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Make Sure to Watch Jeopardy on Friday for Some BSU Love

(Photo: Carol Kaelson photo provided by Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

(Photo: Carol Kaelson photo provided by Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

If you’re following the Pylon on Twitter (and if you’re not, you should be) you saw us put something out yesterday about an intersection of two of our favorite things: Ball State University and random knowledge. On Friday, Ball State senior Alex Sventeckis will be in the Jeopardy College Tournament against someone from Ohio State and someone from Middlebury College creating what I like to call “Must See Television” in my household.

When I was living in DC, I tried out for Jeopardy, and let me tell you: It’s hard. You have to sit in a lecture hall with one of those crummy raise-from-the-side-desktops that are always wobbly and not at all accommodating for a man of any substantive girth for starters and it only gets worse from there. From there, assuming you didn’t bomb the quiz while your internal organs played a nice little game of twister thanks to the desk, you get a “screen test” where you do a fake game to (I would presume) ensure you are capable of being on camera without sweating through your collar (I did) or screaming out inappropriate things when nervous (I didn’t, surprisingly enough). There’s also an interview, but seeing as how I can only assume I came across as a mix of Tommy Boy in his little coat and Ricky Bobby during his first interview, I didn’t get to that stage. But I digress… Alex did. And he’s representing you, me, and everyone associated with BSU.

His dream category? Fraternities. Go on….

Side note: All the dudes except the nerd from Vandy and the asian kid had facial hair. Alex is Team Clean Shaven. Stay tuned…

I know what you’re thinking. “Alan, Friday is Valentine’s Day! There’s no way I can pull watching this off! I’ve got romancin’ to do, jack.” Don’t worry, we’re way ahead of you with your various strategies and choose your own options within them:

  • STRATEGY 1: THE LOYAL CARDINAL
    • Step 1: Say to spouse/bf/gf: “Honey, it’s such a rarity to see BSU get such national attention, would it be ok if we watched this and then went to Applebees/St. Elmo’s/McDonalds and then came home for dessert/board games/sexy fun time?”
    • Step 2: Watch Jeopardy
    • Step 3: Enjoy your meal
    • Step 4: Enjoy “dessert”
  • STRATEGY 2: THE BUY JUST ENOUGH TIME
    • Step 1A: Say to spouse/bf/gf: “Honey, that outfit is great but I just don’t think it shows off how sexy you are. Maybe you could try something on a little more bold?” -OR-
    • Step 1B: Say to spouse/bf/gf: “Oh. You’re going to wear that?”  (NOTE: Risky move, but fortune favors the bold)
    • Step 2: Watch Jeopardy
    • Step 3: Enjoy your meal
    • Step 4: Enjoy “dessert”. (Quality of dessert directly related to which Step 1 you choose above)
  • STRATEGY 3: THE SINGLE GUY
    • Step 1: If already single, proceed to step 4. If in relationship, proceed to Step 2
    • Step 2: Say to spouse/bf/gf: “Honey, I’ve given this a lot of thought and I have decided I would rather watch a college tournament Jeopardy game than spend even one more minute with you in this hot garbage of a relationship”
    • Step 3: Sidestep slap/punch/jab
    • Step 4: Watch Jeopardy alone
    • Step 5: Order pizza
    • Step 6: See if anything good is on Cinemax after midnight
    • Step 7: Sob
    • Step 8: Play a game of Flappy Bird
    • Step 9: Sob harder
    • Step 10: Cry yourself to sleep. Alone. Like always.

So be sure to check your local listings for when Jeopardy airs, choose your strategy wisely, and watch your plan come to fruition. You’re welcome.

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Where to Spend National Signing Day as a BSU Fan

What is this alien technology?! KILL IT!!!

What is this alien technology?! KILL IT!!!

Wednesday morning, two things will happen:

  1. College football fans the world over will turn their attention to a group of 17 and 18 year olds as they make the decision about where they will attend college in the fall. For some it will be tremendous fanfare type of activities with hats on tables, television cameras, and crowds. For others, it will be a simple fax to a football office much like the one at Scheumann Stadium in Muncie. Speaking of…
  2. Fax machines will get more attention tomorrow then they get any other day of the year. I am not quite sure where the fax machine in my office complex is if I needed to use it, but tomorrow, facsimile machines will be all the rage. I’m not sure why an email isn’t sufficient, but it’s the NCAA so sense and rationale have no place here.

For Ball State fans, it isn’t likely that any highlight packages or signing day coverage on the ESPN family or the major recruiting sites like Scout, Rivals, or 24/7 will feature Ball State recruits, a table full of hats, or their comings and goings. Thankfully, Ball State has you covered as they plan on blowing the roof off the MAC recruiting house by doing something no other MAC school is cranking out. Want to hear what Pete Lembo has to say about recruits? You got it. Missing the dulcet tones of Joel Godett? They’ve got you covered. Need a front row web seat in case a major recruiting surprise comes through? You know it. Want to hear Tom Davis’ hot sports takes on all things recruiting related?! YOU DON’T GET A CHOICE. TAKE YOUR TOM DAVIS AND ENJOY IT.

From the BSU release on the Signing Day festivities and how you can keep up with the Cardinals…

Ball State’s football staff will present its 2014 recruiting class Wednesday with a live web stream from the Fisher Complex and an evening reception at the Alumni Center. Both the internet show and signing day party are free to all Ball State fans.

Ball State athletics and Ball State Sports Link will provide its National Signing Day Special from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The live online web stream on http://www.ballstatesports.com will feature Jeff Weller and Luke Martin with production and taped interviews by Ball State’s Joel Godett.

Growing from the success of previous signing day web broadcasts, this year’s show will feature:

  • Multiple interviews with head coach Pete Lembo
  • Live interviews with all assistant football coaches, including new defensive coordinator Kevin Kelly and new offensive line coach John Strollo
  • An exclusive interview with early-enrollee freshman quarterback David Morrison
  • Perspective on this year’s Ball State class from 247Sports.com National Recruiting Insider Steve Wiltfong and Ball State football beat reporter from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Tom Davis
  • Videos and brief biographies of every signed recruit
  • Up-to-minute announcements of signeesIn addition to talking to every member of the Ball State football coaching staff, interviews with head coaches from many other Ball State athletic programs will occur.

The Signing Day Celebration event will feature Ball State head football coach Pete Lembo and the remainder of the coaching staff as they present their 2014 recruiting class from the Alumni Center. This free event to the public starts at 6 p.m. With complimentary heavy hors d’oeuvres, popcorn, snack mix plus Pepsi products, water and coffee. A cash bar will also be available.

Lembo will lead a program at the Signing Day Celebration introducing each of the new recruits while the assistant coaches will add stories of the recruitment of the new Ball State Cardinal and what fans can expect from him in the future.

To view the live web stream Wednesday, log on to www.ballstatesports.com.

We have always harped on the athletic administration pre-Lembo that there wasn’t anything cool or exciting being done to put BSU on the level of the major athletic programs. This is yet another step in the right direction. I would highly advise that you pencil in some time on your work calendar to make sure you can catch this webcast. I’ve found things like “Status Meeting”, “EOY Projections”, or “Waxing” seem to facilitate the fewest questions from curious calendar onlookers. That’s assuming you able even to make it in to work at all.

From everything I’m hearing, tomorrow is going to be a ridiculous snow day in East Central Indiana as old man winter again backhands Cardinal nation. You might as well settle in with a blanket, a laptop, perhaps a mimosa or three, and get yourself educated on what may very well be one of the top 2 or 3 recruiting classes in the MAC. What else are you going to do? Go out and build a snowman with your kids? Well, TOM DAVIS > your children. It’s science. See you all around here tomorrow for the Signing Day festivities.

Response to Ball State’s Saturday Snow Make Up Days

tombstone

I’d like to take a minute and mourn the passing of one of the most beloved things at Ball State University…. fun. Fun was adored by all and one of the hallmarks of the campus and the people who inhabited it. Since its birth 66 million years ago when a paleolithic dweller asked his cave neighbor to “pull his finger”, it was a staple for most everyone. That all came to a close in Muncie, IN on January 22, 2014. Clearly, with the decision to make up classes on January 6th and 7th canceled by inclement weather on future Friday nights and Saturdays, fun has met its demise in a cruel and unusual way. It is preceded in passing by the original Dill Street and survived by angst, shock, and outrage.

Friday night classes. Saturday morning classes?!? SATURDAY AFTERNOON CLASSES?!?!?! Have you no shame? In the words of Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler…

really-seth-and-amy

There is no better day for a college student than a snow day. It’s so fulfilling. It’s so right. I was a college student for four years, a grad student for one, and I’ve been a college staff member for going on 11 years now and just so you are aware, the glory and amazeballs of snowdays don’t go away once you get your diploma. I’ve witnessed neither a woman I love walking down the aisle nor the birth of one of my children, but I find it almost impossible to believe that the joy I get when I receive that text message that the university is closed is surpassed by those things. Equaled? Perhaps (though I doubt it). But actually beating the anticipated exuberance of chilling in track pants while watching Price is Right? That ain’t happenin’, Jack.

Snow days are what is good and pure about education. It teaches students of any age that life sometimes throws you unexpected positive curveballs in the form of an ice storm or a blizzard that allows you to do one of any critical activities:

  • Uh… drink, maybe? Typical response: HE SAID DRINKING!!!! OH NOES!!!! Here’s the thing: I understand that most .edu people would prefer that students are diligently studying in Bracken Library and have no time for things like flip cup, beer pong, or giant metal cans of beer that $3 solo cups are needed for. I would also like to think that an evolved society and (allegedly) some of the brightest minds in higher ed are capable of understanding that there is a big plot of land  between being a teetotaler and getting blackout drunk, getting behind the wheel, crashing into a busload of orphans, and then falling down concrete stairs killing yourself in the process. You can live in the gray between those two black and white extremes. It’s ok. And perfect for snowdays.
  • Binge watch your favorite television shows or Netflix que. The nerds who advanced technology to the levels we enjoy today deserve at least a little bit of attention and gratitude by enjoying their product when classes are canceled. Lord knows you ungrateful females certainly didn’t thank them in high school or college in any way, shape, or form.
  • Sleep. Sleep long. Sleep hard. Sleep all damn day if you want to. Why? Because your ability to do so once you leave is minimal at best. If you’re a family person, forget about it. From birth to when they get their license being a coach/chauffeur/general parent takes priority. If you’re a career person your soulless asshat of a boss will take great delight in sucking your lifeforce from your body. And not in the good way. They will do it via projects and tasks that you will complete, they will take credit for, and in the grand scheme of things means absolutely nothing. So there’s that.

It really doesn’t matter how you spend your snow day. What matters is that it’s yours. YOURS! It’s not for JoGo and her merry band of Higher Ed commission flunkies to reclaim like a snow day repo man. The argument Gora fronted was, “We have an obligation to our students. We don’t reduce their tuition costs, so we have an obligation to the instruction time.” When I read that, I immediately began to do the handwank motion. (Unfamiliar with that? Here you go.)

In theory, sure, I get it. Students have paid A for B and they expect B to be delivered. If I pay Papa Johns for a large pie and some cheesesticks, I don’t care if it takes Peyton Manning himself to get that mediocre pizza to my front door. I have little time for excuses. FEED ME YOUR TERRIBLE NO SAUCE PIZZA, JOHN!!! That’s in theory. There are exceptions, though, when it comes to practice Dr. Gora, where things like acts of God make what I’ve ordered and paid for either delayed or outright canceled. Things like, oh, I don’t know, a blizzard? Pretty sure that counts. And more importantly, for people to buy in to that flimsy Presidential rationale, it would mean there would need to be a student who has gone to the Provost and demanded money back from their tuition because they did not receive the amount of instruction days that they had paid for. I would hope that no one attending my university feels that way. If on the off chance someone did that, I’d rather the University just release their name so we can all teach them how to not be an ungrateful asshole instead of holding the students, faculty, and staff hostage on a Saturday.

Cuba Gooding Jr. Wants BSU News and Notes

cuba gooding jrHowdy there, friends and neighbors. It’s the first workday of 2014, and the first opportunity you’ll have to misdate things for the next few weeks. Of course, this was significantly more troublesome and hard to remember back when things like personal checks were written, but considering how I haven’t written a check in probably two years, perhaps we can all get the date right for once. A guy can dream.

What’s also special about this particular day, short of it being the first day you couldn’t roll out of bed about noon and immediately start day drinking while watching wall to wall football, is that it’s the day of birth of one Cuba Gooding Jr. You remember him, right? For me, he’ll always be Rod Tidwell, the feisty Arizona Cardinal repped by Jerry Maguire on his road to redemption. He won an Oscar for his performance. Then he played the Navy diver with Robert Deniro and it seemed like everything was coming up Cuba. The next few films were anything but notable, well received, or good. There was the movie about the dogsleds, the movie about the gay boat trip, and a dozen other terrible attempts at cinema. Fastest drop from winning an Academy Award? Gotta be in the running. Wherever Gooding Jr. may be today, I hope he at least gets a longer break to take off his paper hat, put down his squeegee mop, and enjoy his 46th birthday.

To the news and notes!

NewsNotesLogo From Mobile, there’s a pretty solid piece about the Cardinals first practice and a good photo gallery of the goings on. Nothing necessarily news-worthy, but scrolling through some photos and reading a non-beat reporter perspective on the Cardinals is a good way to spend the afternoon.

NewsNotesLogo Chris Johnson from Sports Illustrated breaks down the GoDaddy Bowl, and you’ll want to check it out if for no other reason than it’s a national writer giving the Cards some credit and expecting a victory. So there’s that.

NewsNotesLogo Some quotes from BSU and A State players and administrators about the Go Daddy Bowl and Mobile in general. From all I’ve read and heard, people are stoked that this was the bowl and team that BSU ended up with. It certainly beats Boise.

NewsNotesLogo Men’s basketball traveled to central Virginia to take on James Madison, but it was JMU that came away with the W beating BSU 73-68. I would imagine a 2-8 start isn’t what James Whitford had in mind, but this early part of the schedule has done the Cards no favors, with 5 of the last 6 on the road. The Cards out the non-conference season on Friday at Worthen Arena versus Oakland City at 7pm.

NewsNotesLogo Women’s basketball is doing markedly better than their male counterparts, with a 5-6 record, a win last weekend at IPFW, and their MAC opener Saturday at Akron. On the individual side of things, senior guard Brandy Woody was named this week’s MAC West C0-Player of the Week following a terrific stat line from IPFW: 22 points and four assists, including 13 of 14 from the free throw line.

NewsNotesLogo Men’s volleyball opens their season on January 4th versus UC-Irvine at home at 7:30. You’ll get the chance should you go to check out senior Matt Leske who has been named to the pre-season all conference team for the MIVA conference. The Cards were picked to finish 5th by the league head coaches.

NewsNotesLogo Your BSU Tweet of the Day comes to us from @RebeccaEstherS:
BSUTotD

Move in day at BSU was one of the best days of my life. It was the beginning of a tremendous experience and something that if I ever had the chance to go back and revisit a time in my life, my times at BSU would be probably number one on the list. I’m jealous of those who are starting the next chapter of their lives in the next few days.

Big Papi Wants Monday BSU News and Notes

ortizOh, Monday. You reared your ugly head once again and the lovely budding relationship with me and the weekend was cut short once again. One of these days perhaps you’ll stop doing that. But since you did, I guess we’d better check in on the happenings around the Nest for the weekend and celebrate some celebrity birthdays, right? Right. Thought so.

As a baseball fan, David “Big Papi” Ortiz is one of the ones I’ll probably be happy to tell my kids I saw play. While I am fully aware a good majority of Americans don’t care for baseball like they used to, thanks largely in part to megahuge contracts and steroids, it’s still the American Pastime, dammit. And Papi is one of the most clutch players to play the game. As a Yankee fan, I’m obviously a little anti-Sox, and no player is more representative of the Sox return to dominance than Ortiz, but to overlook his impact on the diamond over the last decade would be not accepting reality simply because he was cheered for by rude Massholes. And that just wouldn’t be fair. Papi turns 38 today and I would be willing to wager his birthday parties are not at all unfun. Off we go…

NewsNotesLogo As if 2013 wasn’t already the Year of the Cardinal and their wide receivers, Willie Snead was announced as a semifinalist today for the Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s best wide receiver. The other nine names are household ones in college football so it’s nice to see such a talented and deserving player make the cut despite not having ESPN slurp and slobber him all week long. That’s the definition of talent.

NewsNotesLogo Your BSU football team is off from game action for the next two weeks, next taking the field on Black Friday. It’s the final home game for a fantastic senior class, it’s a chance to hit double-digit wins and move the Cards to 10-2, and with a win the Cards are still alive (albeit perhaps not as of Wednesday pending other games) for a MAC Championship. Some people will want to skip the game because they would rather go and buy a bunch of wondersale type things at whatever retailer is around them, but as a former retail employee who worked black Friday: there are very few worthwhile sale items that the employees haven’t already pulled back and reserved and you won’t get what’s left unless you’re there at the asscrack of dawn. Which still leaves you time to go to the game. Excuses? You has none. See you Black Friday.

NewsNotesLogo For those of you who didn’t spend much time on the web looking for BSU things on Friday afternoon, the recreation and wellness center, some residence halls, etc. were put on lockdown after reports of a man with a gun filtered to police. The photos on Instagram and Twitter were scary and working in higher ed while things like  Virginia Tech and NIU happen make you realize just how bad something like that could be. No one and, more importantly, no gun was found in the complex and from all reports, the students and staff along with police and first responders did a great job with a difficult situation. A+ y’all.

NewsNotesLogo Andy Thorpe, who should be your go-to recruiting expert for BSU football, has a great piece about two Cardinal recruits that are on track to play against each other in the Indiana 5A Championship game. You can check that out here.

NewsNotesLogo BSU women’s volleyball clinched a share of the MAC West title and the #3 seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament by beating Western Michigan on Saturday. The Cards are back in action against WMU again on Friday in the tournament. The Broncos are the 7th seed. Oh, by the way, that was the first win by BSU on Western’s home court since 2006. Nice job, ladies.

NewsNotesLogo At the end of last week, the BSU cross-country team had their season end at the NCAA Great Lakes Region Championship. Though the Cards’ season is over, five of the six competing runners posted career bests in the event. I am most definitely not a runner, but the term “career best” is transcendent across every sport. (via)

NewsNotesLogo BSU head baseball coach Rich Maloney announced the signing of eight recruits for the BSU baseball program on Friday. Welcome to the new Cardinals and batter up! Unless you’re a pitcher. Then it’s batter down. But you get the point. (via)

NewsNotesLogo BSU men’s basketball is back in action tonight at 7 at home versus Southeast Missouri. Game tips at 7 and you might as well jump on the BSU Basketball Bandwagon now while there is still space.

NewsNotesLogo Your BSU Tweet of the Day comes from @jessica_moak:
BSUTotDIt’s funny, but I hear that from alums all the time and usually from people who thought once they were done with BSU they would kick that Muncie dirt off their shoes and never look back. Yet, even now, a decade later, there are crisp fall days or sunny and bright spring days when I would give just about anything to be back in Muncie and reliving some great years. Don’t take it for granted kiddies.

Coach Whitford Wants Thursday Ball State Notes

james-whitford1Hello there, friends. How’s your Thursday? Mine is just delightful. What’s that? There was a football game last night? Hmmm. Didn’t watch. Did I miss anything? Of course I did. Ball State basketball signed the first class of the James Whitford era, inking four recruits including one from Canada by way of Connecticut. Admittedly, I’m more of a BSU pigskin guy than BSU basketball but if his recruiting prowess is any indication of the success we’ll see on the floor, then perhaps that balance may shift a bit going forward.

One of my fondest athletic memories while I was a student at BSU was the infamous Maui Classic that saw BSU throw a loss on Kansas and UCLA back to back and play Duke tight for a half. Guys like Petey Jackson, T Smith, and Brian Burns colored my time there and I do hope to one day soon be able to pencil in BSU to the Sweet 16 in my office bracket that will inevitably be ripped to shreds after the first Thursday of the tourney.

NewsNotesLogo Whitford and the Cardinals inked high school teammates Jeremie Tyler and Rashaun Richardson from Arsenal Tech in Indianapolis along with another Indiana product in Sean Sellers of Greensburg. Francis Kiapway, from Canada by way of St. Thomas More School in Connecticut, also signed. (via)

NewsNotesLogo It wasn’t all men’s basketball yesterday, as Brady Sallee inked three recruits of his own. Moriah Monaco (Dover, Ohio/Dover HS), Khadijah Moore (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial HS) and Brionna Simond (Milwaukee, Wis./Riverside University HS) have each signed NLI’s to play basketball at Ball State. (via)

NewsNotesLogo As we mentioned on Twitter last night, news broke on the football front about an hour before the game that running back Horactio Banks tore his ACL in practice earlier this week. The injury bug struck again in-game when Quintin Cooper broke his leg. Both players are done for the season. A real shame for a team that’s been relatively injury free. Get well soon from the Pylon to both of them.

NewsNotesLogo Speaking of injuries, it was good to see Connor Ryan out there again catching balls from Keith Wenning. Now, if we can just get KeVonn Mabon and Chris Shillings back, that receiving corps is back to full strength.

NewsNotesLogo People sometimes know our fine university because of Dave Letterman, Papa John, or Garfield the Cat. The hard core BSU faithful will remind you about things like Joyce DeWitt and Bob Ross. The Huffington Post infuses BSU into the national stream of consciousness for the Ball Brothers’ rockin’ mustaches. For real. (via)

NewsNotesLogo Your Ball State Tweet of the Day comes to you from @allygarrett_:

BSU TotD
I don’t seem to remember BSU being exceptionally windy, but I’m going to take her word for it. My advice: skip class. It worked for me.

OTP Adds Staff; They Promptly Respond with IU Trolling

From time to time we like to refresh the roster here at OTP and bring on some additional talent with different perspectives. We’ve got the old curmudgeons like Edge and Alan, the absentee landlord of RV, and the newest rock star Nathan. But seeing as how this coming season looks to be an epic one for BSU, it’s always nice to stoke the flames of passion and hang another shingle. Our newest addition to the site is Pat B, someone with a longtime affiliation and access to Ball State athletics in general, but especially the inner workings of the football program. Pat (like all of us) is a BSU alum and in my opinion brings an invaluable attention to the game. He sees it in ways you and I do not, and whenever a roster can be filled out with missing talents and needed superlatives, that’s a good thing.

Additionally, Pat brings a working knowledge and familiarity with more than just football under the BSU athletics umbrella. As you’ll notice as we go forward, OTP will be expanding its coverage a bit to all of the Ball State athletics programs. While our primary focus will always be football, thanks in no small part to the knowledge and passion most all of us have for the sport, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room at the OTP table for a plethora of Cardinal athletics and BSU happenings. Yes, El Guapo, I said plethora.

On July 1 we’ll have our annual OTP report and our fiscal agenda for 2014, sort of a “State of the Site” post so consider this first Pat B post a precursor to a summer of change here at OTP.

So give a warm welcome… to Pat B. Take it away…

********************************

After the announcement of the five new helmets for Indiana Football’s 2013 season, Ball State football did some thinking.  And since new helmets MUST produce success on the field, here’s my prediction for Ball State’s response, and to what the new Ball State football helmets will look like for the 2013 season. (click to enlarge)

 

BSU IU

*********************************

One post in and one IU troll. Pat B has a bright future here at OTP.

I’ve been pretty quiet on here about these, though I’ve thrown some Twitter barbs. My overwhelming reaction is a giant “Meh…” to the entire IU helmetgasm they’ve been messing their britches over. Flash with success is swagger. Flash without substance is posing, and it seems to me like the Hoosiers are doing a fair bit of posing and a whole let less winning. To say nothing of the fact that if this was the same marketing department that came up with “Win Today!” as the Kevin Wilson slogan before he won five games in two years I’m more than a little skeptical about their prospects. That has to sting Wilson a bit. Aside from getting his ass handed to him twice by “that little old teachers college up the road”, it took him two years to accomplish what Pete Lembo did in eight weeks in Muncie. Judges?

sick burn morpheus

Resolutions for 2013-14

Can Coach Whitford make people care about Ball State basektball?

Can Coach Whitford make people care about Ball State basektball?

Now is the perfect time to create a wish list for what us dumb fans want to see our intelligent athletic administrators, coaches, and even sports writers to do in the coming year. You have no idea how hard it was to write that.

5. No more attendance stories!
I am tired of them and it is a losing battle to fight. Nothing says die-hard Ball State fan quite like staring at the bottom of the box score wondering why less than 10,000 fans showed up. We have to stop this habit.

Look, Ball State is in a bad spot when it comes to football attendance. Only a portion of alumni care about football, and only a portion of them still live near Muncie. Making things worse is the lack of connection between Ball State and Muncie. There is none.
Students will come to games but only if the weather is good. Many just come out for the tailgating and are too trashed to make it into the game. If they do make it is only for a half. It’s one thing to see a stadium of empty seats. It’s much worse to see a mass exodus in the second quarter of every home game.

These factors make it hard as hell for Scheumann Stadium to be packed. Constantly bringing it up and calling people out is not going to solve it. In fact it probably has made things worse. I’m pulling out the white flag on this one and hope other passionate fans (all 1,000 of us) do the same.

4. Get a player drafted
Not sure why but NFL scouts have not been too kind to Ball State prospects. It is great seeing players signed after the draft but if Central Michigan can score the No. 1 pick we should be able to land someone in the seventh round. Right?

3. Better black uniforms
I was pumped for the black uniforms but then it was nothing too special when they premiered against Ohio. It was just white numbers on solid black. They didn’t even have any names on the back of them. It looked like a poorly funded high school team. Ball State is not that… wait… crap.

2. Basketball buzz
New coach James Whitford has one big task for him in his first season as Ball State coach. Make Ball State basketball relevant.
This does not mean the Cardinals need to win in his first year and make it to the NCAA tournament. Create a style of play that makes fan want to see will suffice. Talk trash in press conferences, throw a chair, do something! These seasons of the Indianapolis Star placing a 30 word synopsis of a BSU game on page 5 must end. IPFW cannot receive the same media attention as Ball State for another year.

1. Less scandals
College football is reeking with scandal as Oregon and Auburn are the two most recent examples. Basically, the 2011 national championship game looks like a scam. Throw in Notre Dame losing their quarterback, chaos at Rutgers and everything looks dreadful.

This is nothing new but it seems worse than ever. I still love college football more than the NFL but the gap is smaller. Every outcome is suspect years later. Every coach is waiting to jump to the NFL when the NCAA finally catches up to their recruiting violations. Power conferences are stealing teams from each other destroying historic rivalries and weakening college basketball in the process. Yet fans continue to drink beer, eat burgers, and party every Saturday. When ignorance is the best route problems can only intensify.

Ball State Golf Gripping and Ripping

Not this kind of golf, but I'd imagine they're pretty good at it too.

Not this kind of golf, but I’d imagine they’re pretty good at it too.

As anyone who works in higher education (myself included) will tell you, come the end of the academic year most things begin to shift to the coming fall post-haste. But BSU athletics is not quite ready to let 2012-2013 go gently into that good night, as the Ball State men’s golf team still has some unfinished business in Milton, GA. Like, you know, THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT.

Ball State is making hay amongst some big boys in collegiate golf as they are actually ahead of five teams ranked in the top 20. Now, I’m a  football first kind of fan and the amount of knowledge I have about collegiate golf could probably fit in one of my DryJoys, but beating five top 20 teams after one day of competition seems pretty darn good.

To the release we go…

MILTON, Ga. — The Ball State men’s golf team found itself atop the leaderboard early Tuesday, dropped some shots down the stretch but still finished day one of the NCAA Championships ahead of five teams ranked in the top 20 in the country.

The Cardinals, playing in the morning wave with half the teams in the field, were in first place at 5-under par near the turn at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course.

After the conclusion of the challenging back nine, they had posted a 10-over par total of 290 for their best ever NCAA Championships round in their first appearance at the finals since 1986.

Ball State was in 28th place when it came off the course but moved up to 24th as the top 15 seeds, playing in the afternoon wave, made their way around the par-70, 7,319-yard layout.

By the day’s end, the Cardinals were ahead of No. 6-ranked New Mexico, No. 10 TCU, No. 11 Florida, No. 12 Southern California and No. 19 Auburn.

“We hung in there,” Ball State coach Mike Fleck said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better start, and then the golf course kind of changed as our round went on. We gave some shots away on the back nine, but we’re still going to be in the mix going into the next two days.”

Tony Lazzara shot Ball State to the top early Tuesday with birdies on three of his first five holes. A pair of consecutive birdies to start his back nine had Lazzara to 4-under and among the top 5 individually. He finished his day at even-par 70, matching the best ever round by a Cardinal at the NCAA finals, and sits in a tie for 34th place.

Alex Stinson, who recorded 15 pars on the day, and Tyler Merkel each posted rounds of 2-over par 72 and find themselves in a tie for 66th. Joe Gasser turned in a round of 76 as Ball State’s fourth counting score, while McCormick Clouser had a solid round going until the tough final three-hole stretch left him with a 77.

“When we were playing in the morning, it was calm, the conditions were softer, and the holes were a little bit easier,” Fleck said. “On the back nine, the holes were a little bit tougher, the wind picked up, and everything started to firm up a little bit. The golf course was definitely getting harder as the day went on.”

Arizona State freshman Jon Rahm turned in the round of the day Tuesday with what is believed to be a competitive course-record 61. He led the Sun Devils to a round of 10-under par, which was the top score on day one. Arizona State is followed on the team leaderboard by Georgia Tech (-6), Alabama (-5), Illinois (-4) and California (-3).

Ball State will play in the afternoon wave for Wednesday’s second round with tee times starting at 2 p.m. The Cardinals will again play with Texas Tech and Coastal Carolina.

There are two rounds of stroke play remaining before the field will be cut to eight teams for match play. Ball State will enter the second round 11 shots out of eighth place.

Unlike most par 5s for me, 11 shots out of eighth place doesn’t seem unreachable at all. Chirp chirp BSU golfers.

BSU logo In other BSU news, the baseball Cards put on one hell of a show in the MAC tournament and played BG for the championship on Sunday losing 7-0. Having not followed college baseball all that closely since Bryan Bullington was in Muncie, it was nice to see the Cards put on a show to close the year and come so close to reaching the NCAA tourney. Along the way they knocked off #1 seed Kent State, the same Kent State that was the media darling at the College World Series last year. Someone more knowledgeable about MAC baseball may have to explain to me how a team can lose one game in a double elimination tourney and not have the right to play again until they got their 2nd or handed BG theirs, but alas, that was the case Sunday for the Cards. Only in the MAC. Nice work, fellas.

BSU logo As we close the book on 2012-2013 in the coming days, I hope everyone remembers what a phenomenal year for BSU athletics it has been. Whether it was the football team’s unexpected success and bowl trip, the women’s basketball team’s NIT invitation and Brady Sallee’s successful opening salvo, the hiring of James Whitford to hopefully right the ship in men’s basketball, Rich Maloney and crew’s wildly unexpected baseball season, men’s golf in the national championship tourney, men’s volleyball with a top 10 ranking, women’s gymnast Brittney Emmons competed at the NCAA regional, the softball Cards were the MAC tourney’s top seed, a $20 million athletic capital campaign was launched, and BSU’s Sportslink continued to rack up national awards. For all intents and purposes, it was a wildly successful first year in the Bill Scholl era as Athletics Director and if the hires he’s made deliver the future is bright.

messageboardlogo OTP will kick off our summer content in short order and begin to ramp up for fall sports. Most notably, the football Cardinals are less than 100 days from opening Year 3 of the Lembo Regime and I may or may not be beginning to whisper about things that I haven’t whispered about since 2008. I’m not saying, I’m just saying. We’ll have some other goodies like our usual summer tomfoolery like our opponent previews (maybe the return of Threat Level Argyle) and our preseason picks and predictions. We’ll also roll out a new format for the OTPcast that I am ridiculously excited (and more than a little apprehensive) about. Freeform Friday will continue and hopefully we’ll be bringing on some new writers around these parts. Stay tuned, Cards fans. Chirp F’ing Chirp.

Revenue Figures Released, Just as Bad as You Expected

gorillion_dollarsCollege football news trickles out this time of year, and since Ball State isn’t one of the premier programs with Class of ’14 prospects picking hats on ESPNU specials, we unfortunately don’t hear a lot about the Fighting Football Cardinals. Sure, there’s other news from the nest, like BSU softball kicking ass on the dirt diamond, and we’ll deal with that in good time (read: tomorrow) but the news of note today is that USAToday has finally released an informative easy to use virtual spreadsheet of revenue figures, expenses, and institutional subsidies for college athletic departments! That’s good, right?

This isn’t good at all. BSU clocked in at $21,129,858 in a revenue stream, good for 107th of the schools USAToday obtained. Some big name programs in front of the Cards include the mighty FCS Montana State Fighting Bobcats (100th) and the FCS California-Davis Ags (90th). There’s a handful of D1 basketball programs with FCS football teams on the list ahead of BSU, but those are the two I noticed first before I just wanted to sit in a corner with my Bonzi Wells jersey and cry. Those tears almost became reality when I saw that Texas, Ohio State, Michigan, and Alabama combined for over HALF A BILLION DOLLARS in revenue. That’s a significant amount of money folks and eye-pop worthy until you consider what it took to make that money.

Those five programs also spent over HALF A BILLION DOLLARS as well. Welcome to the new arms race, folks. The kind where you can’t be considered an elite program unless you have platinum robots designed to clean up the urine splashed around the locker room toilets which also happen to be platinum. And dipped in diamonds. Ball State, they of non-diamond-encrusted dookie receptacles, came in at 111th on the expenses side with a respectable $20.2M outlay in athletic expenditures. Let’s see… simple math… carry the one…. square root of the tangent… find the hypotenuse…. PROFIT, BABY! Not quite.

The interesting thing about this article to me is not the expenses and revenues, though both are equally fascinating in the college athletics sword fight that seems to be going on (which Ralph Friedgen always loses thanks to simple physical science). The interesting thing is the amount of institutional subsidy that takes place. In BSU’s case, $14.5M is an institutional subsidy, which accounts for 68.5% of the revenue. Granted, not a lot of money in both dollars and cents and percentage, especially when compared with $32.5M institutional subsidy from UNLV or the nearly $28M in institutional subsidy from Rutgers. EMU appears to be the leader in terms of FBS programs with institutional subsidy percentage at 83.6%. MACtion indeed.

For the masochists among us, Indiana and Purdue both made over $70M in revenue, Purdue had no institutional subsidy, and IU had a small one (just over 3%). Notre Dame wasn’t listed because presumably they are a private school and exempt from reporting, but I’m sure it was a gajillion dollars and they spent less than that. NBC money for days.

The BSU historical revenue stream (click to embiggen):
BSU Revenue

“What does all this tell us, Alan!?!” you wonder aloud to yourself. First and foremost, that us versus them that the non-BCS schools harp on? That’s real, yo. And significant. Washington State at 59th seems to be the lowest-spending power 6 member, and that was nearly double what BSU spent. On the bright side, ticket sales were way up! Yay! Plus, school funds were the lowest used since 2008. Double Yay!

You can check out all of the figures for all of the schools here.

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