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  1. Florida Atlantic is on the move to the C-USA from the Sun Belt and they're pretty excited about it. Namely, they made a semi-palatable looking cake, but they also revealed new uniforms that are much more owl-centric than their previous duds. The first thing you'll notice is wings on the side of the uniforms. Read more: http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2013/7/1/4483892/fau-owls-new-uniforms-c-usa
  2. The conference realignment carousel has been spinning for years while FAU stood outside the fence without a ticket to the ride. The Owls finally received their pass in November when Conference USA came calling. The offer was an easy to accept. C-USA member schools receive in the neighborhood of $2 million a year through TV contracts – which is almost $2 million more than Sun Belt schools make. When the Owls first announced they said the move would happen no later than the 2014-15 season. Turns out FAU wasn't interested in waiting that long. In January FAU announced the move would happen in July, meaning the Owls football team will play in C-USA for the upcoming season, with the other sports following. Why it's important: The Sun Belt was a good starter conference for FAU football (and that's the sport that necessitated the move) but that conference is now in rapid decay. Sure, many of the Owls old SBC foes have or will make the move to C-USA too, but that doesn't diminish the move. At least FAU wasn't left behind to play FCS schools (They also never have to visit Troy or Louisiana-Monroe again – reasons in themselves to make the move). Read more: http://www.fauowlaccess.com/articles/179/fau-move-to-c-usa-top-story-of-the-year.aspx
  3. Given coach Carl Pelini's defensive background, it's somewhat ironic to consider the fact that Florida Atlantic's future as a contender in its new league, Conference USA, hinges almost entirely on offensive coordinator Brian Wright. Wright was brought in by Pelini last fall from Montana State, where he spent the previous three seasons in the same position, and was handed the task of rebuilding one of the nation's worst offenses. How bad was the Owls' offense in 2011? The group ranked last in the Sun Belt almost across the board, scoring roughly 10 fewer points per game than its next-closest competitor. Wright made an impact in 2012, leading an offense that scored an additional eight points per game while greatly improving FAU's quarterback play. It was a good first step. At the same time, Pelini's first defense showed its own improvement, leading to the idea that FAU could soon – perhaps as soon as this season – have the sort of offensive-defensive balance it needs to compete for bowl eligibility. Spring dates: Florida Atlantic opened spring practice on Mar. 18 and plays its spring game on Apr. 20. 2012 record: 3-9 (2-6). Returning starters: 15 (7 offense, 8 defense). Five players to watch: QB Melvin German III, C Mustafa Johnson, DE Cory Henry, LB Randell Johnson, CB D'Joun Smith. Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2013/03/27/2013-ncaa-spring-football-florida-atlantic/2024697/
  4. Brett McMurphy ‏@McMurphyESPN FAU & Middle Tennessee leaving Sun Belt year early, will join C-USA this fall, sources told @espn Collapse Reply Retweet Favorite More https://twitter.com/McMurphyESPN/status/292314229996920832 This post has been promoted to an article
  5. GRAPEVINE, Texas – Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee State are negotiating to exit the Sun Belt Conference a year early and join Conference USA in 2013, a person briefed on the talks told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the negotiations are supposed to be private. A decision about which league the schools will play in next season should be finalized by Feb. 1 so that football schedules can be completed. If the schools stay until 2014, neither will owe the Sun Belt an exit fee, the person said. Schools are supposed to pay a $1 million penalty for leaving early, but the current negotiations center on whether they would owe the full amount. The person said Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee are joined at the hip and will either stay in the Sun Belt or join C-USA together. Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/sunbelt/2013/01/17/conference-usa-sun-belt-florida-atlantic-middle-tennessee-state/1843111/
  6. "The stability that it gave us — it's something that as a coach you worry about," Pelini said. "You watch all these moves happening and you know that the move is towards mega conferences, so you want to be relevant in that discussion, and I think Conference USA, having a larger national footprint, is relevant in that discussion ... our association with them provides us with a lot of stability." Pelini's predecessor as coach, Howard Schnellenberger, said that his successor's position is highly enviable. "He's been given another selling point to bring in the best football players he can bring in," Schnellenberger said. "He's sitting in as beautiful a spot as any coach in America ... the position we're in, everything lies ahead for us, not behind us, and to be the guy to take it to the championship level, he has all the tools he'll need." Both Schnellenberger and Pelini said they believe the move will make more South Floridians FAU fans. But Schnellenberger noted that the move alone won't cut it: "This has to be followed up with success." Read more: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/fau-owls/fl-fau-owls-news-1130-20121129,0,7865368.story
  7. No less an FAU visionary than Howard Schnellenberger — founder of the football program and former Owls coach — was pleased with move … and aware of the high stakes. “As conferences eroded, this appeared to be our moment of truth,” Schnellenberger said. “Imagine it? I planned for it. This was our long-range strategy.” Schnellenbeger’s biggest dreams, to be honest, had to do with someday joining a higher-profile group than Conference USA, but his measure of satisfaction is understandable given current circumstances. FAU Athletic Director Pat Chun recognized Schnellenberger’s grasss-roots efforts on what he called a “momentous day” for the Owls. “This provides stability for us,” Chun said. “This puts us in a different scope. This is a big win for us.” That victory is spelled m-o-n-e-y. Chun estimated that FAU’s annual take from television revenues alone will increase from “something less than $50,000” as a Sun Belt member to “between $750,000 and $1 million” as part of Conference USA’s lineup. “It’s a huge reason why we’re doing this,” Chun said. There also will be more opportunities for participation in bowl games. Chun applauded FAU President Mary Jane Saunders for her organizational skills in allowing the school to prepare an application to Conference USA in quick response to the “chain reaction” of realignments. Chun and Saunders also thanked rival FIU for its support of FAU’s membership initiative to Conference USA. They thanked FIU President Mark Rosenberg and Athletic Director Pete Garcia, but Chun couldn’t resist a dig by saying, “I can be in rivalry mode. That school to the south helped us.” The Shula Bowl, which appeared to be in danger of ending had FAU and FIU existed in different conferences, now will be saved. Read more: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/sports/college-football/greg-stoda-moving-to-conference-usa-a-victory-for-/nTJpK/
  8. CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It was only a matter of time before the waves of conference realignment crashed onto the shores of the Ohio River again. Who'd a thought it would be a Green Wave, though? The ripple effect of Maryland and Rutgers abandoning the ACC and Big East, respectively, reached Conference USA early Tuesday. Marshall lost longtime rival East Carolina, which is joining the Big East in football only starting in 2014, and Tulane, a surprising all-sports addition to the Big East. That means six of the 12 teams competing in Conference USA football and basketball this season are set to leave the league after this season or next. Don't fret, Herd fans. Here's a 14-team scenario that looks like an intriguing and geographically-appealing conference, provided there's no more trickle down from the major players when - not if - Cincinnati, Connecticut and Louisville relocate. How about Marshall in a seven-team division with Charlotte, FAU, FIU, Old Dominion, UAB and either Middle Tennessee State or Western Kentucky? MTSU, by the way, makes more sense, especially if you're in the belief that television markets carry clout beyond the power conferences (That's you, Nashville). The West Division could then boast Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, Tulsa, UTEP and UTSA. FAU - that's Florida Atlantic University located in Boca Raton - and Miami's FIU (Florida International University) will give Marshall's football program a guaranteed trip to the Sunshine State every year. FIU one year, FAU the next. All those southern Florida speedsters can play in front of family and friends four times in four years, not counting bowl games. That's a nice little recruiting pitch for Coach Doc Holliday. Read more: http://www.dailymail.com/Sports/201211270162
  9. This pic is courtesy of J-Rock! Great to see the players giving love to the fans that made the long trip.

    © GoMeanGreen.com

  10. Boca Raton, Fla. (9/29/12) - The North Texas defense forced three turnovers, and Zach Olen made two field goals to lead the Mean Green football team to a 20-14 win against Florida Atlantic on Saturday night at the FAU Football Stadium. North Texas improves to 2-3 and wins its first conference game of the season. FAU falls to 1-4 and 0-1 in the Sun Belt. The Mean Green has won three in a row against the Owls, including two on the road. The game was one of momentum shifts as North Texas took an early 10-0 lead in the first half. Derek Thompson threw a touchdown pass, and the Mean Green defense recorded an interception, a fumble recovery and four sacks in the first two quarters. Another Thompson touchdown throw kept the pendulum on the Mean Green side through most of the third quarter. In a span of 72 seconds beginning at the end of the third quarter, FAU scored 14 points to get back in the game and swing the momentum back its way. A long Mean Green drive midway through the fourth quarter that resulted in an Olen field goal extended the North Texas lead, and the Mean Green defense held off the Owls for the remainder of the game. Olen redeemed himself against FAU after going 0-for-3 against Troy last week. The field-goal kicker went 2-for-2 in the game, including a season long of 48 yards. Thompson threw for 251 yards, a season best. He completed 18 of 30 passes, including a long of 68. The junior recorded two TD passes, a 68-yard throw to Brelan Chancellor and a 14-yard pass to Drew Miller. On its second possession of the third quarter, North Texas took advantage of good field position. A 39-yard punt by Will Atterberry was downed by NT at the FAU 5-yard line. The Mean Green forced a three-and-out, and North Texas started its drive from the FAU 42-yard line. A 21-yard run by Jeremy Brown helped set up a 14-yard touchdown reception by tight end Miler. It was his second career touchdown catch. The catch gave North Texas a 17-0 lead. FAU scored 14 straight points in a span of 72 seconds to cut the Mean Green lead to three points, 17-14. Read more: http://www.meangreensports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=1800&ATCLID=205701942
  11. BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) -- Derek Thompson threw for 251 yards and two touchdowns in North Texas' 20-14 win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday. It marks the third time since 1997 that North Texas has been 2-3 after five games. The Mean Green was also 2-3 in 2003 and 2005 and had started 1-4 or worse in every year since 2005. Thompson's first touchdown pass, a 68-yard strike to Brelan Chancellor, opened scoring and Zach Olen's 48-yard field goal gave North Texas a 10-0 advantage. Read more: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/north-texas-beats-fau-20-003641970--ncaaf.html
  12. BOCA RATON — For 72 seconds, things couldn’t have been better for Florida Atlantic University on Saturday night. It’s those other 58 minutes and 52 seconds that were the problem. The Owls scored two touchdowns in 72 seconds but couldn’t manage much else in losing 20-14 to visiting North Texas. FAU dropped to 1-4 amid a litany of familiar problems, especially an offense that struggled to move the ball and was unable to hold onto it when it could. Two red-zone turnovers helped shove the Owls into a 17-0 hole it couldn’t escape in losing their 12th consecutive Sun Belt Conference game. “It’s the same old thing,” FAU coach Carl Pelini said. “We don’t know how to win. We have to learn how to win as a football team. When the game is on the line, we couldn’t get over the hump. When the score is 0-0, we make mistakes. Over and over again — didn’t covert in the red zone, made mistakes defensively, gave up the big play. When we’re down 17-0, then we start to play until it gets close again and the pressure is on us again, and then we don’t perform.” The Wildcat formation jump-started FAU’s offense in the third quarter, producing a 73-yard drive capped by Damian Fortner’s 11-yard run, and following a Keith Reaser interception three plays later, FAU quarterback Graham Wilbert added another 11-yard scoring run to pull within 17-14. “It seemed like momentum had changed sides,” Reaser said. “We just didn’t finish it up.” The ensuing defensive series was bizarre. The Mean Green (2-3) drove to the FAU 18-yard line before Zach Olen kicked a 36-yard field goal, but North Texas chose to take the points off the board after FAU was called for leaping over the line in an attempt to block the kick. Four plays later, Olen made a 39-yarder, but again, North Texas declined the points. This time, D’Joun Smith roughed Olen. Finally, four plays and four minutes after Olen began the exhibition of his kicking prowess, his 28-yard field goal actually did stay on the scoreboard. “It gobbled up a lot of time,” Pelini said. read more: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/sports/college-football/fau-rallies-against-north-texas-but-drops-12th-str/nSP5m/
  13. http://www.fauowlaccess.com/MessageBoards/showTopic.aspx?topicId=1297
  14. “Here’s what I see after four weeks: I think special teams-wise, we’ve at least competed or won every game, minus the first game,” he said. “Our coverage teams have been tremendous; our return teams have been at least comparable to what the opponents have been giving us. The punt game has really flipped the field a number of times and our kickoff team has done a great job giving up nothing, so that’s a definite improvement over a year ago.” Two other areas that Pelini is excited about is penalties and turnovers, at least the lack thereof by the team. “We were a highly penalized team a year ago,” said the coach “We’ve got to be, statistically-speaking, a highly-rated team in terms of number of penalties, and we’re operating efficiently (there). Turnovers were a big deal to us going into the season. We had those miscues early, but we’ve gotten better every game in terms of just taking care of the ball and ball security. I’m looking at marked improvements in certain areas.” There are three areas Pelini pointed to that still do need improvement. “I want to see us get out of the gates faster and I want us to be a better tackling football team, and I want to be able to run the ball more consistently,” he said. “Those are the things I want to see more improvement on. But I’m seeing improvement in areas, and I keep saying that’s what this year is about, laying foundations for playing our kind of football. I knew that this was going to be a long haul, it wasn’t just going to be a quick fix. It’s not going to happen overnight.” North Texas will come to Boca Raton with the exact same record of 1-3 overall and an 0-1 mark in the Sun Belt. And their season schedule to date looks very similar to that of the Owls: They lost to two top-ranked opponents (No. 3 LSU and No. 8 Kansas State), won over a smaller school at home (34-7 over Texas Southern), and lost their conference opener (14-7 last week to Troy). Kickoff on Saturday is at 5 p.m., and the game can be heard on fausports.com or seen on ESPN3.com. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster or calling the FAU Ticket Office at 1-866-FAU-OWLS. Read more: http://www.fausports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/092512aaa.html
  15. The Owls play North Texas in their second home game of the season Saturday. FAU is 1-3 and lost its only Sun Belt game so far, 31-17, at Middle Tennessee. North Texas has the same overall and conference record, losing 14-7 to Troy on Saturday. Both teams’ lone win is over a Division I-AA opponent. The Mean Green is one of three teams in the Sun Belt averaging fewer than 20 points. FAU is last at 12.8 below South Alabama at 14.2 and North Texas at 19.0 “Offensively they’ve been moving the football,” Pelini said. “They have really good backs. They have a good offensive line. They know who they are and their identity and they put you in some difficult situations with some formations. I do think they’re a quality football team. They could have very easily won that game last week.” Read more: http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/faufocus/2012/09/24/conference-play-will-allow-florida-atlantic-coach-carl-pelini-to-better-gauge-progress/#more-1791
  16. Oh man, this could be an even worse a$$ kicking in the making now. http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/eye-on-college-football/20248494/now-florida-atlantic-is-talking-smack-to-alabama
  17. The dog days of summer are the prime time for college football recruiting, but Pelini and FAU stand as the only Sun Belt conference program without a verbal commit from the class of 2013. While many of the nation's best — and in some cases mediocre — college teams are already working on the class of 2014, the new regime in Boca Raton hasn't been able to make much headway in the nation's hotbed of high school football talent. Archrival FIU has seven verbal commitments, one of which is an in-state three-star prospect (OL Donald Rocker, Jacksonville-Sandalwood.) The conference's best team, Arkansas State, has nine commits. North Texas, who faces many of the same recruiting pratfalls as FAU (lots of local talent, lots of teams recruiting that talent) has seven commits. Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State, Troy and South Alabama all have four. Read more: http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports/college/fau/blog/2012/07/fau_remains_only_sun_belt_team.html
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