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The OTP Dossier: Texas A&M

Aggie Mascot

Your Ball State Fighting Football Cardinals head down to the Lonestar State this weekend to break in Kyle Field and in the eyes of Aggie fans the world over, be the Macrificial Lamb for the grand opening of the newly renovated stadium. SEC opponents are not usually found girding their loins and daring to do battle with the Mighty MAC so it’s time we educate ourselves about the Texas A&M Aggies. Get to educatin’…

They’re Known as the Aggies
Aggies is apparently a colloquial term used for agricultural schools nation-wide, but Texas A&M is the Aggies that everyone knows. In much the same way rappers have reclaimed words that by definition are offensive, A&M has made Aggies less about hayseed bumpkins and more about dominant football teams. So they have that going for them, which is nice.

Their Mascot Isn’t Farm Related
How agricultural education and farmers relate to a dog, I’ll never know, but the pooch pictured above is A&M’s mascot, Reveille. They are now on Reveille IX (that’s 9 for the BSU people reading this) and I am quite positive that the dog lives better than 90% of the population. She also outranks all the cadets, and I can only hope she abuses that privilege by eating straight from the soft serve machine in the dining hall and pissing wherever she damn well pleases. Partly because she’s a dog. Partly because she owns the place.

If it’s Friday Night, it’s Yell Practice
A&M students gather at the football stadium the night before a home game to go over chants, cheers, and the like. We yell on Friday nights at BSU… in fraternity bedrooms! HI-O!!! I’ll go ahead and see myself out.

Speaking of Scoring…
It’s also tradition that whenever the Aggies score, if you’ve brought a date to the game you kiss them. If you’re single you hold up a lighter so single people can find each other. If all it takes is football points for an A&M student to get some lovin’, I have two thoughts:

  1. My guidance counselor completely dropped the ball in my college search.
  2. Never hire Stan Parrish to be the head coach at Texas A&M. Your students will be kissing less than that time they tried 6 minutes in heaven at the TB hospital.

There is a Mandatory Break to Appreciate Texas
Ever talk to someone from Texas? They let you know they are from Texas. They let you know they love Texas. They encourage you to love Texas as well. As such, at the first television timeout of the third quarter, there is a brief pause where the crowd in attendance takes a moment to appreciate all things Texas. Fans are encouraged to:

  • Voice discontent about the state of the country and how it is going to hell in a handbag
  • Celebrate any 6-inch or larger permed hair style in their general vicinity
  • Remind everyone within earshot that everything is bigger in Texas
  • Ask who the greatest baseball player in the history of baseball was. If they don’t respond with Nolan Ryan, punch them right in their suckhole.

Respect their traditions. We’re guests, after all.

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A Non-MAC Coach Weighs In on the MAC Media Poll

When the MAC media preseason poll was released today, I was quite vocal about how I thought the media as a whole had put the screws to the Cardinals. Voting Ball State third in the MAC West I wasn’t that fired up about. Voting Central Michigan first in the West twice? That’s where I draw a line. But perhaps I was overreacting. Obviously with my Cardinal colored glasses, sometimes I get a tree lost amidst the forest. Was that really all that bad?

We at the Pylon decided to reach out to a neutral third-party observer to ensure we were not inadequately fired up about these poll shenanigans at the hands of the dastardly MAC media conglomerate.

Coach Gundy, any thoughts on the MAC Media preseason poll released today?

That was sort of my thoughts as well. But let’s get a little more in depth. The most obvious thing that I thought was amiss was the fact that Central Michigan had two first place votes and the team immediately above them had none. That team happens to be Ball State. Any reason as to why a team that limped home to 6 wins, most of which came against the bottom of the barrel would get voted so high?

But are we wrong to get upset about our team again being overlooked and undervalued from those in the know? These are supposed to be the best and the brightest in the media that champion all the good things about college athletics. Right?

So I take it you’re not a fan of the media. Not even your local newspaper? I mean here, take a look at the latest edition of the Muncie Star Press and tell me what you think about that…

Well, not everything can be perfect. There are probably times when everyone makes mistakes. Thoughts on the myriad other ways to stay connected to Ball State athletics besides OverThePylon?

Can’t argue with that. So back to the MAC Media Poll, is there any explanation for the oddities of the poll? And not just the CMU thing. There’s the love for NIU with significant questions, some fliers taken on Akron, and a whole host of other things that just seem to defy explanation. Buffalo in 4th in the East? Come on. Any rationale?

That’s a bold accusation, Coach. Perhaps you could give us your opinion of some of the teams in the conference.

Toledo?

Bowling Green?

NIU?

Buffalo?

I’m noticing a pattern. We’ve been hard at the Pylon on WMU’s PJ Fleck. Between the dancing, the dj, and the boat oars, we’ve taken a fair share of jabs at Coach Fleck. Your thoughts on him?

I’m actually kind of shocked. Anything else to add before we let you go, Coach?

Vomit away.

The Case for Ball State Being Better than Alabama

Nick Saban is no fan of math, science, and therefore America

Remember the transitive property in elementary math classes? If A is greater than B, and B is greater than C, then by the transitive property, A is always greater than C. The transitive property is one of those things that is useful in math and not much else, but football fans have been trying to shoehorn the transitive property into their football lives for a while now. If Team A beats Team B, and Team B beats TeamC, then in theory, Team A is a better team than Team C. Especially if Team C is Buffalo.

Now, this is not an exact science. In fact, there’s nothing even remotely scientific about it. However, the transitive property has some interesting results when you evaluate it for our Ball State Cardinals and everyone’s “ERMAHGERD!!! #1 BEST EVAH!” team of the year… the Alabama Crimson Tide. We’ll come back to this in a bit.

The trouble with the transitive property is that teams have to have losses for this little experiment to work. Alabama doesn’t. What to do, then, huh? RIDDLE ME THAT! Simple, really and it all comes down to two words: common opponents. Say for example, Team A and Team B are attempting to compare themselves. Team A and Team B have only one common opponent, Team C. Team A beat Team C by 20 points, Team B beat Team C by 50 points. It would stand to reason, then, that Team B>Team A. Probably even more unscientific and wildly offbase than the transitive property to begin with, but let’s not split hairs, shall we?

Let’s get into some real world application. Say you’re a BSU fan and one of your coworkers is an Alabama fan. How do you tolerate him at work? Especially now that Bama continues to roll up national titles. He walks around all day in his houndstooth hats/shirts/jackets/boxers and consistently yells “Roll Tide!” at literally everything. Successful collation? “ROLL TIDE!” Found his favorite rubber band ball? “ROLL TIDE!” Meeting let out early? “ROLL TIDE!” Epic BM? “ROLL TIDE!” How can you shut him up? By making the statement and proving the point that thanks to math Ball State is actually better than Alabama.

SHOW YOUR WORK

  • The mighty Cardinals beat Central Michigan 41-30
  • Central Michigan beat Iowa 32-31
  • Iowa beat Northern Illinois 18-17
  • By the comparison test above, Northern Illinois is better than Georgia since NIU beat Buffalo by 42 and Georgia only managed a 22 point assthrashing of the Bulls.
  • Using the comparison test further, Georgia is better than Alabama because it owns a 36 point beating of FAU for the Dawgs, compared to only 33 for the Tide.

Therefore, vis-a-vis, Ball State is in fact better than the Alabama Crimson Tide. Of course, the media will never report this. The SEC with their siren song of five-star recruits and sundressed coeds in the stands generates the headlines and ink and the fancy things like BCS rankings, crystal football trophies, and respect. But people should be wary of those that discount the above logic out of hand. In reality, that’s disregarding math. What’s next? Throwing science out the window? And if you hate on math and science and find no use for them in such important matters, aren’t you really indicting the entire educational system? In reality, isn’t this an indictment of our  American society? I put it to you Alabama fans. You can say what you want about the Mid American Conference and Ball State University, but I won’t sit here and let you badmouth the United States of America!

BSU and Conference Expansion

SECRETARY!!!!

Yes, Mr. Collins?

Where are my messages, secretary? I’m sure with all this conference expansion there are numerous people to call back, deals to make, and flesh to press… metaphorically speaking. Tell me there are messages… please?

Yes, sir, there are messages that do demand your attention.

Fabulous, secretary! I’m going to sit at my desk while you read them to me. Proceed with these lucrative offers that I can dazzle our University administration with. Chop, chop.

The first message was from Big 10 commissioner Jim Delany.

This is it, secretary!!! The offer we’ve been waiting for! Kiss my white ass, Northern Illinois and Central Michigan! You won’t have BSU to kick around anymore. We’re going first class, bitches. Enjoy your stay in coach.

He wanted to know if you had any contacts at Nebraska. Or Notre Dame. Or Rutgers. Or Pitt. Or Maryland. Or Hanover. Or Taylor. Or Indianapolis Attucks. Which I’m pretty sure doesn’t even exist anymore. He said there was no reason, just curious.

That is exceptionally odd. If I weren’t the cunning mind that I am, I would think that they were passing us by. I think what is entirely likely is they are simply letting the other schools know that their fate rests in our hands. Of course! Brilliant!

Right…. the next message is from Larry Scott of the PAC 10.

Oh, baby! Screw the Big 10 and their shell games with those other losers. This is the big one. I can feel it!

He was also asking if you had any contact information for folks like Colorado, Boise State, TCU or Texas Tech. He also asked if we knew anyone at East Dillon or Dillon High School.

Fictional high schools? Conferences are opting to expand with fictional high schools before offering to us?!? I’m surprised Jacob and Edward didn’t come out and announce Folks High School was moving to the WAC.

Mountain West, sir.

Oh, come on!!! They don’t even exist! They’re only in those lame ass vampire books. We have a stadium, jerseys, footballs, and headsets for the staff! I mean, sure, we don’t have an office for our coaches. And we don’t have one of those fancy jumbotrons. And we only have 4 pissers in the entire place, but we’re a college. We are an institution of higher learning!!

Mike Slive from the SEC called as well sir.

Really? The SEC? As in, the premier conference in football? They want us? They want ME?! I knew it secretary!!! It was only a matter of time before we blew this bullshit MAC popsicle stand and hit the big time. It’s nothing but road trips with fine trim, delicious barbecue, and million dollar paydays! Eat shit, MAC!

Actually sir, they were just wondering how you do it.

Do what?

Shave every morning without slitting your own throat with a razor. Then he farted into the receiver and hung up.

*Blank stare* I…. *sigh*

There was also one other message, sir.

*Looks up hopefully, solitary tear forms in eye* Was it from the Big East? Conference USA? The fucking Sun Belt?! Anyone?

It was Whitlock, sir. He swallowed his phone again and misdialed you, but it’s a hysterical message. Want to hear it?

*sigh* *wipes tear* Of course.