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January 19, 2008

Question from Alejandro
Hello Coach
Congratulations for what you and the team did in NO. I wanted to share something with you. I was in Miami driving my car and I had my FAU car flags when a group of people I passed by said; oh that's fAU, they won the bowl !!. That felt soooo good.

Question :
Now that we won the conference and a bowl; do we have an advantage on recruiting players?

Does it help to build faster the stadium?

Will UM, FSU, UCF consider us as opponents for their seasons?


Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
Yes, we are in our first week of visitations. Obviously, the caliber of the potential is at a higher level than in the past. This weekend we have an additional 21 and we will have a third weekends with anywhere from 2-10 recruits.

With our football team's leaps and bound improvement over the last three years and the responses of fans at the orange bowl, against FIU, on the road at Troy and at the Superdome in New Orleans, I believe we have indications that the rate of improvement of our fan base is commensurate with the football program. The result is a much better prognosis for funding and completions is nearly assured by 2010.

If we haven't gotten too good to quick, but in reality it becomes a win-win for both.

Question from Jerry
Congrats on a great bowl win. You have always carried yourself with class and dignity. I have never written a move star, coach, or player etc in my 48 years, but felt moved today (December 22). What FAU has accomplished in such a short time is amazing. If I every meet you it would be a real HONOR to shake your hand. Go Owls!

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
My dear Beverlee and children and of course me, thank you for the positive words, but remember it takes everybody to be no. 1

Question from Bob
Congratulations, on an incredible season. I have followed your coaching ever since you were at Miami and the accomplishments speak for themself. Please let your offensive coordinator, Gary Nord, know that I was watching the game and enjoyed knowing he was working with you again. If you could pass along my e-mail to Gary and let him know I was asking for him I would appreciate it. Again, congratulation and continued success in a program built from scratch.

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
I'm certainly pleased to have Gary head up the offensive team, much like at UofL. As you might remember it took us six years to qualify for the Fiesta Bowl with our senior quarterback Browning Negal. With Rusty Smith being in his redshirt sophomore year and a team that has been Division I-A for three years to have an offensive game that broke three records: yards gained, a high percent of passes completed and touchdowns in the New Orleans Bowl, it reminds me and is very similar to what you remember about Louisville in the Fiesta Bowl. When Negal also set bowl records with most passes, a high percentage and touch down passes. Gary was the common denominator.

Question from Robert
I'm a UK grad. Why did you pick UofL when we needed you? Did you send Vince Dooley a thank you card for knocking off number one Texas in 1983?

UK didn't offer a coaching position. They chose to go in a different direction. Uof L offered a coaching position, full control, ample funs to fun it, so we would have a chance to make a National Championship run.

I love UK in equal measure to Louisville though I'm not married to either, each are my sweet hearts.

Question from Col Myrl Allinder, USMC-Ret
You Knock Me Out!

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
With your Marine Corp experience, Iím sure you will get up before the count and battle on. Thank you for your support, your patriotism and love of duty.

Question from Joe
Have you watched the movie, ďFacing the Giants?Ē Reading about your faith and the example you set for the team, I thought this season was similar to the team in the movie. FAU is too small, too inexperienced, no one has every heard of it, picked to finish low in the conference, etc. I think your faith may have been a blessing to the team. I wouldn't rule it out as one fo the reasons for this season's success.

If you haven't watched the movie, I would VERY HIGHLY recommend it.

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
Your recognition of faith and belief is accurate. Our team only days after our win over FIU in 2006 came together recognizing we were going to have great talent in the upcoming year set as their goal to win the Sun Belt Conference and to win one non-conference game. Hard work and dedication allowed our team to improve to a pint it was realistic to win the conference and defeat Memphis. God, luck and odds compounded the success with the fact that no other team in the state of Florida was successful in a bowl.

Question from Dave
Back in 1996 I stood in the breeze way handing out flyers that said, "FAU Football, Still Undefeated!" People looked at us like we were insane, all they cared about was baseball and basketball.

My mom still has a t-shirt with that logo, tonight (December 22), I told her to frame it, it will be worth something soon!

I thought it would never happen, tonight I am so proud (class of Ď97). I am watching the replay again now at 2 a.m., it is awesome.

Thanks for all your hard work and dedication coach.

You might have motivated me to get my graduate degree from FAU!

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
God works in wondrous and mysterious ways and perhaps this is what it is about. A team represents itself, students, past students, faculty and staff. That the team would invigorate itself that a new spirit is forming. A spirit that embodies oneís courage and pride and will motivate thousands, not only to the masterís and doctoral levels but the high school seniors who are choosing where to spend the best days of their lives. You have recognized it. I hope you will do something about it.

Question from John
Hey Coach,
Just wondering if there's ever been any talk of putting the season's games on a DVD to sell (at say, the campus bookstore) so fans can go back and watch the games.

Thanks! Beat Texas and Michigan State! FAU can do it!

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
Yes, we are in the process of getting into that business. In fact, if you come this Saturday, January 19th. I will have remember this blog entry and will have one game for you.

Question from Owl Fan John
How about FAU being the ONLY school in FLORIDA to win a bowl game this year!?!?!?!? You must be double proud now.

UF lost to Michigan
USF lost to Oregon
UCF lost to Mississippi State
UM, FIU didnít qualify for a bowl game


FAU won the New Orleans Bowl! Our first step towards even greater national prominence!

Also, if you could play in a Bwol game other than the New Orleans Bowl or National Championship next year, which bowl would you like to play in?


Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
First, you are absolutely right about the added value of our win over Memphis, when no other Florida team was successful.

If I had my druthers, it would be the Orange Bowl in any year.

Question form Ted
Dear Coach Schnellenberger,
You made it easy to love FAU football. I've always wondered what you tell recruits when you're trying to sell them on the idea of playing for fAU, especially in regards to what you're going to say to them now. Do you say we're a history-making Bowl team who intend to be a top-25 program by the time we set foot in our on-campus stadium?

Thank you for your time.

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
Yes, we spend a short amount of time dwelling in the past things like the first win over a ranked D I-AA, MTSU, First winning a slot in I-AA play-off and certainly this past year when we won the Sun Belt Conference and the New Orleans Bowl. But, more importantly how their presence on our team will be part of the action that will perhaps help us win one additional game and be part of the building FAU. In other words being the difference, being a giver not a taker. Takers select schools by the short lived prominence it will give them and the little if any affect on the future.

Question from Rasheed
I'd love for UCF to replace the USF series with FAU. You guys are a tough up and coming program, I think it would be a good yearly game.

USF fans are a-holes, thier administration refused to play the series until UCF was down and they were up. Now they're 3-0 and the series looks to be coming to an end, it would be awesome to replace it with FAU. Unlike USF, you guys seem to be building a program the right way, having it run by a classy coach and recruiting good kids. Iíd much rather see that a yearly game than the guys to the west.

Congrats. Hopefully UCF can score its first bowl win this year too.

I found this comment on a message board on the CBS website. Many UCF fans and FAU fans alike are wondering if FAU could replace USF in the UCF/USF rivalry. People from both parties are excited about two similar up and coming teams playing competitive contest . USF had really sullied their standing with UCF fans and they are looking for a new rival. I believe that this rivalry would be the logical next step in our development. Imagine it, trips to Orlando, that students can road trip to, going to universal the Sunday after the game, and us inviting the UCF faithful to a weekend in South Florida. I believe that this rivalry could be the highlight of the season of the future.

Full stadiums and a good rivalry. What do you think Coach?

Response from Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger
This is probably the most intelligent and logical idea. Believe me, I have already began talking with UCF. It is my understanding that it is being considered. A home and home series would make sense to me. Keep the pressure on from your end.

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