SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
10/15/2006 12:25:00 PM
Five Things We Learned This Weekend
Tyler Palko, the nation's leading passer, has led Pittsburgh to a 6-1 start.
Jason Bridge/US PRESSWIRE
1) That Miami’s players have thrown pride out the window: Yes, the replays show that two Florida International players were responsible for starting Saturday night’s riot at the Orange Bowl. But come on --- you're Miami, the "U," the most dominant program of the past two decades, and you allow yourself to be drawn into a bench-clearing melee with FIU? It's barely a I-A program. The fiasco may have started as a defense of their attacked teammate, but you never would have seen the violent barrage of helmet-wielding, foot-stomping and body-slamming that followed from the Ken Dorsey/Dan Morgan/Ed Reed-era 'Canes. The current edition seems to be going out of its way to bring embarrassment to its predecessors.
2) That the Big East isn't a two-team league any more: Yes, West Virginia and Louisville remain the cream of the crop in the rebuilt conference. But you know what? Rutgers (6-0), which not only has running back Ray Rice but also beat Navy on Saturday with defense and a passing game, is perfectly capable of knocking off either. Pittsburgh (6-1), with the nation's leading passer, Tyler Palko, is capable of knocking off the Scarlet Knights this Saturday. And Cincinnati (3-4), which came dangerously close to knocking off Louisville, and USF (5-2) are perfectly capable of pulling off a major upset at some point. It's going to be a heck of a race.
3) That Oklahoma is on the wrong end of some kind of karmic backswing:Bob Stoops' program used to live such a charmed life -- especially when it came to the BCS -- but this year's Sooners can't seem to buy a break. First the starting quarterback gets kicked off the team a month before the season. Then they fall victim to one of the biggest officiating snafus in recent history. And now, their heart and soul, Adrian Peterson, has possibly played his last game in an OU uniform. I'd say it couldn't get any worse, but have you seen the Sooners' current QB candidates for next season?
4) That there's one heck of a receiver playing down the road in Stillwater: If you don't know the name Adarius Bowman, you should now. Saturday night against Kansas, the Oklahoma State flanker caught 13 passes for a Big 12-record 300 yards and four touchdowns. It was the 11th-highest receiving yardage in NCAA history. "He gets my vote for the Heisman," Kansas coach Mark Mangino said afterward. Bowman, a transfer from North Carolina (where he had off-the-field problems), immediately jumped to the top of the national receiving chart (123.8 yards per game) by a considerable margin.
5) That the Auburn replay booth is not kind to visitors: If you watch the slow-motion replay of Chris Leak's costly fumble Saturday night, it does appear that he had released the ball just before contact. Did it rise to the level of "indisputable evidence?" That I don't know. I do know, however, that such a huge play was seemingly worthy of a serious review. I've sat in stadiums where they spent five minutes reviewing a seemingly obvious call, yet last night's "review" lasted about 45 seconds before the call was upheld by replay official Al Ford. And remember, LSU also found itself on the wrong end of two controversial replay calls in its close loss at Auburn last month.
You can't win for losing in this league. We lose a game to Arkansas, and I dread reading the sports columns because I don't want to relive the beating. We beat Florida, and the focus is a "botched" replay call. Whichever way the reviewed call went, it didn't make Leak throw an interception, it didn't make Tartt draw a holding penalty in the end zone, and it didn't make Wilbur bobble a snap and subsequently fumble the football.
"If you watch the slow-motion replay of Chris Leak’s costly fumble Saturday night, it does appear that he had released the ball just before contact."
So, if I'm a quarterback and have been chased 60 yards behind the line of scrimmage, and I'm going down, I can gain back the 60 yards by a slight wave of my arm forward and release of the ball, no worries that there are no receivers within 70 yards of me and the ball only goes 5 yards? Do the rules have no regard for whether I actually have some intent to attempt a legitimate forward pass?
the acc and ncaa need to both grow some stones and force miami to forfiet their games this year. and anyone else who allows that behavior. miami has gone from over-ranked to not ranked and deservedly so. universities advertise the opportunities and education they offer young people to refine their livelyhood for their future but are merely hypocrites. what about their opportunity to educate that playing surfaces in college sports is for "atheletes" to learn to compete against each other in sportsmanlike competition and not a "stage" for punk thugs to express their self in showmanship? showmanship has replaced sportsmanship in many universities atheletic programs simply because they are allowed to get away with it. the "playas" in that game were just allowed to riot without facing criminal or even disciplanary actions. as for the "pass" of leaks, that was a fumble. he pumped and decided not to pass, when his arm stopped it's forward motion, he couldn't maintain his grip and the ball slipped out. that's why the ball went downward. btw, i'm not an auburn fan, i'm a razorback.
At least one former Hurricane was urging on Miami players as they rioted on the field. Lamar Thomas disgraced himself, his team and his university. He is supposed to be doing color commentary on a local Comcast broadcast of the game. But you can hear him on this video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1JWeE9KqZjQ) cheering on the players as they engage in the street rumble - "That’s what I’m talking about. You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. You don’t come into the Orange Bowl playing that stuff. You’re across the ocean over there. You’re across the city over there. You can’t come over to our place talking noise like that. You’ll get your butt kicked. I was about to go down the elevator and get into that thing."
u auburn fans need to get a life. you guys should have 3 losses right now..from arkansas, lsu, and florida. The dumb referees pretty much gave you guys the game in the controversial calls in the lsu game and yesterday in the florida game. tuberville is one cocky son of a gun with no respect and a little conceited too. When he called that onside kick during the usc game, he called himself a "genius" after the game talking to the reporters. Who the hell does that? I was glad that him and his team were quickly humbled the next weekend against arkansas. But don't worry, if you guys manage to make it to the sec championship game, we will clobber you guys at a neutral stadium.
I understand it's in their nature for SEC teams and their fans to cry 24 hours a day about getting cheated for one thing or another, but is Leak's Fumble really in dispute? He pumped about 3 times looking at the D-line coming then dropped the ball in terror. Sure his arm was going forward, but as bad a QB as Leak is, he usually can get most of his passes to go past the line of his index finger, they just usually go to members of the other team.
Leak's are was going forward, I don't think it could have been any more forward. Clearly blown call by the officials. NCAA DOES NOT have the "tuck" rule like the NFL now has so the call should have clearly by the rule book an incompletion.
Twisting replays and fixing games? You do know that we are talking about the SEC and not the Big Ten? The SEC is long been noted for the excellence of its officials, whereas the Big Ten is long known for its love of all things Michigan or the Pac-10 recent trend of protecting its own. Oregon this year, USC at Notre Dame last year.
The ball came out of Leak's hand sideways. How does one have a ball slip out sideways? Looked to me like the ball was knocked out of his hand. And if a review takes five minutes, it's clear there is not indisputable proof. If watching a slow motion three or four times doesn't give clear reason to change a call, then move on.
Players from both Miami and FIU should be kicked off their respective teams permanently. The school's actions this week will show who runs the programs, athletes or coaches.
Stuee, have you ever played a team sport? The Dorsey era 'Canes would have done the same thing. It's about backing up your teamates man. The only difference is the 2000-2003 'Canes earned respect on the feild as well as off. They didn't get messed with because you knew they would take it out on you on the feild. These 'Canes have yet to earn it on the feild, but they still gotta back each other up. Don't you agree??
Does everyone forget that football is a TEAM sport & that one play never wins or loses the game? AU still dominated the time of possession, Cox missed open receivers in the red zone in the first half, missed a field goal, etc, etc. When Florida makes mistakes, it is "what should have been," and "missed calls," rather than poor play on their part.
Obviously the Auburn fans are sounding off in defense of their mediocre football team's victory over a fellow mediocre SEC team. Come on people and catch a clue! The SEC is highly overrated this year (as in many previous years) and such is evident considering too-high initial rankings, pathetic interconference competition (e.g. AU vs. Buffalo and other powder puff programs) and pitiful performances on the field. Please just quit your whining!
Bottom line is that call is what cost the gators. It was obvious is arm was not only moving forward but Chris Leak had released the ball. That call is what turned the momentum for good. The gators didnt play the same after that.
It went backwards because it was hit by a defender...once it was already in the air...going forwards. And there was clearly a receiver in the backfield in Leak's line of vision. That's not intentional grounding; that's trying to throw the dump-off pass and getting screwed by the officials in the process.
I think the miami football program needs to be given the death sentance. Enough already from these thugs. Remember the Jimmy Johnson days and the excessive cellebration penalty we now have courtesy of those guys? They are just bad for college sports.
couple of posts up....no, not everyone would react like that...stomping on the back of bare legs with metal spikes?? taking off your helmet and hitting someone else with it?? lack of class, sportsmanship, intelligence..i could go on and on. When in tempe for the '03 fiesta bowl, UM fans were complete aholes, only fans ive met and not liked as a whole. and no, FIU doesnt get a pass. hell one of their players instigated it. Miami is just getting more attention cause they are Miami. Meriweather and whoever swung the helmet should never play CFB again.
I just love it how people who weren't even on the field know exactly what happened...despite the fact that they aren't trained to recognize things and don't have the mutliple angles that the officials have...I just love it when people try to take the game away from a hard working team like Auburn...honestly, you can cry and whine all you want but deep down you know that Florida finally plaeyd a team that wouldn't let them get away with making suptid mistakes...Auburn won...Flordia lost..fair and sqare, go ahead...cry me a river, build a bridge and get over it!
In your next article on the worst coaches, can you please give a little more press to Rich Brooks!? On a day when perennial doormats won big upsets (Vandy beating Geogria at Georgia and Indiana beating #15 Iowa), Brooks' Kentucky team layed a very predictable egg 49-0 at LSU. I will grant you that LSU is a very good team, but when was the last time UK beat one of the big SEC football schools? Here's a great symbol of the Brooks era: the 26-7 loss to Florida was considered a moral victory by UK. Enough!
Typical SEC crybabies, a conference with 8 mediocre teams that can't beat the cream of the crop, WVU, Ohio State, Michigan, Lousiville and a close call with USC if games played and please stop using the Cal. game as a stepping stone for the SEC, only out of conference win significant for the SEC...early season loss. OVERRATED!!!
There are plenty of pictures and videos out now showing that Leak clearly released the ball in a forward motion and it was THEN hit by Blackmon causing it to go backwards. The rules clearly state that a forward motion of the arm is a pass regardless of intent etc. And it would not have been intentional grounding as the ball would have hit our tight end in the legs ankles had Blackmon not tipped it away.
all of these guys calling Miami a "disgrace" are full of it. If it was there team inolved, and most likely there team has been in this situation at one point, they would be screaming bloody murder if anything happened. If any of you are buckeye fans then admit your season should have been canceled after the woody hayes escapade. Or how about Clemson and South Carolina. For those of you that are ignorant to claim of the "playas" and all that nonsense, why dont you look up the violations of Miami compared to your team the past 5 years and see who the real trouble makers are.
how about how vulnerable usc looks? i have become a fan of their program over the past few years but this is a much different team. they are a team that manages games this year. they lack a deep game. booty is excellent at short and intermediate throws but has been unsuccessful with the deep ball. their running backs show tremendous potential. on d, well-documented group of linebackers but weak in secondary. we'll see how they go over the course of the season but it looks to me that they will be playing plenty of close games. a great program that seems destined for another championship within a couple years.
If you watch the replay again from the angle at Florida's back, you clearly see that the ball left Leak's hand before the Auburn defender touched it. Perhaps the replay officials didn't see that angle, but either way it was a bad call. I'm not really sure how much more forward an arm can be moving than Leak's was on that play. In which case, it wouldn't matter if the Auburn player had touched him or not. By the way, I am a Hokie (yeah, I know, we stink this year. But that's a different story) I don't have any connection to Florida or Auburn (obviously no connection to the latter), nor did I feel inclined to root for one over the other. I do, however, know a bad call when I see one. That was a bad call.
nobody cares if FIU's players are punks...they're the robbers that put their guns down on the counter to pick up the money they dropped.
I think Auburn reclaimed their status as the best team in the SEC. They have the best defense, Cox plays it safe, and a new dimension to the running game has emerged. In the SEC, you can't write a team off after one loss. The same people who were saying Arkansas was a joke after they got beat by USC are saying they are the top SEC team, and will reverse themselves again as soon as they lose to LSU.
As a former Oklahoma State Cowboy let me say thank you for acknowledging Bowman's big day. In the last few years we have had a 300 yard receiving game and a receiver catch 7 touchdowns in a game. Since I currently reside in Jacksonville, let me say that Chris Leak will take a ton of criticism and the minority of Gator fans' that want to see Tebow take the job' will be the most vocal, however, smart Gator fans realize Leak is your best option and truth be told, Florida isn't out of the national championship hunt just yet.
A quarterback's arm going forward = incomplete pass. No way around that. How many times have we seen plays just like the one in the Florida Auburn game where a quarterback is in a throwing motion and gets hit or the ball slips out of his hand or whatever ruled incomplete or the call is overturned? Taking 45 seconds to review a HUGE play is a bit sketchy if you ask me.
It really doesn’t matter we will see Auburn again in Atlanta and not only overcome the men in stripes but Auburn’s pitiful offense and their mediocre defense.
Reading comments how Miami has lost it or is responsible is ridiculous. FIU is getting zero blame and that really is the big issue here. Miami is defending Matt Perrilli, then FIU starts swinging, and Miami looks bad because they defended themselves. Yes it got out of hand, but if you blame Miami souly responsible you need to taken outside and stomped on yourself. Even if Miami farted in the wrong direction they get place on probation. It was a no win situation for them, and all they could do was protect themselves because if the didn’t we'd be hearing how Miami allowed fiu to come into their house and beat them up, rendering them of the last bit of swagger they had left. Anyone that blames UM, or calls them thug U or anything dumb like that, should stop watching or commenting on sports period, STOP SPREADING YOUR IGNORANCE because fans from OSU, ND are proving its contagious.
The fact is Miami will be judged harsher than any other program. I was at the game and thought it was a disgrace on both sides of the ball. I hope that even if Miami wins the ACC coach Coker will punish the team by not going to a Bowl game this year and suspending the players who were involved for at least 4 games if not the remainder of the season and by the way this is good example of why alcohol should not be allowed in any college sport.
For the poster that thinks the Big East is the second best conference I hope you are joking. There is not a team in the conference that could beat Ohio State or Michigan. It is not a great year over all for the Big Ten, but the Big East is still not in the Big Ten's league.
in the ken doarsy ed reed era no body would have tried to fight miami. when one player gets attaked its the teams job to stick together. yes it was emaressing but fiu desserves more blame for what happened. I was at the game and heRD FIU Fans chanting their team on durring the meele.
Actually, the Woody Hayes incident was at the end of a bowl game, so their season did end with that punch. And South Carolina did cancel the rest of their season in refusing to go to a bowl after the incident with Clemson.
Coker's already suspended 8 players, but this is the third time something dodgy has happened with this squad in the last year, and obviously this was by far the worst.
Mandel, youre an idiot. All season the U's swagger has been criticized and FIU rolls into the OB, plays dirty, hits late, jumps our holder and you expect Miami to roll over. Thats a joke and you are too.
Mandel you're ignorance shows. That comment about Morgan and Reed is plain stupid. They would have defended their teammates as well. The difference is those monsters would have sent someone out on a stretcher. You probably didn't watch the UM game. I was there. FIU was taunting and taking shots the whole game and capped it by punching out the PAT holder. The FIU players got what they deserve.
So FIU walks into Miami's stadium, instigates a fight by stomping on the Miami holder and Miami gets the blame for retaliating? What should they have done? Watch from the sidelines helplessly?
Most people are only trying to ride Miami because they're, well, Miami. I, for one, think they did the right thing. If I walked into your house and proceeded to stomp the living daylights out of one of your friends or family members, I highly doubt that you'd sit idly by and watch.
What's great is that it was 14-0 with 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. NICE! Miami is not good and you can see the frustration. And then the dancing - fantastic! What bizarro world do these guys live in!
The rest of college football watched as the Miami thugs walked into everyone elses stadium and taunted, and hit late and hit dirty etc for the last 10 years when they were a dominant team. Now they are not as good and little FIU gives a small dose of ther own medicne and hey can't take it like men...let the officials hande like good sportsmen...not a bunch of criminals. Newsflash UM...this is college football not the Florida penal league.
I don't understand how you can possibly think that was anything but a fumble in the Auburn-Florida game. He decided not to throw it, and then Leak had the ball knocked out of his hands. It's that simple. Am I an idiot or are you?
You're right, the Big East has some tough competition. as a L'ville fan I'm worried about Rutgers and Pittsburgh on the road just as much as I am West Virginia. Luckily, they took care of Cincy. It was waaay too close.
Mandel you really are an idiot and your comments about only provides more evidence of your bias against the Miami program. Miami did what any self respecting team (at any level) would have done for a teammate. Ken Dorsey's team dominated on the field and never gave opponents a chance to taunt them, disrespect them--that's the problem with the Hurricanes the past 2 years--they don't dominate on the feld so teams are going to take verbal and sometimes physical shots at them beacuse they don't fear these Canes. If anyone came into my house and did what FIU players did to my family or friends I would have done just about anything to protect them as well. Miami always get a raw dal when something negative happens on the field. In that LSU fracas guess who started that one, and who was defending a little kid who had a football taken from him...
Miami can't beat people on the field anymore so they resort to cheap shots. Yes, FIU was just as dirty but the 'u' is a big time college football program (and not much else) and should be held to a higher standard.
I have to respond to some of the Miami fans on here who claim that any other team would have reacted the same. I agree, to an extent. We see a lot of pushing and shoving every weekend, and yes every team is guilty once in a while. However, players like Meriweather and HelmetSwinger need to be kicked off the team. They were not involved in the play, came running in from the sidelines, and made obvious attempts to seriously injure people. This wasn't self-defense, it was malicious. Any player, on either team, who tried to use crutches, helmets, etc. as weapons should never play CFB again. I would even go so far as to suggest criminal charges for those players.
Both the FIU and Miami players involved in the brawl should be thrown off the team. Then, they can consider how priveleged a life they had and figure out how to earn an honest living in the real world where assault and battery should land you in jail.
Wow, cmon Miami defenders, you're saying its acceptable for them to stomp on the opposing players and use helmets as weapons?! I acknowledge that you must defend your teammate but please, keep the stomping and helmet usage out of the equation.
That being said, FIU is one classless team and deserves punishment from the NCAA. This kind of stuff doesn't belong in college football.
In my opinion, this might have been just what Miami needed to regain it's swagger. The fans were into it and the Miami players were jumping around the sidelines with their helmets in hand. I'd watch out for Miami the rest of the season; "Thug U" is back!
Are these Canes fans serious? You are defending your players concerning themselves with FIU!!! Honestly, that's like Bill Gates wasting time, energy & effort trying to milk me out of my $2000 tax return to add to his wealth. Miami is supposed to be big boy football. I guarantee that the Ed Reed's of the world look at this behavior and start to wonder how their mighty alma mater has resorted to brawling with lowly FIU. Not FSU, UF, or Virginia Tech, but FIU. Simply put maybe the Canes see FIU as a threat to their status as the 4th best college football program in Florida, behind UF, FSU, & USF.
Al Ford lives in my home town. He has been an Auburn fan his whole life. Has Auburn Daniel Moore prints on his office wall (he is of course in insurance). For years those in Florence, AL have screamed about this travisty, especially when he worked AU-UA games (remember 12 men on the field - he was the ref who could not count). Now that he is to old to run up the field he still gets to screw over college football with his blatent boosterism.
I watched that game yesterday and it was pretty obvious to someone who actually watched the whole game that FIU came in to the game with a chip on their shoulder. They also attacked the place holder which started the whole thing.
I think the Miami player who used his helmet should be punished harshly, but it seems like you are ignoring FIU in all this and focusing on Miami. This was not a one way street at all. It was right for Miami players to defend their teamates, but swinging a helmet was wrong.
How about them Hurricanes? I've been saying it for years, and no one's listened. They are a bunch of punks, and they've proved it over and over again. THREE times this year alone no less. NO other team in the NCAA does what they do yet they get away with fight after fight. NCAA should kick them out for a couple of years, and they'd change thier tune.
A football stadium is not "your house", it's a place for 18-20+ year olds to play a game. They are suppose to be students learning a trade and preparing for the future. Bowing to the crowd, showing "tude" calling themselves the "u" is not learning a trade. This isn't the first time a Miami team has embarrassed itself. They did it last year against LSU, this year against Louisville, and remember the dust up in the 1990's at the Cotton Bowl? The game should be about respect, sportsmanship and great athletes, not those who love to do the latest "hey, look at me, aren't I great?" dance.
Could we say that the 6th thing we learned this weekend is that Wake Forest deserves a little respect. They beat NCState, and the only game they have lost all year was a week ago to Clemson in the 4th quarter. They outplayed Clemson for 3/4 of the game, then fumbled the ball with a bad snap-field goal attempt that Clemson scoffed up and scored. It was a heart breaker. I think that Wake is really underrated and has been ignored by the polls. They should be rated a top 25 team.
"Most people are only trying to ride Miami because they're, well, Miami. I, for one, think they did the right thing. If I walked into your house and proceeded to stomp the living daylights out of one of your friends or family members, I highly doubt that you'd sit idly by and watch."
Miami is supposed to be fielding a football team, not a street gang. Take the talent out of Miami and all you have left is thuggery. Sad state for a once proud program. Notice the ACC "Sportsmanship" commercials that ran during the game? What a joke.
This is my least favorite time of year. The BCS is released and I'll have to listen to Auburn fans whine for the next 3 months. Every year it's something new, but all boils down to the "we were robbed/no respect" argument. Get over yourselves already.
As for the UM/FIU fiasco- both teams are guilty. The players directly involved on both sides should never play college football again. Truth be told, the officials should have ended the game right there and charged both teams with a loss.
I think the miami program needs to be removed from play for the year with a limited schedule next year and the suspended players need to be removed from the school. Most of the players involved are in college because of football, if they choose to discrace the game like they did than they don't deserve to play the game or attend the school.
Miami fans...You and FIU were involved in the fight. I don't care who started it, but y'all set the progress that student-athletes have made back about 20 years b. I am a former student-athlete and it made me sick to see that. Both teams deserve to lose out on bowl games, Miami would be the biggest loser since they would lose more money. Miami's program needs to be cleaned up. Just look at the past year.
I graduated from FIU and figured they would get their butt kicked at UM; FIU did start the fight but you had to figure it was going to happen from the outset. Don Strock has to go - his record at FIU sucks. Larry Coker has to go; he has lost control. The AD at UM, Paul Dee, is probably one of the biggest problems; his history of defending UM and recruiting people like Willie Williams is deplorable. Fire them all. Forfeit the rest of the season. Declare both programs ineligible for bowl games; wait, that's a moot point for FIU.
For those Miami fans saying that any other program would have reacted the same way as Miami....wrong!
The classy programs of the world don't bother to bow, flash etc. when they are playing clearly inferior teams. That's the stuff that leads to inferior teams attacking holders, which led to this whole mess.
FIU has no excuse, but Miami should have enough class to know that the inferior team often gets chippy. You ignore it, beat them and move on.
my immediate reaction was a suspension of both teams' remaining schedules...if you look at the sportsnation poll, an overwhelming majority feel that a one-game suspension is too lenient...i don't care about either of the two teams involved, & i won't play favorites...the individuals involved in the fight are responsible for their own actions & should be held accountable...that being said, please stop with the ignorant insults behind the mask of the internet...you would be a worthless conversation in a sports bar & many have proved it with thoughtless posts
Are you kidding me??? Miami fans, you have gone a bit too far this time. You think it is ok for football players to attack each other on the field? Not to mention the fact that the FREAKIN benches cleared. Now, I am all about backing up your team mate. But show some restraint. But you can't. I thought my Hokies were bad sports the other night, but that was nothing compared to the original Thug U. Can't wait for Thug U to face my Hokies. They should be playing the Lacrosee team, because the UM football team should be suspended the entire year.
You must have never played on an organized sports team before. Being loyal to your team means having there backs, it happens in sports at all levels. Is it right? NO. Should the players be punished? Of course. She would judge them more harshly than we do other schools... or even ourselves? Absolutly not. This world is full of people who are quick to judge others to a higher standard, as if they are altruistic themselves. It's funny that nobody is mentioning the fight that almost broke out in the atlanta falcons game. We should cut miami some slack, they just did what the rest of us would have do in the same situation.
I can't believe all these posts..."defending your teammates"?!?!?!?! It's truly incredible. That anyone would believe that taking your helmet off and using it as a weapon or stomping on someone's legs are legitimately defending your teammates. When you are on the field, you keep your helmet on, regardless of what is taking place. It's not a matter of UM being a bunch of thugs or FIU playing dirty all game, it's a matter of conducting yourself in a manner that is indicitive of your school. Obviously both schools have a lot to learn. It's a shame for all involved.
(1) Neither the coaches nor the referees siezed control of the game early on, when it was evident that taunting and tempers were getting out of hand. (2) FIU initiated the aggression. (3) Miami players rightfully defended their placekick holder. But then several UM players escalated the violence by using their helmets as weapons, stomping on FIU players in vulnerable positions, and body slamming one unfortunate FIU player. All are inexcusable, and the players involved should be suspended for far more than one game. (4) Even the most biased fan should admit that Miami has taken successful steps to improve the behavior of the players. They are not the first, nor will they be the last team to get in an on-field fight. Do not make this out to be a purely Miami phenomenon. There is plenty of video footage from the last two years to prove otherwise. (5) This helmet flinging thing has to be addressed, before a helmetless player is killed in the midst of a melee. Any player who flings his helmet in anger, disgust or frustration, should be gone for the year, no questions asked.
The Miami / FIU debacle was a disgrace to both institutions (something Miami is used to by now). Do I think that it was disgraceful to college football? Only partially because most real college football fans only expect this kind of behavior from Miami. Southern Methodist University got the death sentence for NCAA infractions years ago, and Miami gets away with their uncontrolled behavoir for the past 10-15 years, and gets to keep its program? I like the comment from the Big East fan...I'd be glad my team would'nt be forced to play Miami as well!! And by the way, the word 'thugs'....who can think of a more fitting description? Think about it. Miami attitude stinks.
WOW! Come on Miami fans, do you really believe this? I mean seriously you think every other team would have done the same thing? There are fights in sports every year that don't rise to the level of the UM-FUI debacle. I don't have a problem with defending your teammate, I really don't, or even with a fight occurring every now and then, I mean this is sports this stuff happens sometimes, but what happened out there is inexcusable FOR EITHER TEAM. What would I have done in that situation, what would I hope my team would have done what would I expect? I'd expect that there'd be a fight, but that it wouldn't get that out of hand, and I’d expect that the vast majority of the people involved would try to break it up not break someone’s nose. To the people asking if Stu's ever been on a team here's one for you: Have you ever been in a fight? You don't stomp people on the ground you, don't use a helmet as a weapon and you don't escalate the fight. And are you seriously going to piss and moan about being TAUNTED????? Have you watched football (especially U of M football) over the last decade??? Taunting happens, being insulted, disrespected, mocked, and cussed it all happens. Have you ever been on a team? You say anything to get under someone's skin to distract them to make them lose their edge. And swagger? You think THAT counts as swagger. You can take my teams swagger if we can avoid an incident like that. And yes we know FUI started it, but we're not talking about them because FUI alums are surprised to know they have a football team, and they aren't defending their team’s actions. Why do we hear about what Miami did? Because nobody cares about FUI. We talk about Miami because if someone told you a week ago that FUI got in a bench-clearing brawl would you have even turned on sports center to see what's up?
This is one of the most despicable moments in CFB history. Both teams need to have their schedules cancelled and be done for the season. For Miami fans, this is not the first fight ever for them and if they are so great they should have been smart enough to have been roped into that position. After the fights they had last year and the disgraceful act by Vick vs. Louisville, they should have walked away form this fight. They see themselves one of the of top programs but appearently nothing is still beneath them. I am not an OSU or ND fan, I am a PITT fan and you do not see this garbage in PITT or the Big East. We get players from Florida, but we instill discipline, something you people know nothing about. I hope Cowher goes to NC ST, he will show you all in the ACC what discipline is, Western Pa style. Both teams are a disgrace to college football, and show student athletes are allowed to get away with it, as long as it happens on the field. Oh, if you look at the recent news for CFB, it involves a bunch of arrests and charges of college players, because there is NO DISCIPLINE!
As a "DIEHARD" Miami fan I cannot agree with you more! It disgusts me to watch that display of barbaric behavior...I've been saying for the last two years to anyone who would listen that Stevie Wonder could see that Larry Coker has absolutely no control over the Canes...It showed in the undisciplined way they played penalties, getting man handled by an unranked opponent (at home none the less),blown out of bowl game, the lack of focus and fire they didn't play with, and most recently stomping on L'ville's 50yd line, only to go out and get their you know what's handed to them...Granted the Canes of the 80's and early 90's weren't the most disciplined of teams, and at times were a downright embarassment. The difference with those teams is that they had the talent that was at the time almost unmatched nationwide, to make up for their on-field mistakes...Their off the field antics, well that was a whole different can of worms which was met with an NCAA can opener of sanctions. But back to their style of play and Coker's vaseline grip. His time as the Head Coach is long overdue, nice guy schtick and all...The rememdy, first fire Dee, and give Coker the gentlemen's handshake he deserves, but tell him to hold the door open on his way out to apologize to the guy who's players he won a national title with and say "Butch, I'm sorry that you're here to have to bring this program back from the ashes again"! As for Lamar Thomas, he deserves it too...Don't think for a second he get's any love from a Canes fan...We didn't forget that you single handidly lost, (and maybe even got payed off),the 93 Sugar Bowl, and that he and George Teague are still buddy buddy...