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Game of the Year? Perhaps

I think most, if not all, of Cardinal nation had tonight’s Central Michigan-Ball State contest circled on their calendars as soon as the schedule was released. While the Cards were still 0-0 everyone pointed to this game as a virtually certain loss, and the Cards’ performance so far this season, a staggering 1-9 overall, is doing little to mitigate the concerns that resulted in those doomsday sort of predictions in July. On paper, this game won’t be close… and to see that paper, simply visit any Central Michigan fansite, blog, or messageboard. Mid-50’s for CMU and mid-teens for the Cards seems to be the norm, but is that reality or simply love and affection for the team they support? Probably more of the former with a sprinkling of the latter, but a guy can dream that those predictions are as misguided as ours were when we thought the Cards would beat North Texas. Or New Hampshire. Or Army. Or Toledo.

Not even the best QB in the MAC to ever wear #13

The biggest concern? The CMU offense. We get it, CMU fans… Dan LeFevour is awesome. zOMG!!!111one. He has been a tremendous athlete for your program, your school, and your team. However, and it’s a big however, LeFevour is no Tim Tebow as I’ve heard him compared. LeFevour is no Vince Young. LeFevour is no Ben Roethlisberger, no Chad Pennington, and to be honest, no Nate Davis, either. I’m sure he will do well against the Cardinals tonight, and I’m also sure that will change my opinion of him by approximately zero percent. Enjoy his last few games in Mt. Pleasant, Chips fans… it’s not like he’s going to have any success post-CMU.

Shutting down the CMU offense? Nearly impossible. Having the BSU offense suddenly explode? Longshot. So what will be cause for celebration? That’s hard to judge. Some fans won’t celebrate anything but a win. Those folks are either completely unrealistic, flaming self-important assholes, or a little of both. Would I be ecstatic with a win? Of course. Despite our struggles on the field and our turmoil off it, pissing all over CMU’s dream season and handing them their first MAC loss would be a little solace. But it isn’t like a win, and that alone, is cause for happiness. I’m simply looking for the Cardinals to keep it respectable, showcase some of their talent, and not look like they don’t belong on the same field. I know the “Moral Victory” card gets played often in college football, and Lord knows this season we have had our share, but this one seems like an appropriate use of the moral victory. Keep it close, perform well, injure no one, and maybe, just maybe, a break or two makes the difference. Celebration will take a different meaning and a different threshold for everyone tonight.

We couldn't forget you, Ray

Quite frankly, the only thing that will definitely be celebration worthy is the absence of Ray Bentley from the broadcast booth. I think it speaks volumes to not only his complete lack of color commentary acumen but also his exceptional bias for Central Michigan (and his lack of ability to hide it), that football fans the world over not wearing maroon are looking forward to a broadcaster in Trent Dilfer who has called the same number of games that I have: zero. To be frank, I would rather listen to Pam Ward and Helen Keller than Ray. I’m sure whatever Bentley is doing tonight, he’ll be watching and violently masturbating to his Dan LeFevour bobblehead. One can only hope he isn’t reading one of his children’s books to a group of 8 year olds, dude. Boy… that would sure be awkward.

The bottom line for tonight’s contest is this is an opportunity for Ball State to salvage something positive out of a season that has virtually been bursting at the seams with negatives. Fans and media have taken their shots at nearly everyone in the Cardinal football family. From Stan Parrish’s apparent inability to coach, to Quale Lewis’ inability to dominate, to the O-line’s inability to block, to Tanner Justice’s inability to throw, to the defense’s inability to, you know, defend, nearly everyone has gotten at least a piece of shrapnel from one of the many negativity grenades lobbed into the locker room. Tonight, though, all of that negativity can be forgotten with 60 minutes of solid football in a performance that BSU has previewed at times, but never sustained.

It’s Scheumann Stadium. It’s Senior Night. It’s the last home game of 2009, and maybe, just maybe, the Cardinals can put together a total game. Optimism? Of course. Realism? Of course not. But that’s what separates the fans from just casual observers… the ability to clearly see fact, logic, and rationality, and give it a giant middle finger.

Prediction:
Central Michigan Chippewas: 28
Ball State Cardinals: 35

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17 Responses

  1. I hate CMU so much (basketball too)… It would be AWESOME to win, but realistically, I just hope they don’t drop 58 on us like they did when we last played them at home…

  2. Agreed, TI. While I think it is a longshot, the epic posts we would be able to make after a BSU win warrants us holding out hope.

  3. no liveblog tonight?

  4. Unfortunately, no. Home games on national television are a rarity, and I’d like to enjoy it. We’ll have sort of an open thread here for folks to comment within. Sort of similar…

  5. Wow, that’s all I have to say regarding your post Alan. I know your a BSU fan and all, but do you have a grudge against LeFevour? Do nightmares of him putting 500+yards of offense keep you up at night?

    You are aware that he has more career yards and TDs that any MAC QB ever, including your beloved Nate Davis, yet all the aforementioned QBs you brought up are somehow better than him. Of all the QBs you mentioned, however, the Nate Davis comparison is the most baffling.

    Let me go slowly so you can completely understand how homerish your comparison to Davis is. LeFevour has won 2 out of 3 meetings against Davis and has out up better stats in all three meetings, yet somehow in your opinion, Davis is the better QB. You may very well use the argument that he led his team to a #14 ranking in the top 25 polls, but you fail to realize that BSU’s schedule that year was designed by Sara Lee herself with the most difficult team you played that year being Navy. None of that matters though, Davis is the better QB according to you. Last of all, Dan LeFevour has won 2 MAC Championships and was MVP of both games, how many did Davis win in 3 years at BSU? ZERO!! In fact, your single appearance in the MACCG resulted in an embarrassing beat down at the hands of a Buffalo team that CMU beat. QED.

    As for the other QBs you mentioned, I reiterate that Dan has better career stats than all of them and I think that stats speak louder than opinions. Your Tebow comparison is a ridiculous one seeing as Tebow plays with some of the best talent in the nation. I’m pretty sure that if Dan played with all 4-5 star players that his national image would be slightly improved, don’t you think?

    As for the score predictions, do you really think our offense putting up 50+ points is far fetched considering how pathetic your defense is and good our offense is? We put up 50+ on EMU and Toledo while your team could barely muster 30 on them.

    Although I find the posts on here extremely delusional, I’m not at all surprised. I remember before the season started I posted my honest opinion on here about BSU’s chances this season and was met with extreme hostility. I specifically remember talking about how your team is losing too much to compete this year and every response I got was about how your team will be better than everyone thinks and that you are returning great talent. I guess I was proven right, lol.

    BSU fans can hate on Lefevour and CMU all they want, but bottom line, statistics and championships speak louder than words. Maybe if Davis has actually won something of relevance in his tenure at BSU than the comparison may be legit, but he didn’t and therefore will be nothing but an afterthought when it comes to the best QBs in MAC history.

    Enjoy the massacre tonight ladies and gentlemen.

  6. Eric,

    While Tebow has got great talent around him, he’s also going against the SEC each and every week. Sort of makes his statistics, which are comparable to Dan’s, much more meaningful since Dan has gotten fat off the likes of Miami, Eastern Michigan, etc.

    As for your score assessment, you’re probably right. And I fully expect a beating. But my heart won’t let me put it down. Not against this team.

    As for Davis… we shall see about his legacy won’t we? Will Danny boy get picked up and play QB in the NFL? Most likely not.

  7. “but you fail to realize that BSU’s schedule that year was designed by Sara Lee herself with the most difficult team you played that year being Navy.”

    Aside from the thumping Georgia gave you, who else did you have out of conference? We both had IU, and from my recollection, we handily beat IU 42-20. Yours was what, 37-34? Purdue also got the upper hand on you. And did I also see a loss to Eastern Mich. last year? And didn’t you just squeak by Buffalo last year? Matter of fact, the biggest margin of victory you had in-conference last year was 10. The largest of ours was 31. Twice. Both against teams you struggled against. One last set of numbers: we outscored our opponents combined 489-287. CMU was 384-393. We oustscored in-conference 327-128. CMU was 253-235.

    Granted, LeFevour is playing better this year, and I expect a bloodbath tonight. But I’m not so sure your offense was better than BSU’s last year. And no, we didn’t get that championship, but we prevented CMU from being there, so that’s at least something…

  8. You honestly think DL won’t get drafted?! HAHA

    He is projected as a first day draft pick, more than likely late 2nd to early 3rd round pick.

    Nothing in Dan’s career has shown that he doesn’t have the talent, poise and ability to make it in the NFL. The problem is every MAC team has had to deal with him TORCHING them for the past 4 seasons and everyone is bitter.

    Tonight will be a nice icing on the cake as hopefully Dan puts up some of the best numbers in his career, and on national television no less.

  9. … Projections don’t mean shit… Nate Davis was projected relatively high (#4 QB, 2nd rounder) all the way up until a month before the draft… And Nate actually played in a pro system at Ball State as opposed to the spread that CMU runs, and Lefevour isn’t nearly as accurate as Davis was in his time for Cardinals. If Lefevour was THAT great, why did a team with an awful defense still win with the back-up last season?

  10. We all know LaQueerver is good, there is no doubt that he will get drafted. To say he will be a good nfl qb is simply a stupid statement. He has the talent to put up big numbers in this power house of a conference, big whoop. He will be gone next year and you guys will be just like us this year and have to try and defend yourselfs against the dick heads like you ladies are.

  11. Why does it matter who gets drafted into the NFL and who doesn’t? We’re talking about college football, right? I don’t care if a guy turns out to be an All-Pro player or not, I’m concerned how well he performs at the college level.

    JaMarcus Russell, Charlie Ward, Matt Leinart….all great college quarterbacks, but I wouldn’t want any of them on my pro team. I hope my college team has a great college QB, if he makes it in the NFL, well, good for him.

  12. Love the optimism around this place. Go Cards!

  13. “LaQueerver ” Classic!

    On that note Dan is not and won’t be a 1st round pick in a draft that is very rich in QB’s. I guess if you want a Qb like Brady Quinn (holds a bunch records for ND like your boy) that just throws dinks and dunks behind the 10 yard line then so be it. Obviously hasn’t worked to well for Brady and the Browns. DAN = FAIL in the nfl

  14. So now we’re gay bashing? How very 1970s…..and classy.

  15. I wouldn’t call it gay bashing. I think most, or at least me, could list hundreds of reasons why LeFevour is disliked, none of which have anything to do with whom, or what, he sticks his wiener in.

  16. “He will be gone next year and you guys will be just like us this year and have to try and defend yourselfs against the dick heads like you ladies are.”

    While I will say that there will be an adjustment period when Dan leaves, I cant agree that we’ll be in the same position as you this year.

    Yes Dan is leaving as well as Brian Anderson on offense, but we have more key players returning than BSU did this year. We’re losing three starters on offense next year (LeFevour, Anderson, and one offensive linemen) and five on defense. Radcliff (our backup) has the tools around him, but what will be the determining factor is whether he can adapt to a starting role. Simply put, we are returning more on offense next year than BSU did this year. Sorry to say it, but losing LeFeour doesn’t automatically mean that our team will go in the toilet.

    Regarding your comment about the game last year Edge, you do realize that we had three 3rd string defensive backs starting, right? You can call it excuse making if you want, but somehow I think you would be just as upset if your team had 3 inexperienced guys starting in the biggest game of the year. Just pointing out the facts here.

  17. “You can call it excuse making if you want”.

    Yes. I want.

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