today, but also some national recognition from the folks at ESPN.

 Late last night ESPN GameDay host Chris Fowler Tweeted this


"In the air now, but just noticed FAU got it's first W. Good for Howard S and the Owls! They had been the last winless team."

- @cbfowler

Later, on ESPN’s College Football Final, Mark May gave Alfred Morris a “Helmet Sticker” after he rushed for 198 yards and four touchdowns vs. the Blazers.

Even without the accolades, I was thinking Morris’ performance will go down as the best individual performance by an FAU player in program history.

Some others would be… 

  • QB Rusty Smith’s 5-TD, 463-yard performance in 2007 victory vs. Minnesota
  • CB Tavious Polo’s 3 interceptions in that same game, including the clincher to preserve the upset
  • RB Charles Pierre’s 194-yards rushing at WKU in 2008
  • TE Anthony Crissinger-Hill’s 15 catches for 183 yards in 2004 upset at Hawaii
  • DB Kris Bartels recovers two fumbles in 2007 victory at Troy that puts Owls in New Orleans Bowl 

Maybe there is some debate, but I would have to go with Morris on Saturday, which led FAU to a very big victory when he carried the team on his back and seemed to get stronger as the game went on.

I know it may not be as important as a slap on the back from Fowler or May, but I say congratulations to Morrisfor the best game by an FAU player. You might even get a game ball later today.

Game coverage


  • Owl Access
  • Sun-Sentinel
  • Palm Beach Post
  • Birmingham News




    Schnellenberger says first victory in his last season big for his players

    In his final season as coach, you can bet Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger didn't want his final season to be his first one in 27 years as a coach without a victory.

    But after FAU defeated UAB 38-35 on Saturday to give the Owls their first victory of the season, Schnellenberger's first thoughts were of his players who didn't give up trying this difficult season.

    “This repays the players on the football team that did not result to finger-pointing and bitching and backbiting and malingering and moping and being absent or even quitting the team,” Schnellenberger said.

    This season hasn't been easy for anyone involved with the program and winning one game doesn't make this season a success on the field, but getting a victory was huge for the program.

    One has to give credit to Schnellenberger and the Owls for winning a game, something that appeared was going to be a real challenge down the stretch.

    After beating UAB, FAU will have an even better chance to send Schnellenberger out in his final game next week vs. Louisiana-Monroe the way he deserves – as a winner.

    Saturday's Prediction: No favor given to UAB, but Blazers will win big over FAU


    I'm sure many out there in Owl Nation who religiously wait for my prediction on Saturday had thought I had recused myself from making a prediction today.

    After all, as some may know, I am a proud graduate of UAB – although it is hard to look at the diploma on the wall awarded to me by the University of Alabama Board of Trustees since those same trustees are trying to pull the rug out from under the football program in a shameful misuse of power.

    But if I learned anything as a journalism student at my alma mater it's to be professional at all times.

    That said, I can step back and make a fair and honest prediction when the school I graduated from and the school I currently cover meet.

    The prediction...

    It seems like UAB is a member of the Sun Belt Conference (sometime in the future it just might re-join the league) with FAU facing the Blazers the last three years. If we have learned anything about UAB is it can score points in a hurry. The other team on the field has not showed it can score at all and we've seen too many times what that means...UAB 35, FAU 17

    Reports: FAU offers coaching job to former Arizona coach Mike Stoops

    UPDATED AT 11:19 a.m. - Last week, reported exclusively that Florida Atlantic Athletic Director Craig Angelos was flying to Arizona to interview Former Arizona coach Mike Stoops in person.

    That meeting may have gone extremely well, with FAU extending an offer for Stoops to become the Owls’ next coach, according to two internet sites that reported the news late Friday night and early Saturday morning.
    Angelos denied the report to on Saturday morning.
    "There have been no decisions made with regard to any of the candidates," Angelos said in a text message.
    Stoops was 41-50 as the Wildcats' coach from 2004 until being fired this season after a 1-5 start. Stoops was 27-38 in Pac-10 play but led the Wildcats to three bowl games in his tenure.
    The site that first reported the news that Stoops had been offered the job,, also said Stoops "may soon also have the opportunity to join Urban Meyer's staff at Ohio State as the defensive coordinator."
    Another web site which follows coaching moves and is well-read among coaches and others in the industry,, also reported the offer and then followed with this response on Twitter, perhaps giving an indication that an agent (possibly Stoops') is using the leak of the offer for possible leverage. 
    Re: Mike Stoops to FAU, we aren't saying he's accepted yet, we're told he has an offer. #agentssaythingsforareason
    Sources have told that Angelos is asking candidates to make a decision in time to hold a December 5 press conference to announce them as the Owls' new coach.
    Friday's Required Reading: Black Friday before Blue Saturday at FAU-UAB game

    I got this a few days ago and thought I would do my part to spread the word as FAU has its own Black Friday sale.

    It looks like FAU is pulling out all the stops to get people to come to Saturday’s game against UAB, and rightfully so.

    A game on Thanksgiving weekend can often lead to small crowds and this game is the Perfect Storm of reasons to not go to a game.

    It’s Thanksgiving weekend, the students aren’t on campus, Florida-Florida State is that night, the opponent is UAB (which won’t bring many fans), the Owls stink, etc.

    As I see it there are reasons to go to the game as well. If you are a true fan, you stick with your team win or lose and didn’t you wait more than a decade for your own stadium, and three games after it’s opened, you are taking it for granted?

    Sadly, I am afraid more people will choose not to go, and Saturday’s crowd will be the smallest of the season, but at least FAU is doing its part to try and get folks to buy tickets.

    Fans who do attend are sure to see plenty  of blue seats on Saturday. A Blue Saturday the day after Black Friday is a certainty.

    Today’s Links…

    Happy Thanksgiving, approved by FAU

    We want to make sure you have a great Thanksgiving today, but no matter how full of the holiday spirit you get, don’t become too generous today.

    The folks at the FAU compliance department put together this video explaining the do’s and don’t’s when it comes to extending holiday greetings to FAU student-athletes.
    After watching we certainly hope the compliance staff doesn’t quit their day jobs – jobs they are very good at by the way.
    And also, Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Owl Access.
    Thanksgiving Day Links...
    Miami-Braddock's Anderson becomes fifth FAU football commitment

    For the second consecutive week, Florida Atlantic football has picked up a verbal commitment from a Miami-Dade County player.

    Miami-Braddock athlete Jarvon Anderson has committed to play his college football at Florida Atlantic.

    Anderson has played running back and defensive back for Braddock this season. Currently the fifth-leading rusher among large schools in Miami-Dade County, Anderson has rushed for 1,177 yards on 102 carries and 12 touchdowns. He's also caught three touchdowns and returned two interceptions for scores, along with one kick.

    Like Miami-Coral Reef's Brendon Clements, Anderson could play either defensive back or running back for the Owls.

    The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder had reportedly received interest from MAC, ACC, C-USA and SEC schools.

    Anderson is the fifth player to commit to FAU's 2012 recruiting class, joining Texas-Sugar Land defensive lineman Shalom Ogbonda, Georgia-Stephenson running back T.J. Moon, Delray Beach-Atlantic wide receiver Chad Ward and Clements.

    Possible new candidate emerges in FAU search

    Another name that had been mentioned in the last few days as someone on FAU’s radar is Houston offensive coordinator Jason Phillips.

    A report this morning on a website,, mentions Phillips prominently.
    Not sure about this site – it could have credibility or it could be like other web sites that simply rip-off information from our reports and then talk about the candidates as if they have a clue of what is going on.
    We’ve also heard FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos knows Phillips (pictured) and likes what he has done at Houston.
    Some would say with that offense, who wouldn’t? However it's co-offensive coordinator Kliff Klingsbury who calls the plays for the Cougars, the NCAA leaders in offense this season.
    Also, someone should tell that Eddie Gran, who is at Florida State, will not be coaching in a “championship game” as it says unless he has joined the Clemson staff and is preparing for the ACC Championship game.
    At this time of year, there are so many “experts” I wonder why we even bother talking to our many sources at FAU and to those who are familiar with the search.
    Wednesday’s Required Reading: Someone we are all familiar with gets contract extension

    With little activity since OwlAccess gave the last update on the proposed new contract between FAU and hoops coach Mike Jarvis, it should be noted that another coach who used to roam the sidelines at The Burrow was rewarded by his school’s administration.

    Former FAU coach Rex Walters, who left for San Francisco four seasons ago, was rewarded with an extension through the 2015-16, according to published reports.
    Perhaps Jarvis and FAU will be able to put the matter of a contract behind them soon. After the football coaching search is over, this issue should become Priority No. 1 for all involved.
    Today's links...
    Tuesday’s Required Reading: Owls on the mend heading into Saturday’s game vs. UAB

    FAU”s defense was banged-up pretty good during its loss to Troy on Saturday when three key players left the game.

    Now It looks like the Owls could have to try and get their first victory of the season without another starter on its defensive line this week.
    FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said FAU defensive end Kevin Cyrille is doubtful for Saturday’s game against UAB. "This involves some degree of head injury," Schnellenberger said. The Owls’ defensive line is already playing without its other starting end, Jamere Johnson, who is serving a two-game suspension for making contact with an official during the Shula Bowl.
    The news is a little better for linebacker David Hinds, who injured his ankle in the first quarter vs. the Trojans and sat out the remainder of the half. He came back in the game in the second quarter.
    Schnellenberger said he is probable, but is still bothered by the ankle.
    “He's got a week to get it ready,” Schnellenberger said. “He will probably be about where he was last week at this time."
    Senior safety Marcus Bartels also injured his ankle, but his prognosis is encouraging.
    “"He didn't appear to be as banged up after the game as he did when it happened,” Schnellenberger said.
    Needless to say, FAU needs all the healthy bodies it can get at this point since it has been struggling at near-full strength.
    Today's Links:
    Upon further review, Owls last in BCS standings

    I wasn't aware any football games were played between Sunday night and Monday at Noon, but somehow the BCS standings that were posted on changed.

    Not sure how that is possible, but at least one team moved down in the standings.

    Guess which team dropped a spot and into last place?

    You guessed it. Only FAU could fall into last place in the nation without anyone in the country playing a game. It's been that kind of season for the Owls.

    Yep, here are the new standings (of course, subject to change for any late breaking football games played later today)

    BTW, not sure if the computer rankings are actually changing or perhaps just changing them, but since these supposedly accurate rankings are anything but, we will take all BCS rankings that aren't directly from the BCS with a grain of salt.


    Monday's Required Reading: Owls stay out of BCS rankings basement

    Nothing like getting the week started on a high note.

    That’s right, despite falling to 0-10 with its 34-7 loss to Troy Florida Atlantic, the holder of the longest losing streak in the nation at 13 games, has managed to stay out of the cellar once again.
    The updated BCS rankings released Sunday night – really just the computer rakings because the Owls are of course aren’t even a blip on the radar in the human polls – have FAU at No. 117, just ahead of last-place Akron (1-1) at No. 118.
    See, there’s something positive to build on as FAU prepares for UAB this week.
    Today's Links...
    Sunday Morning Quarterback: Chances for winning a game getting slimmer for FAU

    Many teams aound the nation are jockeying for bowl bids, preparing for conference championships or maybe just trying to become bowl eligible.

    It’s a sure sign the college football season is winding down.
    Of course, for winless FAU, that can’t happen soon enough.
    There are just two more games remaining in the 2011 season for the Owls, but that also means there are just two chances at picking up that first victory.
    A few weeks ago in this space I pontificated that UAB would be limping in to Saturday’s game facing serious questions about no only their coach, but the long-term prospects of their program. Of course, now the Blazers, which were winless a month ago have caught fire and have won three game out of their last five games. The most recent victory was against No. 20 Southern Miss on Thursday, giving the Blazers an extra two days to prepare for the Owls.
    So much for picking up that ‘W’ on Saturday.
    There is but one chance to win a game this season and that will come on Dec. 3 vs. Louisiana-Monroe, the last game in Howard Schnellenberger’s storied career.
    On a day other conferences across the nation try to decide their champion, the Owls will be trying to not have their coach go 0-12 in his swan song.
    Not quite what everyone had in my mind, but that game vs. the Warhawks is shaping up to be much bigger than it looked at the beginning of the season.
    Beat-up FAU will have tough time finding a victory

    FAU played Troy tight for three quarters before falling to the Trojans 34-7. It may be the last good chance of winning the Owls will have this year.

    The offense is bad – and likely will stay that way against UAB and Louisiana-Monroe,  mercifully the final games of the season.

    Now the defense is beat up, too.

    FAU's two defense leaders finished the game on the sidelines. David Hinds injured an ankle in the first quarter. Even though he did return, Hinds spent much of the fourth quarter on the sidelines and was hobbling after the game.

    Senior safety Marcus Bartels left the game after the final play of the third quarter. He, too, injured an ankle, but unlike Hinds, Bartels didn't return.

    Then midway through the fourth quarter defensive end Kevin Cyrille (photo) had to leave the game with an undisclosed injury.

    “I'm sure hoping it's not above the neck,” FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said.

    Aside from being leaders, Hinds and Bartels are two of the Owls leading tacklers. Cyrille leads the team in sacks.

    “We're compounding our injuries,” Schnellenberger said. “We're getting injuries on top of injuries from one game to the next... We don't know quite how serious they were tonight, but we know from a team standpoint that we're carrying a lot of injuries.”

    Blake Nehls and Damian Parms made some nice plays in place of Hinds and Bartels, respectively, but certainly aren't at the level of starters.

    Compounding Cyrille's loss was a fourth quarter knee injury to defensive end Andrew Stryffler. With Jamere Johnson already suspended for the UAB game after getting ejecting against FIU last week, the Owls could be looking at playing true freshmen on the defensive line.

    Throughout the season FAU's defense has given fans hope that Owls might be able to stay in the game long enough for the offense to make a play..

    That hope may have finally vanished on this dreary day in Troy.

    Saturday’s Prediction: Troy reeling, but Owls will remain winless

    Has it really been just four years since FAU marched into Troy and left with the Sun Belt Conference trophy and reservations to New Orleans?

    It seems like just yesterday, but lately when the Owls face the Trojans they seem defeated before the game starts.

    But this year’s Troy team is different. Unfortunately for Owl Nation, this FAU team is different from the 2007 team. And the slide continues today: Troy 21, FAU 14
    Game previews... 
    Friday's Required Reading: Syracuse's Fine interviewed for FAU job in 2005

    Like I’m sure many across the nation, I was shocked to see news that broke last night concerning longtime Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, who is being investigated after allegations of sexual misconduct involving the team’s ball boys.

     The news hit home because it wasn’t too long ago that Fine was under consideration to possibly become the head basketball coach at FAU. Fine interviewed with FAU officials (including Frank Brogan and Craig Angelos) in 2005 for the job opening that eventually went to Matt Doherty.
    Fine was considered a possibility because of his long tenure in Syracuse and association with Jim Boeheim. However, Fine removed his name from consideration in the final days of the search.
    It’s looking like FAU made the right call.
    Today's Links...
    FAU assistants knew their dismissal letters were coming

    The letter FAU offensive coordinator Darryl Jackson received earlier this week telling him he would not be working in the Oxley Center following the completion of the season didn't come as a surprise.

    In fact, he saw it as a mere formality.

    “In sports, when your head coach resigns, every assistant coach is tied to the head coach,” Jackson said on Wednesday. “When that announcement came out, (our fate) has been known.”

    Moving from school to school is part of the life of a college football coach. FAU is already the seventh stop for Jackson, who will turn 43 in December.

    No FAU coach is more accustomed to turnover than defensive backs coach Dick Hopkins who's been at 15 different college programs throughout his career.

    For Hopkins, this year has been different because he knew from the start what was coming.

    "Usually you find out eight or nine games into the season," he said.

    Having played football at Forest Hill High School in West Palm Beach, the 60-year-old Hopkins thought the FAU job might have been his final stop.

    “What's tough is that I grew up here,” said Hopkins, whose wife Debbie stopped moving with him four jobs ago and remains in the couple's home in Charleston, S.C. “I was really hoping we could make a good run here.”

    This time of the year, rumors make their rounds through the coaching profession and the rumblings grow louder as the season's end draws closer.

    “I've worked with coaches who are on the computer, on the phone all the time,” Jackson said. “I pay zero attention to it.”

    For the next couple of weeks, anyway, Jackson says he plans to focus on what he can control.

    “I can control making sure these receivers get better – that they show up on Saturday ready to go, that's what I can control,” Jackson said. “Get into my car and drive home and hopefully nobody hits me – I can control that. The rest of it, I have no control over it.”

    Thursday's Required Reading: Angelos says FAU has no announcment scheduled for Dec. 5

    In the next few weeks there will be many twists and turns as FAU goes through its coaching search as you will all sorts of wild rumors and incredible statements.

    Wednesday night provided some fun when just as the Owls’ coaching search is reaching a fever pitch, it looked like it could have been close to being over.
    So close that it was reported that FAU has scheduled a press conference and will announce its new coach Dec. 5th. At least that’s what Associate AD Dexter Lamont told a room full of people (and ESPN760/Ch. 5/Ch. 29 sports) in Palm Beach Gardens at an Orange Bowl event.
    If FAU knows the date the coach will be hired and is preparing for an announcement, either a coach has been hired or is very close to committing, right?
    However, when informed of the news that Dec.  5th was indeed the big day, FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos said while having a coach by that date is a goal, a hire is not imminent and there is no announcement scheduled for that day, two days after the Owls’ last game of the season.
    When asked if FAU has an announcement scheduled for that day, Angelos wrote in a text message to Owl Access:
    “No. We have not made any decisions yet and thus do not have a coach at this point. Thus we have not scheduled anything.”
    So it sounds like FAU hopes it will be on the 5th, but in my book, that’s a little different from saying it will be on the 5th – but after nights like this spent trying to track down what is going on I'm going to need a fifth of something strong.
    Today's links...
    Wednesday's Required Reading: FAU better be prepared to spend money for new assistant coaches

    As Owl Access first reported last night, members of FAU’s coaching staff have been informed they are being fired effective immediately after the season is over.

    It isn’t a shock that the coaches are being let go. I expected many – if not all – would have been replaced by the new head coach when he brought in his own assistants. That’s pretty much standard practice in this business.
    What was interesting was the timing of the staff being given letters on how the process was going to work and when they should turn in their keys and that this was done by the athletic department before a new coach is in place.
    It appears the news was met with some delight by most of Owl Nation. Perhaps it’s understandable.
    This season has been bad and when that happens, coaches get fired. It’s part of the business. I know that, you know that and coaches know that.
    There were plenty of fans who wanted this staff sent packing, including many who were pretty good coaches in 2007 when FAU won the Sun Belt title and the New Orleans Bowl. Some of the coaches I believed could help the new coach with the transition - and perhaps they will reach out to the new coach when he is in place. Others probably needed to go.
     However, the bigger issue is who is going to replace them?
    Well, if FAU wants a significant upgrade to its coaching staff, it will need to be able to increase the salaries for what it pays assistants – currently among the lowest in the nation. That will be as important as how much FAU is willing to spend for a head coach. In some ways the success of the program may have just as much to do with how good the  assistants are as who the head coach is.
    Today's links... 
    Jamere Johnson to sit out next two games following ejection

    Florida Atlantic senior defensive end Jamere Johnson will miss the next two games stemming from his ejection from Saturday's loss at Florida International.

    Johnson was ejected  from the Shula Bowl in the game's final minutes after he was ruled to have made contact with game officials.

    Under NCAA rules, any ejection must be reviewed by a team's conference for any additional penalties.

    On Tuesday, FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said the Sun Belt Conference ruled that Johnson must sit out the next two games.

    A starter in four of the Owls' nine games this season, Johnson is credited with 22 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. He has not recorded a sack.

    Schnellenberger said Johnson told him he did not intentionally make contact with the official but was pushed from behind into someone and wasn't sure if was an official or not.

    "That's what it was called, but most of the people that had a view of it said he was pushing on his back and threw his hand back," Schnellenberger said. "That's what he said happened."

    FAU was penalized 14 times for 142 yards vs. FIU including seven times for personal fouls. Three of those personal fouls were committed by Johnson.



    Tuesday's Required Reading: FAU heads from Washington to Washington for fourth game in five days

    If it’s Tuesday morning, that means that the FAU basketball team may have arrived in Washington, D.C. after its overnight plane trip across the country following Monday’s victory over Georgia State in Seattle.

    After playing three games in the state of Washington, the Owls are off to the other Washington – Washington D.C. to face American on Wednesday.
    Will the Owls be ready to face the Eagles? Well, an extra day of rest would be better, but these are young college kids and can rebound faster than most of us.
    As far as who scheduled this coast-to-coast-to-coast journey?
    “The guy who put this schedule together should be shot,” FAU coach Mike Jarvis said. “So, just shoot me right now.”
    Today's Links
    Monday’s Required Reading: Owls aren't worst in nation according to BCS formula

    I’ve come up with another reason not to trust the BCS and it has nothing to do with the fact that Alabama is a whisker away from being in the BCS Championship game even though it may not win its own division in the SEC.

    After New Mexico lost to UNLV on Saturday to win its first game of the season, it left FAU all alone as the only winless team in the nation.
    But a look at the BCS standings released Sunday has FAU at No. 118 , still ahead of Akron (1-9) at No. 119.
    The computer rankings are complicated, but if they don’t have the 0-9 Owls at the bottom, their algorithms are flawed.
    Today's links
    Sunday Morning Quarterback: Owls a no-show at Shula Bowl

    FAU officials told Boca youth football teams not to show up for their championship games scheduled for FAU Stadium on Saturday.

    The Owls must have thought the message was for them, as they failed to show up for Saturday’s Shula Bowl at FIU Stadium.

    FAU didn’t put up much of a fight in a 41-7 loss to the Panthers, blowing a chance to win a game that would have provided at least some levity of a rough season on the field.

    Instead the team sunk further into the abyss with an uninspired performance vs. the Panthers.

    How could the Owls not come out fired up vs. its rival? Who knows, but if FAU couldn’t get up for this game, imagine the effort we’ll see for Troy and UAB. Perhaps, the team can be revived in time for the final game of the season, which will also be the last game for Howard Schnellenberger. I'm sure the Owls are looking forward to that game, but I think it might be because the season will mercifully be over.


    Game previews...


    Saturday’s Prediction: One streak will come to an end in today’s Shula Bowl

    It’s easy to pick the winners of football games. It’s not that easy to pick winners of of football games correctly.

    When people ask who I think will win each week, I usually have to admit it’s a challenge to get the score right after a game is played, much less before.
    Yet, we take a stab at doing just that each week usually making a determination by analyzing past results.
    That makes picking a winner in today’s game a difficult one. FAU hasn’t lost a game (except a vacated game in 2005) in the Shula Bowl and officially holds an 8-0 record in the series.
    However, as most know, the Owls have not won a game this season and has lost 11 games dating back to last season.
    One of those streaks will come to an end in the 10th annual Shula Bowl.
    Which one will it be? We have the answer.
    Both offenses have been struggling and it figures that this game will be low-scoring and, as many rivalry games do, come down to the fourth quarter. FAU’s defense will be able to disrupt the Panthers’ offense, but while FIU has some big-play capability, the Owls do not. Look for a missed tackle turned into a long touchdown in an FIU victory as the Shula Bowl Trophy will live in Miami for the next year. FIU 21, FAU 17
    Game previews...


    Friday’s Required Reading: FAU students can get cheap tickets to Shula Bowl

    I'm not sure how many FAU fans are making the trip down the Turnpike for Saturday’s Shula Bowl, but just wanted to pass along that FAU students are eligible for cheap tickets to the game.

    The folks at FAU tell me that FAU students can get $5 tickets for the game. It's not free, but pretty reasonable.
    Here’s how: Bring a valid student ID to the ticket window at the football fieldhouse at FIU Stadium on Saturday. This window is cash only.
    I hope FAU students will take advantage of this deal. There have been some Shula Bowls at FIU Stadium where it seemed there was almost as many Owl fans as FIU fans in attendance. This won’t be one of those years as FIU fans have caught on to their football team, but I’m sure the Owls will appreciate any support they can get down there.
    And Happy Veterans Day to those who have served.
    Today’s Links...


    Mistaken identity helps FAU land Moody

    Stefan Moody caught the eyes of many college coaches at the Las Vegas Fab 48 AAU tournament over the summer with his athleticism and shooting.

    Heck, the Los Angeles Times even wrote about him.

    Few coaches bothered talking to him afterward, though. At the time there was a rumor going around that Moody had made up his mind that he was going to play football in college.

    FAU coaches knew that other scouts were mistaking Moody for teammate Marcus Maye, who has committed to play football for Florida. They pursued Moody, and on Thursday their diligence was rewarded when Moody signed his National Letter of Intent to play basketball at FAU.

    “It feels pretty good to finally have a decision and know where I'm going,” Moody said.

    Moody signed his NLI in a ceremony that included Kissimmee-Poinciana girls basketball player Kadesia Johnson, who signed with Iona. Poinciana officials chose to wait until the second day of the early signing period so that the two could be together.

    At 5-foot-10 but possessing a 40-inch vertical leap, Moody had been lightly recruited. Prior to that tournament in Las Vegas, he'd been playing on a lower profile AAU team near his hometown so that he could be with his friends. 

    Alabama had shown early interest in Moody, who averaged 14.5 points as a junior, and Jacksonville was still calling even after he committed to FAU in early October.

    “He's the most athletic kid that I've ever coached,” said Poinciana coach Oliver Simmons, who won a national championship as a player at Kentucky and has seen approximately a dozen of his high school players sign Division I scholarships over the past decade.

    Moody will likely be groomed to take over the point guard role for when Ray Taylor graduates following the 2013 season.

    “He's got unbelievable shooting range from as deep as he needs to shoot it from,” Simmons said. “He's just comfortable out there.”

    Moody joins Fishburne Academy forward Chris Bryant in the Owls 2012 recruiting class. FAU has one more scholarship to give for this class, but it's unlikely it will be awarded during the current signing period.

    With all but two players returning to the Owls following this season and no major holes to fill, FAU will likely look to bring in a transfer student who will then have to sit out a year.

    Thursday's Required Reading: Schnellenberger's last year suddenly doesn't seem as bad

    It seemed for years that college football had three elder statesman. That was Florida State’s Bobby Bowden, Penn State’s Joe Paterno and FAU’s Howard Schnellenberger. All were in their 70s or 80s and had won at least one national championship.

    Well after Wednesday’s bombshell that Paterno was fired for his role in a horrible sex scandal that has tarnished the image of Penn State, there’s only one of the throwback coaches remaining – and that’s Schnellenberger, who will take the field on Saturday as college football’s oldest active coach.
    Paterno’s fall from grace is a modern tragedy. Bowden’s departure paled in comparison, but he was treated poorly by his school which rudely shoved him out the door.
    But then there is Schnellenberger. After announcing in August the 2011 season would be his last, he will almost literally leave his coaching position by turning out the lights and locking the door on the new 30,000-seat on-campus stadium that he built. Then he will begin a career as an ambassador for the school – a job that if the school uses him correctly, he will excel at and be the top fund-raising weapon for FAU athletics.
    Oh, I know there are many short-sighted fans and critics who will point to this year’s record and see Schnellenberger’s last year as a failure. If Schnellenberger had not announced his retirement before the season started, it might have been someone else’s decision to show him the door. That’s not how you want to go out, as Bowden and Paterno found out.
    Yes, it would have been a better script if there were a few victories this season, but after watching riots in un-Happy Valley last night, Schnellenberger’s last year suddenly seems more successful as he leaves coaching with a not many victories this year, but with grace, dignity and a future at the school he put on the map.
    Today's Links... 
    Wednesday's Required Reading: Jarvis impressed with turnout for exhibition game

    If there was any doubt that Florida Atlantic's fan base for basketball is growing, all one had to do was  look around FAU Arena on Tuesday night.

    There must have been around 2,000 fans in attendance to cheer on their Owls. Did I mention this was an exhibition game against Division II Lynn?

    And don't think it was Lynn students and fans making the trip on Spanish River Blvd. It's Owl fans who made up most of the crowd and who apparently have bought up just about every ticket for the home opener on Nov. 19 against George Mason.

    Owls coach Mike Jarvis said there are only about 100 tickets remaining for the game against the Patriots.

    That’s a pretty big deal as FAU doesn't exactly rack up sell-out crowds. Or maybe that's about to change.

    At least Jarvis hopes so as he was impressed with the crowd as well.

    “The students are picking up where they left off last year,” Jarvis said. “They have great, great student leaders and thank God for them...If this crowd had ever shown up for a game five or six years ago, they probably would have  had a parade.”

    Today's links...



    Lockley: promotion to Jags active roster "best news ever"

    FAU football now has three alumni on an active NFL roster after the Jacksonville Jaguars promoted Michael Lockley from the practice squad to its active roster on Tuesday.

    “It's the best news ever,” Lockey said shortly after signing his NFL contract. “So many people come in and out of this building. Since training camp started, I don't know how many people have come in and out of the lockers to the left and the right of me.”

    Lockley (photo: breaking up a pass during a pre-draft workout) says he learned on Monday night that the Jaguars were planning on promoting him. He received a call from the front office on Tuesday morning telling him the Jaguars wanted him to come to their offices to sign an NFL contract.

    “My thought was, get to the stadium as fast as possible without seeing an officer to sign that contract before they changed their minds,” Lockley said.

    Lockley joins quarterback Rusty Smith (Tennessee) and Rob Housler (Arizona) as former Owls on NFL rosters. Wide receiver Lestar Jean is on Houston's injured reserve.

    Lockley led the Owls with 120 tackles last season, including two sacks. He recorded 234 tackles during his career.

    Not selected during last springs NFL draft, Lockley signed with Jacksonville following the NFL lockout this summer.

    Jacksonville plays at Indianapolis on Sunday. Lockley said he will learn more about how the Jaguars will use him in that game on Wednesday.

    And for those who are wondering about the fine the $20,000 NFL levied against him for a hit to the head during a preseason game, that fine was ultimately reduced to $10,000. The NFL has been deducting money from his practice squad paychecks. Lockley said that fine is almost entirely paid off.

    Click here to see Michael Lockley's draft profile, including a highlight video we produced in the spring. Those wishing to follow Lockley's exploits in the NFL can do so on Twitter at @MikeLock59.

    BREAKING NEWS: Former FAU linebacker Michael Lockley to be placed on Jacksonville's active roster

    Former FAU linebacker Michael Lockley is expected to be placed on the active roster of the Jaguars today, becoming just the third former Owl to make the roster of an NFL team.

    Lockley (pictured at right after his game-saving blocked FG at UAB last season) was signed as undrafted free agent in the preseason and was on Jacksonville’s practice squad until earning his promotion.
    Lockley joins quarterback Rusty Smith (Tennessee) and tight end Rob Housler (Arizona) as the only two former FAU players who have made active rosters of NFL teams. Wide receiver Lester Jean is on the Injured Reserve list of Houston.
    Lockley is espected to be on the roster for the Jags' game at Indianapolis on Sunday.
    For the Jaguar fans who aren’t familiar with Lockley, here is the full draft profile
    Tuesday's Required Reading: Jarvis mulling over FAU contract offer

    Since the FAU basketball team lost in the NIT to Miami in March, players and coaches have been working hard to prepare for the 2011-12 basketball season, which gets underway with an exhibition game vs. Lynn tonight before the season-opener on Saturday vs. Portland in Seattle.

    Has the administration been working with the same fervor to get a new contract to coach Mike Jarvis, who is in the last year of a four-year deal?

    Well, that probably depends on who you ask, but Jarvis is indeed in possession of a contract from FAU and the season hasn't started yet. Progress is being made, I suppose.

    However, just because Jarvis has an offer on the table doesn't mean there aren't a few hurdles remaining.

    For instance, what are the terms of the new deal?

    Jarvis' current contract has a base salary of $175,000 with some performance-based incentives that pushed his total compensation to around $200,000 last season.

    Neither Jarvis or Athletic Director Craig Angelos would confirm the proposed pay raise in the proposed contract, however a source told Owl Access the proposed raise was around 10 percent of the last deal. The new contract is also believed to be for four years, including this season.

    If true, and assuming other incentives would bump the total compensation up, the contract still would leave Jarvis well-short of the reported $472,500 in guaranteed total compensation North Texas coach Johnnie Jones will receive this season, believed to be among the highest-paid coaches in the Sun Belt Conference.

    Angelos said he believes the two sides aren't finished negotiating, but are on the right track.

     “We definitely want him back and we wanted to get something in his hands,” Angelos said. “The lawyers are still working on some things.”

    Again, progress. It's bad enough the process was been drawn out this long, but with the season about to tip, let's hope both sides can come to an agreement soon so this doesn't overshadow what could be a special season for the FAU basketball program.


    Today's Linkage...





    FAU's games at Alabama and Georgia in 2012 in jeopardy if SEC moves to nine conference games

    FAU people have been watching conference expansion for closely to see if would effect the Owls.

    Well, it seems that Missouri jumping to the SEC could have an impact on FAU as soon as next season.
    University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides told the Daily Gamecock that Missouri’s inclusion to the SEC will force the conference to play a nine-game conference schedule beginning next season instead of the eight league games the SEC plays now.
    To do that, SEC members would play three non-conference games instead of four – and that’s where things could get interesting to FAU.
    FAU is scheduled to play at Alabama and Georgia next season, but it’s possible that FAU could find its games against both schools cancelled. Of course, both games could stay on the schedule as well. However, Alabama isn't about to get out of a game against Michigan and Georgia is certain to play Georgia Tech. That leaves FAU as one of three games that could be cancelled by both the Bulldogs and the Crimson Tide.
    If a game against Alabama or Georgia were to be cancelled, FAU could still get paid a buyout fee and then scramble to fill the hole on the schedule.
    Late this afternoon, the SEC denied that it is headed to nine games, but this one definitely deserves some watching.
    Monday's Required Reading: Week of Shula Bowl off to a good start thanks to wet and wild swim meet between FAU and Florida International

    I can’t think of a better way to kick-off Shula Bowl week than with a good ol’ controversy between FAU and FIU.

    OK, this Owls-Panthers brouhaha is in swimming, but hey, it’s just Monday. I’m sure some more barbs about the big football rivalry will come up in the next few days.
    But for now, we will settle for a disputed result in a meet between FAU and FIU in women’s swimming on Saturday.
    Here are the details from FIU’s and FAU’s official web sites.
    FIU played host to FAU in a meet on Saturday and appeared to pull off an improbable 119-118 victory after getting the needed 1-2 finish in the final race of the day, reported.
    “Today’s win was the epitome of a team victory. We didn’t win many events, but every point was important,” FIU coach Randy Horner said, according to . “The girls should be very proud of this victory. They deserved it as hard as they work everyday.”
    Sounds good, but the view on FAU side was very different
    Here’s what had to say.
    “The women's team won nine of the 12 events and had officials agree to the Owls protest of the meet after a controversial 200-yard butterfly race. Freshman Iwona Lefanowicz touched the wall first to record a slim victory in 2:02.66 and three hundredths of a second ahead of FIU's Sonia Perez Arau. However, the judges overturned the electronic timing system and giving Perez Arau the victory for a 10-point swing.
    After FAU protested the event when FIU captured the dual victory 119-118, officials later on Saturday evening ruled that the electronic time would stand. That gave the Owls the dual victory and Lefanowicz the event victory.”
    FAU says final score was FAU 123, FIU 114.
    There was no mention of the protest on FIU’s site or a scoring change.
    This subject may not be as juicy as the disputed 2005 football game (more on that later) but it still is interesting. We will keep tabs on how the dispute is settled as it’s sure to have a ripple effect on the Shula Bowl.
    Today's linkage...
    Sunday Morning Quarterback: Owls doomed by struggles at start and end of game vs. Arkansas State

    In its game vs. Arkansas State on Saturday, Florida Atlantic didn’t look good in the beginning. And the Owls certainly didn’t look good in the end.

     But for a brief time FAU showed some resilience in its 39-21 loss vs. the Red Wolves.
    After quickly falling behind 15-0, the Owls, and especially quarterback Graham Wilbert (photo coutesy of OwlPix) began to click on all cylinders and mounted a comeback.
    When FAU took a 21-18 lead in the third quarter, FAU Stadium was as loud as it has been since it opened.
    The lead, however, was short-lived as ASU scored the next 21 points for the 39-21 win.
    When you factor in that this was the top team in the conference, it really could have been much, much worse
    This was not a moral victory – there can’t be one when the opponent plays in the Sun Belt Conference, but FAU did show that next week’s Shula Bowl may be a bit more competitive than it seemed just a few weeks ago.
    Owls lose again, but FAU's first real homecoming wasn't a total loss
    Florida Atlantic held its most successful homecoming on Saturday. Alums came back to campus en masse on Saturday to soak up the atmosphere, tailgate and remember when FAU's campus was a shell of what it is now.
    The only thing missing? You guessed it. A victory by the Owls. 
    Yes, FAU lost again – that's 11 and counting dating back to last season. But this one was a bit different from the other recent losses.
    The Owls showed they have a pulse. Thanks to an outstanding 163-yard rushing performance by Owls running back Alfred Morris (photo from OwlPix) FAU led Arkansas State, the top team in the Sun Belt Conference, in the third quarter before the Red Wolves battled back and won the game going away.
    The final score was 39-21, but for a short time, it looked like the Owls might escape with its first victory of the season.
    FAU's offense actually showed a spark and its defense played aggressively.
    Again there were plenty of disappointed fans after the game, but at least the FAU alums visiting their alma mater on homecoming were leaving campus after a tough loss instead of walking out of Lockhart Stadium after another loss.
    Saturday’s Prediction: It’s worst vs. first as FAU faces Arkansas State

    The Sun Belt has been unpredictable this season, especially at the top when you look at three of the title contenders are Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Western Kentucky.

    FAU has perhaps its last chance to be a factor in the Sun Belt race today when it plays host to the Red Wolves.

    How will the game go?

    Here’s my prediction…

    Arkansas State has one of the top defenses in the conference and should have very little problem shutting down the Owls’ offense. FAU could make a game out of it by getting a defensive score or keeping quarterback Ryan Aplin from running the ball. However, you have to give the edge to Arkansas State in just about every category. Owl fans should enjoy the homecoming festivities because the game itself won’t be pretty. Arkansas State 35, FAU 14

    Game previews…

    No way to get Subway at FAU Stadium for rest of football season

    Subway is following its “Any-tober” advertising campaign with what might be termed a “No-vember” FAU deal – as in, no Subway sandwiches will be available at FAU's stadium for the remainder of the season.

    Occupiers of all the concession stands beneath the student section of FAU's new on-campus stadium, Subway intends to open a store that is open to the FAU campus up to 365 days a year. To do so, the sandwich chain needs to do some reconfiguring of its stadium unit, which is expected to include adding doors to the store that will allow patrons to enter Subway without having to enter the stadium.

    The current Subway concession stands in the stadium can no longer be used to serve food because they are now classified as construction sites.

    “The stands on the east side of the stadium will be sufficient enough to help with the student volume,” Chartwells Resident District Manager Greg Moran wrote in an e-mail this morning. Chartwells oversees food service in the stadium.

    While I find it a little surprising that Chartwells would kick Chick-fil-A out of the stadium after a poor opening day performance yet let Subway essentially abandon the final three game days of the season, I do think this move could be beneficial to students' taste buds.

    After all, Subway is essentially the sub of choice when there is no other sub choice around. By walking a few extra feet, students will get what I consider to be much better food.

    The closest concession stand to the student section is run by Mississippi Sweets, which makes tasty pulled pork and chicken sandwiches. At the northeast end of the corridor is local pizza restaurant (and in the spirit of full disclosure, an advertiser) Tomasso's.

    If you haven't tried Tomasso's Owl Ball – a meatball stuffed inside a garlic roll and covered in Parmesan cheese – you're missing out on one of the best tastes in the stadium. That's a photo of one to the right.

    The reconstruction of Subway's concession unit has been part of the stadium plan since Subway signed on. Unfortunately for FAU fans (or fortunately, depending on your opinion of the BMT), that agreement wasn't reached until the stadium construction was too far along. A Balfour Beatty source told me months ago that accomodating Subway's design wishes as part of the orignal construction would have risked delaying the stadium opening.

    Chartwells expects the Subway store to be open to the campus in January. By that time hungry students  may well be satisfying their hunger at a couple local joints.

    Friday’s Required Reading: UAB will be limping into Boca Raton on Nov. 26

    Two weeks ago winless UAB pulled off an upset of UCF to spoil the possibility of teams with no victories playing on Nov. 26 when FAU plays host to the Blazers.

    UAB may have a win under its belt but don’t think for a moment that this team is riding high after its big victory.
    In fact, UAB football barely has a pulse and is fading fast. But that’s what happen when those in charge of managing the program have an agenda to tear it down.
    It wasn’t easy for FAU to get its on-campus stadium built, but at least it didn’t have its own trustees throwing sawdust in the gears when the project has started making progress.
    That’s exactly what is happening at UAB, my alma mater, which has had to fight tooth and nail for everything it has achieved over the years, including even establishing a football team and moving to I-A against the wishes of its own Board of Trustees.
    UAB raised nearly $15 million toward a $70 million on-campus stadium so it could quit playing in Birmingham’s Legion Field, which should likely be condemned as FAU fans who made the trip to games between the Owls and Blazers in 2009 and 2010 can attest.
    Earlier this week the University of Alabama Board of Trustees not only pulled the stadium off its agenda, but declared the project dead without a vote. For those who don’t know, in an archaic set-up UAB and Alabama have the same trustees but all but two of the board’s 16 graduates are from the Tuscaloosa campus, not UAB. You guessed it, UAB gets the short end of the stick just about every time, but usually not at this level of gall and moral bankruptcy.
    Without an on-campus stadium, the UAB football program is on a death watch, the board which pulled the plug on the stadium knows it, UAB alumni and fans know it and even the players on the team know it.
    UAB’s game at FAU is its final one of the season for the Blazers, and while it won’t be the last for the program there just likely wont be much enthusiasm from UAB fans or players that weekend as a program that is “Dead Man Walking” comes to Boca Raton.
    For those fans, players and coaches seeing FAU’s shiny new stadium will probably just make matters worse.
    Today's Links...
    FAU football players walk out on comic Jackson after he mocks them

    At least a few people didn't find Wednesday's homecoming comedy show at FAU to be all that funny.

    I'm told that early in his show Brandon Jackson (pictured), subbing for ill headliner Ralphie May, noted that Florida Atlantic had one of the “baddest” football teams in the land – and he didn't mean “bad” in the slang bad=good way.

    The joke, which apparently was followed by a couple more shots at the team, prompted several FAU football players in attendance to get up and walk out.

    Jackson has appeared in the kinds of instant celluloid classics (Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son and Lottery Ticket) that have Netflix' stock prices tumbling.

    By most accounts the first two acts of the night, Tony Roberts and Josh Blue, significantly outperformed Jackson, keeping the crowd laughing throughout their performances.

    While it's important to be able to laugh at yourself during times of adversity, I applaud the players for not sitting there listening to some fill-in comic ridicule their performance and effort.

    FAU will see that its program is growing when the students have the backs of the guys wearing their uniform. It's one thing to fight among the family. Schools with football tradition realize that when outsiders mock the team, they are also taking a shot at the fans, too.

    I'm told many students eventually did walk-out on Jackson after hearing one too many sub-par jokes.

    That's the other reason to take umbrage at Jackson's remark. It broke the number one rule of comedy – it simply wasn't funny. It was a cheap shot.

    Thursday’s Required Reading: FAU Hoops dinner a big success

    It appears there are plenty of FAU fans who can’t wait until basketball season gets underway.

    How else to explain the more than 100 fans who packed Matteo’s for a fund-raising dinner for the program sponsored by
    Was it a success? Well, the dinner was limited to the first 100 guests (at $100 a pop) and it sold out way in advance of the event.
    Through tickets, a live auction and other donations, the event brought in around $50,000 I have heard. That’s right, $50,000 in one night. A tip of the hat goes to all involved in putting on the event, but especially those who ponied up the cash to attend.
    Other than the money raised, other news coming out of the dinner was that FAU, apparently eager to join the ACC, has agreements to play games at both North Carolina and Duke next season. The Blue Devils and Tar Heels in the same season after Kansas this season? FAU players are definitely going to remember playing in those venues for the rest of their lives.
    See what you can learn by going to these things? And, judging by the success of the dinner, Owl fans will have many more chances to experience nights like this in the future.
    Today's Linkage:
    Sun Belt approves spending money for players and multi-year scholarships
    A few days ago Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters told our Chuck King the Sun Belt Conference would like to approve the NCAA proposal of allowing "cost of attendance" scholarships.
    Well, today the conference announced it will allow schools to have "cost of attendance" and multi-year scholarships.        
    Here's the announcement from the Sun Belt Conference.
    The Sun Belt Conference chief executive officers and athletic directors have unanimously  agreed to embrace the NCAA Board of Directors’ actions regarding cost of attendance and the awarding of multiyear scholarships.
    The institutional administrators agreed that each university will determine how cost of attendance and multiyear scholarships will be administered on each campus.  This agreement was made based on the complexity of issues regarding gender equity, financial considerations and availability of various scholarships.
    The Sun Belt Conference will not interfere with a university’s handling of these issues, so long as they remain in compliance with NCAA rules.
    The decisions by the Sun Belt Conference institutional administrators came after a series of conversations regarding the topics that began prior to the Fall Meeting and concluded today.  The NCAA Board of Directors adopted the proposals last week.
    Wednesday’s Required Reading: Record is bad, but this is one of Schnellenberger’s best seasons

    FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger said  that this season may be one of the worst since he began his coaching career 52 years ago , but in many ways it is one of the best, he maintains.

    The reason is simple. The record speaks for itself and this is a particularly bad football team, but, the future has never looked brighter for FAU with its new stadium up and open for business.\
    The highs and lows were encapsulated on Oct. 15 when FAU opened its new 30,000-seat stadium, but lost to Western Kentucky 20-0.
    “Do you think those kids aren’t heartbroken that they couldn’t win the opening game here,” Schnellenberger said Tuesday at his weekly press conference. “That’s going to be tough to overcome. It tore their hearts out. That’s what I was trying to say when I said it was the greatest moment of my coaching career and then suddenly it was the worst of my career to have the wonderful thing that happened, the culmination of 13 years of work on the stadium and all we had to do was to carry the ball across the goal line, carry it to the end with some dignity and some pride. That’s tough on anybody."
    Schnellenberger said at the “50 on the 50” gala held at FAU Stadium on Saturday, he didn’t hear any complaints from the power brokers and money people who were at the event.
    “It take people of vision to understand no matter how bad it gets now it cannot offset the greatness that has happened before this,” Schnellenberger said. “I went to the 50 for 50 with 800 people there and to a person nobody said a word, not only not to me but that was not being discussed anywhere what the team is doing now. Everything was discussed about this venue and the future of this football team. I’m not going to let anything disturb that. We’ll go down and flames and hold that banner as high as we can.”
    I’ll bet there were a few people discussing the team’s record, but the point is while this season is disappointing, the prospects of FAU football have never been soaring as high.
    In my opinion, disgruntled fans and “experts” in the media have been wasting energy trying to dissect why this year’s team is so bad. It’s almost like they didn’t get the word that there will be a new coach next season, when things certainly will change. Maybe that’s not soon enough for some, but if Owl fans will be patient, there are clearly better days ahead for FAU's football program.
    Today's Linkage...


    Go to Duffy's Tuesday night to help FAU's recruiting

    We always want to help spread the word, especially when it’s a good cause. And FAU's football recruiting hostesses, certainly qualify.

    How can you help this group.

    1. Print this flyer.
    2. Go to the Boca Raton Duffy’s.
    3. Eat and drink
    4. Feel good about helping the hOWLetts

    Here are the details, but if you think FAU recruiting has been doing a lousy job with recruiting – and by judging by the message board and Facebook comments I see, plenty of you do – be part of the solution.

    Tonight, the Duffy’s on St. Andrews in Boca Raton will be hosting a fundraiser that directly benefits FAU Football recruiting by donating back 10% of your pretax check directly to the hOWLetts, FAU’s student organization that host football recruits on official and unofficial visits to campus.

    Help the Owls by going to Duffy’s and running up a big tab.






    Tuesday’s Required Reading: Like ASU's Freeze, Schnellenberger was also connected to hit movie

    We start each week with 10 things FAU fans need to know about that week’s opponent with something we call 1st and 10.

     Some of it is the basics, but we also like to look at some of the off the field stuff that makes the games more interesting. I mean, it’s pure gold that a character based on ASU coach Hugh Freeze was not only in the movie The Blind Side, but that character was the one that was shown football pointers by Sandra Bullock. You can’t make that stuff up. Well, actually Freeze says they did make that up and it wasn’t in the book by the same name.
    At any rate, it’s great that ASU’s coach is connected to Hollywood, but what about FAU’s coach?
    Some may know this, but others may not - Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger was in a major movie back in the day.
    Schnellenberger had a small role – but he is in the credits nonetheless – of MASH, the 1970 movie that predated the TV series of the same name.
    In the movie, Schnellenberger says the line “Call it in the air” as he plays a referee before a football game between rival units.
    I found a clip of the movie and Schnellenberger’s line is at the 0:51 mark, but you can’t hear actually him because of the music playing.

    I like the excellent delivery how he really got into the character.
    Schnellenberger, who was an assistant with the LA Rams at the time, claims he still receives a Screen Actor’s Guild check of around $3 each month.
    That’s much better than having your character schooled by Sandra Bullock.
    Today's Other Linkage..

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    Nicely done Jake. Great addition to Owl Access.

    Then who do you think has the uper hand to be three yard directly behind the center.

    Sorry, I read the above question wrong. Who will be UNDER center? No one. They will operate primarily from the shutgun.

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