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The Key to the BSU-USF Game

For those of you wondering, like I am known to do from time to time what a particular game comes down to, often times it’s hard to pinpoint the exact thing that would make people worry, wonder, fret, or celebrate. However, this game at Scheumann Stadium at 4:30 today for the Cardinals comes down to one thing… BJ Daniels. Or more specifically, which BJ Daniels shows up.

There’s SUPERAMAZEBALLSHEISMANTROPHYHOPEFUL BJ Daniels. We saw him last year. Notre Dame saw him last year. We do not need to see him today. However, there is another side of BJ Daniels, don’t you know? A side that makes South Florida fans huddle in fear and the green and gold clad masses to band together around the shared sadness and shame. Hopefully coming Saturday afternoon to a stadium near you…

EVIL B.J. DANIELS!

Perhaps you’ve seen this mythical creature. The most recent sighting was September 13, when Evil B.J. threw three picks to the Rutgers defense and was perhaps more responsible than any other for that Thursday night upset. He’s been known to pop up from time to time, and with the pending showdown with Florida State just a week away, perhaps SuperAmazeBallsB.J. will yield to an unfocused looking ahead EvilB.J.. A BSU fan can only hope.

(Ed. Note: If you had the ability to bet on OTP, the odds that a post that contained the phrase SuperAmazeBallsB.J. would be solely about football and not even PG-13 in the slightest would have had to have been 1,000,000 to 1. -Ed.)

Fire Up for NIU

Gameday, MFer. Cardinals battle the NIU Huskies tonight at 8pm on national television, ESPNU to be exact. Your fearless OTP leader is running the BSU gamewatch in northern Virginia, so if you’re around feel free to come out to the Buffalo Wild Wings for some tomfoolery and rabble rousing with other BSU alums from around our nation’s capital. Storyline is pretty known by this point… large point spread, good NIU team, “streaky” BSU team, and nothing on paper that should make this game a potential upset. But don’t let the talking heads fool you, Cards fans. This game is mighty important. And for many more reasons than just the kick ass bronze stalk trophy. (SARCASM ALERT!) A win gives BSU their 7th win of the season almost assuring them a bowl berth, and more importantly, makes next Friday’s Toledo contest a one-game playoff for the MAC West crown and the chance to go to Detroit. It’s big. NIU? Awfully good. Invincible? No. It’s going to take quite the effort from the Cards but stranger things have happened and we all know mid-week MACtion is not for the faint of heart.

Need some motivation? Fine.

Assuming the game doesn’t stretch past 1 or 2 in the morning and I’m sober enough to a.) drive home and b.) do some sort of recap, OTP will have all your post game analysis up for your reading pleasure at some point after the final whistle and before the sun crests the horizon tomorrow morning. And I think it’s been far too long since we’ve done some ceiling dancing up in this piece, so expect a sizable dose of Lionel if when the Cards pull out the W. 8pm. ESPNU. Time to put the women and children to bed and go lookin’ for dinner. Ooooh!!! The Program reference, bro! Up top!

Go Cards!

Western Michigan Gameday

While it would be nice to sit here and crack on Western Michigan, claim the Cardinals are the far better team, and predict a large Ball State victory. Of course, WMU is going for Bowl eligibility, BSU has one win, and the Cardinals are traveling to Kalamazoo, MI for tonight’s game. To call any of those things confidence inspiring in the ability of BSU to win this game would be to ignore logic.

As such, we’ll just leave our gameday fodder and follies on ice and not tempt the football Gods who maybe, just maybe, want to give us something to end the year on a positive note with. As all of us have witnessed, most especially this year, has certainly been a game of inches. Enjoy…

Translation: Heading back to Indiana this morning with the hopes of getting there in time to watch the game. OTP will be a bit reduced on Wednesday and most likely off the radar on Thursday and Friday. Here’s wishing all of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Use this as your pre-, in-, and post-game commentary thread.

BSU-CMU Open Thread

Not running a Liveblog tonight, because in part, I have no desire to try and ward off the CMU faithful but also because it’s the last home game and most Cards fans should actually be there. Need some motivation to get you ready? Fine. Roughly two hours….

For those that aren’t heading to Muncie or God forbid have to work, consider the comment section on this particular post to be your Liveblog of sorts. We’ll be stopping by early and often.

Drop your comments, poke fun at CMU, try to argue that Dan LeFevour is not in fact the greatest player of our generation. Anything you’d like, really.

Comment section. Go.

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

Arkansas Gameday

So here we are, roughly 10 hours from kickoff of the Arkansas-Kentucky game. Over the past several days Arkansas fans have some out of the woodwork to this little corner of the internet and spewed their noise about their Hog football team for any and all to hear.

Here’s what we’ve learned, if we only listened to Hog fans…
  1. Arkansas is a much better program and consistently beats Kentucky. This shouldn’t be close because the Razorbacks have been dominating the Wildcats for years.
  2. Arkansas has a potent rushing attack and is an offensive juggernaut. They will shred Kentucky’s defense.
  3. I am blinded by my hatred for Bobby Petrino. The man is actually a saint and doesn’t deserve all the negative attention. Hugs for Bobby!!!
  4. This blog is written by a no-credential, amateur, hack, who has sex with his sister, and follows a team that has no football history whatsoever. Kentucky football is a joke and they don’t even deserve to step on the field with the powerful Arkansas Razorbacks, much less have a blog written about them.
Let’s take a little trip through the OTP No Spin Zone and see what the truth is in these half-assed attempts to make us and Kentucky look bad…
  1. Verdict: Not True. Kentucky owns a 3-2 series lead over the Razorbacks. Included in this stat is a 2-0 lead at Fayetteville (1-1 at home, and 0-1 at “neutral” Little Rock). As for the tradition argument, Arkansas has a good one. I will readily admit that. Even though they are doing that whole Claim-Your-National-Championship thing with a Helms trophy, but whatever. Their tradition makes it even sweeter to say we have a winning record against them.
  2. Verdict: Not True. I’ve given the statistics, RV has given the statistics, Edge has given the statistics. 11th in the conference in rushing. 96th nationally. Had you said you had a decent passing attack, that would be different. But you didn’t.
  3. Verdict: Not True. Bobby Petrino is a douche. And anyone not named Petrino or wearing an Arkansas hat will tell you the same. Hell, some in your fanbase will tell you that also. Is one of the reasons I dislike him because he beat Kentucky like a drum when he coached at Louisville? Absolutely. That’s sort of the point. See: Tennessee fans and Steve Spurrier. 
  4. Verdict: Not Even Worth The Time. I won’t defend my credentials because truthfully, most of you backwater hillbillies couldn’t figure out the abbreviations or degrees. As for who doesn’t deserve to step on the field with whom, I guess we’ll see about 11pm tonight when 95% of you will crawl back to the holler from whence you came.
I’m sure this will garner another barrage of crudely constructed replies and witty retorts of the standard “Kentucky sucks! Bobby Petrino is God!!! Our rushing attempt is awesome! You suck!! WOOO PIGGGIE!!!!”. So if that’s what you’ve got, save it.
Go Cats!