Remember that long stretch of time from January to August known as the offseason? Yeah… that’s thankfully over. Tonight at 7, your Ball State Cardinals take the field at Scheumann Stadium for the opening salvo in the 2015 campaign, heretofore known as “The Greatest Show on Turf”. The Cards’ opponent, FCS member and 2014 Southern Conference cellar-dwellar Virginia Military Institute, in theory (and in relative practice, as well) is overmatched, outgunned, and over their heads. It’s not fandom. It’s science. The opener is the great unknown but let’s look at some facts..
- BSU is a significantly older and more experienced team than 2014, a team that started rough and ended strong.
- Jack Milas has had all winter, all spring, all summer, and all fall camp to come to grips with the fact that this is his team. As Milas goes, so goes the Cardinals as is the case with most MAC schools and their QB.
- The skill positions are deep and talented, perhaps more so than any other time in the Lembo era.
- The defense, much maligned in 2014 after the successful showing in the season-opener, has had a year in the Kevin Kelly system. Secondary depth is a concern, but it’s not a worry. Yet.
- Last I checked, Pete Lembo is still on the sidelines in Muncie. As has become the corporate motto around these parts, In Lembo We Trust.
Of course most of the above seems to be missed by the people “in the know”. They have cited things like the new staff at VMI having some tricks up their sleeves, BSU’s loss to Indiana State last year, and apparently watching a different 2014 season than I was as they use words like “disappointing” or “letdown” to evaluate the Cardinals’ 2014 campaign. God, most media are the absolute worst. If it wasn’t for Ben Breiner or Tom Davis, I’d have to start Rock Bottoming people in the Scheumann Media Center.
I could tell you that VMI isn’t Indiana State as the chip on their shoulder isn’t boulder-sized. I could reference the above 5 points as reason to not cower in a puddle of our own peepee about the mighty VMI Keydets. I could explain how 5-7 last year, given some of the issues that the 2014 Cardinals were undertaking in staff turnover, player attrition, and talent loss to the NFL was somewhere between exactly what I expected and better than, but all that would be a waste of air for “media” who apparently have nothing better to do than listen to their own lips flap in the breeze as they spew forth opinions that aren’t worth the Charmin extra soft they wipe their bottoms with.
It’s become plain to me that in accepting a new role in the job that actually pays the bills, our Cardinal coverage has suffered and allowed for the signal to get clouded by the noise. Now that it is fall, now that I’ve moved, now that I’m back, that will no longer be an issue. For the media and other sites who thought that that was an opportunity to elbow their way in to the adult table, play time is over and your fifteen minutes are up. Hope you enjoyed your stay.
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