The FIU Golden Panthers won a share of the Sun Belt Conference title this year and earned a bowl game apperance in the Little Ceasars Bowl Vs. 8-4 Toledo from the MAC.
While FIU still isn't a threat (yet) to cross town Miami there presence in the Division I football world has begun to be felt.
FIU finished with a 6-6 record best record since becoming a D1 football school. The record is deceiving however as the Panthers played in their first four games, Rutgers, Texas A&M, Maryland and Pitt. I actually attended the FIU-Rutgers game and believe me when i tell you that the better team in FIU lost that night. The final score was 19-14 Rutgers and FIU would have won that game if they could have avoided 3 costly turnovers. Rutgers was lucky to have won that game a game in which should have been a nice warmup for Rutgers almost a walk through for their up-coming schedule. And while yes i know Rutgers is not exactly a force they are still a BCS conference team and are considered to be leagues ahead of a small school like FIU.
Against A&M the final score was 27-20 A&M. Another game that no one expected FIU to be in. Against Pitt and Maryland they were comptetitive but lost. After another loss to Maryland FIU was 0-4.
FIU rallied to a 6-6 record with only two losess coming in Sun Belt play. Cristobal (former Miami guy i might add) has done a fantastic job in turning that program around and giving FIU a hope for the future.
FIU has only strung together a decent recruiting class and in actuality a fantastic recruiting class for a Sun Belt team especially in the state of Florida. FIU has strung together 3 star recruits in RB Shane Coleman- Who of were a couple inches taller would be a major D1 prospect, QB-Rakeem Cato- Who should fit very nicely in FIU's spread offensive system and WR-Ezekial Turner- Is 5'10 170 and is just another good reciever to add to a already talented group of receivers headlined by TY Hilton.
Another thing i might add is that more FIU players than any other school were named to the 1st team All Sun Belt Conference team.
If FIU keeps improving and growing as a team than i can't wait for the FIU Vs. Miami game to ressurect.