If Florida International’s football program looks familiar in the Gasparilla Bowl on Dec. 21, Temple fans might be onto something.
In many ways, it will be like looking into a mirror.
Here are 5 similarities:
- Both the Owls and the Panthers are located in major cities and have similar missions, educating the poor and middle class and paving the way for upward mobility.
2. Both teams have stadiums at least on the drawing board. Only major contributors have seen artist renderings of the proposed new Temple Football 35,000-seat stadium, while everyone in Miami has seen the plans for the new FIU stadium (artist rendering above), a 25,000-seat expansion of the current Raymond Silva Stadium on campus.
3. The last time FIU hoisted a bowl-winning trophy Geoff Collins was on the field. Collins was the defensive coordinator of a FIU team that won the 2010 Beef O’Brady Bowl. (Hopefully, that happenstance will not be repeated this year.) Seeing Collins in that FIU uniform is just another reminder that his family is used to more moves than an Army officer’s family and that he probably won’t be here for long either.
4. Both programs play second-, third- and fourth-fiddle to other football programs in the same market. For FIU, the Panthers have to struggle for space in the newspaper with two Miamis (Hurricanes and Dolphins). For the Owls, it usually page nine of a Sunday paper that only seems to have eight pages of Eagles’ coverage.
5. Both teams have beaten and lost to the same opponent this year. Central Florida crushed the Panthers (61-17) and the Owls (46-19); Panthers beat UMass (61-33) as did the Owls (29-21).
Monday: The Year In FIU football