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Know a ’14 Opponent: Colgate

In an effort to educate, inform, preview and most importantly, poke fun of those who dare add the Ball State Cardinals to their football schedule, OTP is proud to bring back a tradition here at the Pylon, Know an Opponent, in this case, the Know a ’14 Opponent series. Some things to note… this isn’t heavy lifting with broken down statistics, game film replays, or random things like that. It’s still preseason after all, and that kind of analysis and evaluation is best saved for game week. So buckle up kiddies… time to Know a ’14 Opponent!

Colgate-RaidersColgate Raiders

When I was a little boy, there was a bully in class that was a real piece of work. Made fun of me. Knocked my mechanical pencils off the desk. Acted like my grocery bag book covers were not the absolute bomb. Didn’t appreciate my GI Joe Trapper Keeper. This kid was clearly an asshole. His parents were assholes. His grandmammy was probably an asshole, too. He was also significantly bigger than me and may or may not have spent time in prison. I’d like to tell you about the time I stood up to him, punched him in his asshole mouth, and then went on to third grade glory with the third grade hottie, but not all stories have happy endings. No, I didn’t stand up to Bully McDickhead. I just rode out the rest of 3rd grade, he moved, and I can only assume he is wearing a paper hat to work and using a squeegee mop on the regular. The moral of this story is: I knew my place at the time and didn’t feel like standing up for Duke and his battle against Cobra Command was worth an ass beating. I was a logical thinker even then. Colgate would do well to heed similar advice before journeying to Muncie. You’ve been warned, Raiders. There’s still time. Get out while you still can.

What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Colgate is in what you might call, “a transition year”. At the head of the snake, Dick Biddle retired after 18 years and 7 Patriot League titles. Replacing him is his Associate Coach Dan Hunt, whose parents would have named Mike had they even a modicum of a sense of humor. Hunt has assured folks that nothing significant will change, and most expect the Raiders to continue to be a pound it down your throat run-first team. In addition to losing their coach, they lose QB Gavin McCarney, who just happened to be the leading rusher amongst QBs in the Patriot League ever. That’s probably going to be felt. Defensively, Raiders fans hope it’s a transition year as last year wasn’t a good one. The unit gave up over 30 points a game, which should make Ozzie Mann and a Cardinal offense hoping to hit the ground running this year slightly excited. They finished 2013 at 4-8, but they did win the Patriot League in 2012, a Patriot League that used to be home to one Pete Lembo.

The Man Who Wears the Headset
Dan Hunt ColgateYou know what’s crazy about Colgate’s head coach? It’s an endowed position. Alums of the university help fund the football coach’s salary like some faculty jobs. So Dan Hunt is not just “Head Football Coach”. Oh, no. Dan Hunt is the Fred ‘50 and Marilyn Dunlap Head Football Coach. That is so East Coast. It’s Hunt’s first year in the big chair, but not his first year in the program, as he has been there since 1996, directing the offense. One side of the coin would say he would be the coach that should have the greatest chance for success. He knows the program, knows the players, knows where they keep the paperclips in the supply closet. There’s a flip side to that coin, though, and I’d point to the 2009 Ball State team to demonstrate that just because you are an effective Coordinator there isn’t a guarantee that you’re going to be a successful head coach. Just something to think about.

Players and Stats of Note
As mentioned, the Patriot League’s version of Dan Lefevour is gone, so the next man up for the Raiders is presumably Jake Melville. The sophomore comes in with an Ozzie Mann-esque task of providing just enough of a threat that the run game can flourish. These days it’s rare to have a fullback generate significant headlines, but Raider fullback Ed Pavalko was a preseason All-Conference selection and a three-year letter winner. He’ll be the one clearing the holes for any one of the bevy of running backs that Colgate can trot out. The defense last season for Colgate gave up in excess of 30 points per game, but Hunt has emphasized that the defense will be taking a more pressure approach to their scheme this fall. They return Mike Armiento in their secondary, and after hauling in 6 INTs last season, I’m sure he’s hoping for Ozzie Mann passes gone awry.

If Colgate Football Was a Musician
I think it’s cute that Colgate has decided to step up to the plate and play big boy football. But, the fact remains that they are a bit over their skis. Not all football teams are created equal and the bottom line is that a 4-8 team from the Patriot League with a new head coach and QB needs to know their place and stick to what they are good at, none of which is coming to Muncie and putting the Cardinals on upset alert. “Stay in your lane” is good advice for reaching football teams and bands who cover songs and artists they have no business covering. But you tried, and for that, we thank you. Congrats, Colgate, you are Limp Bizkit covering The Who.

How Worried Are We
The return of the OTP Threat Level!

ThreatLevelColgatePerhaps nothing is more indicative of the growing obesity of America than the fact that appetizers are an almost expected thing. “I can’t wait for the meal, so please, bring me some fried food to tide me over before I get the actual entrée, which will most likely be fried as well.” Sure, it’s gluttonous and probably unneeded, but I’ll be damned if I don’t get an order of Dill Chips or 7 Tidals every time I go to the Brewhouse. In similar fashion, Colgate provides a tasty little morsel to work the kinks out and get an idea of what the BSU offense is going to look like in year one with Joey Lynch as OC and without Keith Wenning at QB. Defensively, the new look Kevin Kelly regime begins with an offense that likes to run, the specific sort of attack that at times flummoxed the Jay Bateman administration. Can the Raiders pull an upset? I assume it is possible. It is also possible that I’m going to come home from work today to find Kate Upton waiting on a bearskin rug with a bottle of bourbon and some dill chips. Mmmmmm…. dill chips. So, Colgate opens our Know a ’14 Opponent with a nice cool Code Green. Next up? Iowa. And that threat level is likely to increase.

Enemy Recon
Surprisingly enough, there isn’t a tremendous web presence for FCS Patriot League teams. People say the same thing about MAC schools, and I know how frustrating that can be. Should you want to read up for yourself on some Colgate goodies, you can check out their official sports page here. There’s a messageboard here and you can check out a fan site here.

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19 Responses

  1. FYI, Colgate message board is http://voy.com/227566/. Fan site/my site is http://www.colgatefootballcollection.com. If anyone is going to the game and wants to snag me a program and a ticket stub then my contact info is on the website.

  2. Ryan,

    Thanks! We’ve updated the post to reflect that.

  3. Very amusing & I imagine you’ll win the game. Your inclusion on our schedule is a residue of our last AD who had no idea what he was doing… last I checked we had about 7 alums heading to Muncie since we could give less of a shit about your program, as I imagine you don’t care about ours. Suffice to say we wish you good luck as the season progresses, and if you ever allow alcohol at the tailgates we might think about heading to Muncie… nah, probably not.

  4. Alcohol is definitely allowed. And that’s good because your fans won’t want to be sober for what’s about to happen.

  5. I think it is a stretch calling a mid-major “big boy” football. In any event, we look forward to the game. I am not sure if you have a hockey team, but if you do we will play you anywhere and show you what big boy hockey is all about. Just ask Minnesota.

  6. Our Raiders may come in second in this contest but in life after collegiate football at least they will have an education and diploma that means something. Better to have decades of value than a few years of cheer at a “safety” school. For a school with an enrollment of less than 3,000 that fields 25 D1 teams (several of which were nationally ranked last year), we’re willing to take on a few Bully McDickheads every now and then.

  7. Wonder what Virginia thought of that big boy mid major last year.

  8. Two points for Chris.

    As for Smitty, the “safety school” is such a tired argument and really not correct. If you’re looking for top flight architecture, music tech, entrepreneurship, digital sports production, telecommunications and a whole host of other things, BSU is actually a pretty good place to be. Of course, you wouldn’t know that because it’s hard to look up facts and figures from the lofty incorrect position of your elitist high horse, which incidentally, we plan on cramming up your cram hole come Saturday. xoxo

  9. I am a big fan of Pete Lembo, having admired his career since he was Lehigh’s head coach from 2001 to 2005. If you speak with Pete, he will tell you that he has a great deal of respect for Colgate and the other teams in the Patriot League. Kevin Kelly (an outstanding defensive coach) would say the same thing. It is interesting to note that both Dan Hunt and Kevin Kelly played football at Springfield, and Kevin just came from Georgetown, a Patriot League team. With Pete as head coach, Lehigh won 3 of the 5 games from 2001 to 2005, with total points during those years being Lehigh 120 – Colgate 115. In 2003, Colgate (a non-scholarship program at the time) was 15 & 1, only losing to Delaware in the national championship game. Not too shabby.

    There are fundamentally two types of college football. The Patriot and Ivy leagues are scholar athlete programs. Virtually all other leagues in the NCAA focus on football for profit at, in my opinion, the expense of academics. Schools such as Stanford, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, and Northwestern are the notable exceptions.

    Colgate, Notre Dame, Stanford, and the Patriot and Ivy Leagues in general have the highest graduation rates in the country for their varsity athletes, all bordering on 100%.

    Like most BCS programs, 67% of Ball State’s starting lineup have been redshirted. Colgate, like the other Patriot and Ivy League programs do not redshirt their athletes.

    The academic majors of Colgate’s starting lineup include: History (3); Geology (3); Educational Studies (3); Economics (2); Political Science (2); Biology (1); Molecular Biology (1); Psychology (1); Neuroscience (1); Philosophy (1); Sociology (1); Natural Sciences (1); Fine Arts (1); and, Theatre (1).

    The issue this Saturday is not who will win, as Ball State is likely to do just that. The issue is college football.

    As Mike Myers (as Linda Richman) used to say on Saturday Night Live, “College football is neither college nor football. Discuss.”

    I don’t know about you, but I’m a little verklempt. Talk amongst yourselves.

    Let’s have a great game this Saturday and celebrate the future leaders of our society on both sides of the ball.

    Go Gate,

    Rick Gould
    Colgate ’71

  10. I’m sure Muncie is a great place to spend a few years with your high school buds before heading into lower middle management somewhere in Indiana. Ranking 337 out of 442 like minded schools, very impressive! http://www.payscale.com/research/US/School=Ball_State_University_%28BSU%29/Salary

  11. The reason, and I’m just spitballing here, is that so many graduates of the school work in education. Last I checked teachers don’t make a ton of money, but they (hopefully) do encourage their students to fact check and make rational arguments, not be a pompous dickhead in blog comments.

  12. Well said, Rick.

  13. Let’s forget the personal attacks on both sides. We realize Ball State now has a solid program and we appreciate the opportunity to step up out of the Patriot League. Kids on both sides just want to play good football and move on to the next game. Now that Colgate can offer athletic scholarships, we should continue to grow in competitiveness. Good luck to everyone.

  14. I’m sure Jason is just excited to have someone around, albeit for a short time, to talk hockey with.

  15. Well, I’d say a pompous dickhead is someone who writes a snarky post about an opponent, encourages opponents to read said column and then gets touchy when they get a little flak in the comments. Take a couple of deep breaths, enjoy your team, and good luck against the Central Michigans and Toledos of the world as the season progresses!

  16. If you think your comment about the quality of education at my alma mater and many others’ on this site wouldn’t warrant that kind of response then you are delusional.

  17. Al, your blog so edit as you like. Disappointed that you’re willing to sling guff but can’t take it. Good luck after game one!

  18. We go over what’s allowed in our ethics page and edit accordingly.

  19. Regarding your ethics, it’s amusing that you can promote your blog on our fan site, make a cunt joke about our coach, say that you’re going to “cram it up your cram hole” in the comments, and then get offended when we take a shot at your lack of academic credentials. But you probably won’t publish this either, so why bother? Congrats on your win, I’ll be following your squad with interest as the season progresses.

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