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Big League Clew hasn’t forgotten where his bread is buttered. He’s going back to college football this week!

After taking a break from the college football scene, I have decided to come back with this weeks Rivalry trophy series and discuss something interesting I stumbled across while searching for this week’s topic. Luckily, this is college football related, although this trophy game is relatively new and usually goes unwatched. So, without further interruption, I give you the Shula Bowl!

Florida Atlantic Owls 0-8 (0-5) @ Florida International Golden Panthers 5-4 (2-3) 11/12/2011, 6pm

Last year’s result: FAU won 21-9

For all of you who don’t know, the Shula Bowl (not to be confused with the Shiva Bowl) is the annual match up between the Florida Atlantic Owls and the Florida International Golden Panthers. The game’s winner receives a traveling trophy, the “Don Shula Award,” for the year. Currently, Florida Atlantic leads the series eight games to one.

Why is it called the Shula Bowl?

I myself wondered why was it called this, and as I did some research, I learned that each football program’s first head coach had ties to Don Shula. Florida Atlantic’s current head coach, Howard Schnellenberger, was an offensive coordinator under Shula from 1970 to 1972, and again from 1975-1979. It is also notable that this will be Schnellenerger’s last year in coaching, as he will be retiring once the season ends. FIU’s first head coach, Don Strock, was a player under Shula from 1973 to 1987. Strock was primarily known for being the backup behind HOF QBs Bob Greise and Dan Marino… not a bad gig if I must say so. Strock was also member of the “taxi squad” during the 1973 season when the Dolphins won their second straight Super Bowl (the team after the undefeated 1972 Dolphins) It should also be noted that Don Shula set numerous records as head coach for the Miami Dolphins, and his legacy is apparent throughout the Miami area. The Shula Bowl pays homage to him, Miami football and the history of both universities.

How has this “rivalry” played out?

Who will bring home the Don Shula Award this year?

Getting back to the game… FAU has dominated this match up by winning eight out of the nine games. This really has not been the rivalry game that I am sure FIU was hoping for, however their only win was by the largest margin of victory between the two schools, as they beat the owls 52-6 in 2005. We will see what happens this year, as the Panthers seem hungry for a win and want bring the trophy over to their side for only the 2nd time in the rivalry’s young history.

Players to look out for

Florida Atlantic – RB Alfred Morris (662 yards, 4 Rushing TDs, 1 receiving TD), P Mickey Groody (2,169 yards punting, 42.5 yards per avg). Yes, the punter! Cuz he leads the team in a yardage category)

Florida International – QB Wesley Carrol (1,868 yards, 9TDs), RB Kedrick Rhodes (772 yards, 6TDs), RB Darriet Perry (399 yards, 5TDs), WR T.Y. Hilton (49 catches, 832 yards, 5 TDs)

My prediction: FAU is ranked almost dead last in every category, the game is at Florida International, and FIU has way too much offense for the Owls to even remotely contend. I think the Florida Intl. Golden Panthers will win their 2nd Shula bowl trophy, and win it big!

Cheerleaders image courtesy of: http://www.myfavoritecheerleader.com/
Trophy image courtesy of: http://www.fauowlsnest.com/

Big League Clu

About Big League Clu

Clu Haywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. When he sneezes, he looks like a party favor. Also, he's been known to hit the ball "too high" and alleges to have illegitimately fathered Jake Tayor's non-existent children. You can also find him on Twitter @bigleagueclu

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