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Article from Hutton about success of the team


Article from Hutton about success of the team

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Victory over Troy would vault Owls onto national scene

By Ted Hutton | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
† † 6:06 PM EST, November 30, 2007

Saturday's game will be just the 82nd played by Florida Atlantic's fledgling football program, but a victory at Troy, Ala., would vault the Owls onto the national scene.

At stake: a , since they would win a berth in the New Orleans Bowl.

"The chance to go to a bowl game in this early stage of our development would be an incredible opportunity to demonstrate that our program has fully arrived," FAU President Frank Brogan said.

A win today would also give FAU a share of the Sun Belt Conference title in their second season since moving into the conference and the Bowl Subdivision, the highest division in the NCAA and where Florida, Miami and Florida State reside.

"It means the capping off of one of those magical seasons that don't come along very often," FAU Athletic Director Craig Angelos said. "To win the conference title and go to a bowl game, this would stand out in history."

Angelos calls the season uses the word "magical" to describe the season because it included a win over Big Ten team Minnesota and the first sell-out home crowd in FAU history for the game against when FAU play South Florida. Off the field, and approval by the Board of Trustees approved for construction of a 30,000-seat on-campus stadium scheduled that is planned to open in 2010. And the season still could conclude with a , and still could include the conference title and trip to New Orleans for the Dec. 21 bowl game.

"It's quite a feat to think this is possible for us considering how young we are," Angelos said. FAU is finishing its seventh season.

The Owls (6-5, 5-1 Sun Belt) will be are underdogs against the Trojans (8-3, 6-0), who are the defending conference champions.

But coach Howard Schnellenberger is confident in his team, and he knows first-hand what a trip to a bowl can mean. Earlier in his career, Schnellenberger was credited with reviving programs at A key milestone in the two programs he is credited with reviving at Miami and Louisville. Both times, a key milestone was when they took was their first trips to a bowls under Schnellenberger.

"If you get to go to the bowl game, we get 15 extra days of practice, we get much more TV coverage, we get mentioned in all the cumulative bowl stories," said Schnellenberger, who has been with the FAU since 1998, years before the school's first football game. "With that attention comes more fans and better recruits. It is the first spiral in the upward spiral of success."

Brogan said there would still be many positives even if FAU loses.

"Just the possibility of winning the conference in this last game has created just what I was hoping for," he said. "That will translate across the board to support for the stadium and continued support for the program and the university," Brogan said."

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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