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The 2009 Season, in Dylan-ese

Who doesn't look good with a Vincent Price mustache?

It’s time to turn the rock up to 11 here at OTP.  We’ve already covered some of the early part of the season with a little help from the Beatles, but how about some other artists that may have some song titles that we can relate to the season?  Up next is one of the all-time greats: Bob Dylan.  Whether or not he knows or follows a lot of college football is moot because I’ve done all the legwork.  So, let’s get started, shall we?

Million Dollar Bash – Welcome to the bash, Mack Brown.  Now the highest-earning coach in college football, Brown will bring in five million next year.  Someone explain to me how this works, especially with a coach-in-waiting.  I suppose if you have the money, more power to you, but still… that’s a lot of bank for someone who’s keeping a seat warm at the head of the table. 

Changing of the Guards – USC, you no longer rule the Pac-10, and it’s actually kind of refreshing.  And what’s worse is that you didn’t really finish in the top five.  Changing of the guards, indeed.

I Shall Be Released – Ah, the dreaded pink slip.  This song is for you (so far): J.D. Brookhart, Charlie Weatherbie, Steve Kragthorpe, Mark Snyder, Tommy West, Charlie Weis, Dick Tomey, Mike Sanford, Al Groh, Dave Elson, and most respectfully, Bobby Bowden. Continue reading

Life on the Edge: North Texas

Most of you know Edge as the roving correspondent for our OTP Muncie bureau. He brings delight and joy to the masses with his Rock & Roll Report Cards after Ball State games which he decides to rock out at in person. In an effort to ensure your Awesome Quotient, or AQ as we like to call it, increases on a weekly basis, Edge offers insight into the Cards’ upcoming opponent as well. Our first 2009 edition? North Texas.

Life On The Edge:

North Texas Edition

Here we go.  Tomorrow, the season officially begins.  This offseason has been a tough one for us all, even our mighty Cardinals.  We lost a talented chunk of our offense, we lost our head coach (who undoubtedly left at the perfect time), and we had to endure almost eight months of no college football.

But things are finally getting back in full swing, and the hibernation is just about over.  Some things I’m looking forward to or am finding interesting at the moment in the college football world:

  1. Seeing Lee Corso back in action.  He may annoy the hell out of you, but you know, Gameday wouldn’t be the same without him.
  2. Crazy Lou.  No longer Dr. Lou, this man has gone batty.  He predicts a Florida-ND championship, and he’s not joking.  Maybe it’s time to switch to politics Lou.
  3. This new Michigan over-practicing scandal.  Seriously?  Find me a team that doesn’t practice/train their players 20 hours or less in a week, and I’ll find you a team that goes 0-12.
  4. This year’s Heisman race really will be one for the books.  The QB trio of Tebow, Bradford, and McCoy will put on a show this year, that’s for certain.  But don’t count out some others that may eke into the top three by season’s end.
  5. Lane Kiffin.

Among the things I’m looking forward to this season with Ball State?  Well, the Cardinals defense by all reports appears to be solid, maybe one of the best in the MAC.  If they play well as a unit and stay healthy, they can at least give the mostly inexperienced offense a chance to put points on the board and win some games.  It’s also important to look upon our new coaching staff and realize with the talent they bring to the table, Ball State does have a chance to be a MAC West contender for a while.

In the past week, Alan and I took quite a beating in our North Texas season prediction.  I had them at 1-11, and Alan predicted a 2-10 season.  Unfortunately, since we can’t give every team a 9-3 record and be the happy strawberry-scented pastel-colored “everyone gets to go bowling” blog, we have to be realistic.  A 2008 record of 1-11 doesn’t necessarily mean your team is bad, so lift up those heads.  The offense showed a bit of promise last year, but that North Texas defense was just… not good.  This should go to prove that defense is extremely important at this level.  While the offense ranked in the middle of the entire FBS, the defense pretty much guaranteed that 2008 was a season worth improving into 2009.

While we haven’t seen either team perform yet, most of my expectations come from what was gained and what was lost for both teams and what happened in 2008.  North Texas, don’t take offense, but I predict a Ball State victory on September 3, and we get back into a winning frame of mind… at least for awhile.

Ball State: 24
North Texas: 14

Life on the Edge: The Wonderlic Explained

Most of you know Edge as the roving correspondent for our OTP Muncie bureau. He brings delight and joy to the masses with his Rock & Roll Report Cards after Ball State games which he decides to rock out at in person. In an effort to ensure your Awesome Quotient, or AQ as we like to call it, increases on a weekly basis, Edge offers insight into the Cards’ upcoming opponent or random goings on in college football. This week’s edition? The Wonderlic Explained.

Life on the Edge:
The Wonderlic Explained


Most of you that read OTP will understand about the Wonderlic. But I’ve been hearing questions about this test from some casual OTP readers (we’ll call them the fairweather fans). As the resident, somewhat scholarly rocker, I think it’s my duty to explain some things about this test. Here goes:

50 questions, 12 minutes. Go.

That’s pretty much it, my fellow Einsteins. But what questions are on this test… Well, here’s a few brain busters (Note: these can be found on the Internet. They are not confirmed as being on this year’s test, but they are confirmed as the types of questions asked):

  • “What number month is September?”
  • “When rope is selling at $.10 a foot, how many feet can you buy for sixty cents?”
  • “A boy is 17 years old and his sister is twice as old. When the boy is 23 years old, what will be the age of his sister?”

Your brain hurt yet? Well, before you think you’d be the next Stephen Hawking, the test does get progressively harder. Such as:

  • “A physical education class has three times as many girls as boys. During a class basketball game, the girls average 18 points each, and the class as a whole averages 17 points per person. How many points does each boy score on average?”
  • “A box of staples has a length of 6 cm, a width of 7 cm, and a volume of 378 cm cubed. What is the height of the box?”
  • “What is the average of all of the integers from 13 to 37?”

Granted, I’ll bet most college-educated people could figure these out relatively easily. But, keep in mind: 50 questions, 12 minutes. See how things can get a bit difficult? It’s no wonder that the averages tend to be in the mid-twenties for most test-takers. Scoring a 50 would probably get you drafted in the first round of the MENSA draft. Scoring a 6? Well, I guess you could be a mentally unstable quarterback for the Tennessee Titans.

Take a second and check out this year’s scores. I’ll wait while you review…

So, how about that 11, Nate?

So close… Derp.

Let’s be honest here: that’s pretty bad. “Learning disability” or not, it’s just… not good. “Ah, but numbers can be deceiving, can’t they Edge?” Well, I suppose an 11 out of 30 wouldn’t be too bad, right?

But that’s not what happened here… when you answer 45 questions and only get 11 right? Ouch dude. That’s a 0.244 batting average. To put this into a little more perspective, the second-worst correct answers on the test for a quarterback was 16. Also not good. Until you take into account he only got through 21 questions. That’s a 0.762 batting average. Game over, get your free Coke at the concession stand.

Now, I know that most teams aren’t looking to draft financial advisers and chemists, but when a team sees a guy that’s… slow?… you have to believe that they’ll have some doubts. In my quick scan of scores (2nd test), I see only four who scored a worse batting average than Davis (and Johnny Knox of Abilene Christian, also a 0.244 hitter).

Valedictorian of Dumbshit U. – Emmanuel Cook of South Carolina scored an 11 of 49; a 0.224 batting average
Salutatorian of Dumbshit U. – David Richmond of San Jose State scored a 10 of 43; a 0.233 batting average
Ummm.. Co-Thirdatorians of Dumbshit U. – Taurus Johnson of South Florida and Sen’Derrick Marks of Auburn both scored a 12 of 50; a 0.240 batting average

Now, there were plenty of 11s, 12s, even a 9. But I tend to glance at the number to the right which indicates the number of questions answered. Even if a player only answers 30, but gets 20 correct, that indicates intelligence on some level. It may mean he takes too long reading or that he’s too meticulous, or he knows he’s dumb, so he only answers the ones he’s sure are right – thus an intelligent move. But he still got 2/3 of the questions correct. Certainly better than under 1/4, right my fellow mathmeticians?

Bottom line? The Wonderlic sacked Davis. It gang-sacked him. And his approach was borderline idiotic. Here’s the deal… too late now of course: if you don’t know the answer, SKIP IT! At least you can feign intelligence this way. Like him or not, “learning disability” or not, his stock has not increased, and he’s going to be hard-pressed to get the contract he thought he’d get before the MAC championship. And note to self: if I ever take a test next to Nate Davis, don’t copy off of him.

Life on the Edge: Farewell to Coach Hoke

Most of you know Edge as the roving correspondent for our OTP Muncie bureau. He brings delight and joy to the masses with his Rock & Roll Report Cards after Ball State games which he decides to rock out at in person. In an effort to ensure your Awesome Quotient, or AQ as we like to call it, increases on a weekly basis, Edge offers insight into the Cards’ upcoming opponent as well. This week’s edition? A farewell to coach Hoke.

Life On The Edge: Farewell to Coach Hoke

As we gear up for the GMAC Bowl and the beginning of the Parrish Era at Ball State, there seems to be some dirty laundry left to air. If you think about it, a lot has happened already this week. Coach Hoke is leaving for sunnier climes, our President has issued a boxed statement to both us and other media outlets, and Charles Barkley played the race card. It’s only Tuesday, and I already need a weekend to recover from all this.

Most Ball State fans stand on two sides of the fence today. One side is calling Hoke a sell-out. The other side is calling for the resignation of President Gora and AD Collins. I think you all know how we at OTP feel about this whole situation, so I’m going to try to justify our stance a little better to the non-believers.

The best site in the universe, Wikipedia, defines selling out as: “the compromising of one’s integrity, morality and principles in exchange for money, ‘success’ (however defined) or other personal gain. It is commonly associated with attempts to increase mass appeal or acceptability to mainstream society.” I think this goes without saying, but how can any of you accuse Hoke of selling out based on this fairly accurate description of the term “selling out”? I think the closest I could come to calling him a sell-out is his attempt at “mass appeal”. But in actuality, his success on the field this year gave him that boost in appeal, not the signing at San Diego State.

Now, that brings me to the next point. Just because he’s taking more money does not mean he’s a sell-out. I adhere to the code of “if you’re good at something, never do it for free.” I know, that’s sooo un-Christian of me. So be it. Tebow can have my quota of dick-skins. Among other things, money can improve your quality of life. It’s true, no matter who you are or where you live. I’m not saying money can buy happiness, so don’t confuse the two. Think of it this way: if two companies want to hire you, and they are competitors, wouldn’t money be a major factor in your decision? Thought so.

Ok, now let’s throw in the most important variable in this equation: family. As a father myself, it would tear me up to be half the country away from my daughter. If my daughter were in Arizona, and someone offered me double the salary to be within 250 miles of her, my bags are packed. Brady Hoke has a family, and this is a great opportunity for him to be able to spend more time together.

Lastly, think of the new location. Let’s see, we have a salary that’s been doubled, the opportunity to be closer to family, so that must mean the price to pay is a shit location, right? Wrong. Brady Hoke could spend the winter in a place where we have to decide whether or not we can afford to plow the main roads this winter due to budgetary constraints. Or, he could live in San Diego. He could wait until April or May to get in a round of golf comfortably, then put the clubs away in late September. Or he could live in San Diego. He could make $350k (now it’s miraculously $390k plus incentives according to an attempt at face-saving by the university). Or he could make $700k in San Diego.

Our university let us down in epic fashion. Stan Parrish will have our support at OTP next year, and I for one am looking forward to it. But I’ll never forget how my university all but spat in the face of success. Notice how Gora’s statements to both us and the BSU Daily News included the phrases “would have made him the highest paid employee of Ball State.” I sense some feminist bitterness. Let me tell you something – thousands of people don’t show up in the administration building each week to see Gora sign papers. Thousands of people don’t show up in the athletics offices each week to see Collins do… whatever it is he says he does. Neither of them get mention on national news outlets like ESPN, Foxnews, MSNBC, or a spot on Letterman. Hoke did all of that for you, and they let the best university marketing opportunity slip out of their hands.

There you have it. Those still on the sell-out side of this argument need to take a better look at this situation again. In reality, Ball State probably had a 5% chance of retaining Hoke, but the fact that they didn’t try all that hard guaranteed his departure. Maybe the administration can save face and hire a big name like Kelvin Samson in 2013. Or how about a new Lynch era? But I digress. Tell you what, bad feelings aside, when the GMAC is over, let’s get on board with Coach Parrish and root for our Cardinals to success in 2009.

Rock on.

Life on the Edge: PostSeason Edition

Most of you know Edge as the roving correspondent for our OTP Muncie bureau. He brings delight and joy to the masses with his Rock & Roll Report Cards after Ball State games which he decides to rock out at in person. In an effort to ensure your Awesome Quotient, or AQ as we like to call it, increases on a weekly basis, Edge offers insight into the Cards’ upcoming opponent as well. This week’s edition? The postseason.

Life On The Edge: PostSeason Edition

Well, Alan said it all. Saturday was a national day of mourning for the death of our wildest dreams, our 2008 innocence. Goodbye talks of BCS. Goodbye MAC championship. Goodbye perfect season. Friday night pretty much felt like I had just turned a corner in youth that says, “Remember those summer breaks? Remember those Christmas breaks? Yeah, no more of that. From this point on, you shall have a … JOB!”

Three days later, this is still the best I can describe it – aside from how Patriots fans felt last year, that is. We local fans really did have something to relish this year. And what made it sweeter was the years we’ve spent in the doldrums. Two-win seasons, one-win seasons… and now this. Twelve in a row! It’s indescribable unless you’re a fan.

So, now that the dust is starting to settle, and the shock has begun to wear off, how do the fans feel? Well, I for one feel spoiled. And after the initial anger and embarrassment wore off, I kind of feel okay about the whole thing. I mean, let’s get real: after all those bad years, do we really need to complain about that one loss? Okay, it was the MAC championship – I’ll give you that. That’s one game you just can’t lose, especially going into it 12-1.

But still, when you take a step back, we got spoiled this year. We were so used to winning, that Friday was like a kick in the sack – whereas five or six years ago a win was like winning $100,000 in the lottery.

As a Red Sox fan, I know how your team can torture you. I had relief at the fingertips back in ’86 only to have it roll between my legs (see what I did there?). As a Colts fan, we watched as our team came within sights of the Super Bowl a few times only to be shut down. And the WNBA still exists… I mean, this is just agony. Hellish, unabashed agony.

A strong foundation is in place for another solid year next year, taking into consideration that some of our key players stay. The HokeManBeast may stay, or he may go. It depends on the population density of the homeless food supply in Muncie next year. And we have the GMAC to go still. We may have missed a chance to ring that championship bell, but we do get a shot at a respectable trophy next month.

So, when you’re all ready, let’s get pumped for the GMAC. Hopefully we can get a better officiating crew than Friday. Yes, they boned a call or two, you detractors have to admit that. It may or may not have changed the outcome; we will never know. But, what’s right is right, and what’s wrong is wrong. And those calls were wrong. .

Rock on.

Life on the Edge: CMU Edition

Most of you know Edge as the roving correspondent for our OTP Muncie bureau. He brings delight and joy to the masses with his Rock & Roll Report Cards after Ball State games which he decides to rock out at in person. In an effort to ensure your Awesome Quotient, or AQ as we like to call it, increases on a weekly basis, Edge offers insight into the Cards’ upcoming opponent as well. This week’s edition? The CMU Chippewas.

Life On The Edge: CMU Edition

Let’s talk for a second about over-zealous fans. I totally get the whole commitment thing – I’m a husband and father, a lifelong Cardinal, a baseball fan (even during the strike in the 90s). But, I’ve always been a realistic fan. During those tumultuous years (re: Lynch Era) as a Cardinals fan, I rooted incessantly for my team. However, I knew better than to get online to other fan sites and run my mouth about something I clearly have little knowledge of or with extreme tunnel vision – I knew my team sucked. Letterman told me so.

Reading posts this week has confirmed my stance that crazed fans are just not that intelligent. Let’s take for instance Dan LeFevour’s Heisman numbers. He’s a good quarterback, don’t get me wrong. But, let’s be realistic. This is the MAC we’re talking about here. No one would give A-Rod the AL MVP if he was playing in the minor leagues. Sure, he’d be good, put up fantastic numbers, and maybe draw some fans. But you can’t compare his numbers to the MLB A-Rod because the opponents’ talent doesn’t quite match. This is why the BCS and its crazy voodoo computer logic exists! Please, do not get over-inflated egos on this: I am NOT saying LeFevour is football’s equivalent to A-Rod. And no, I would not argue for Nate Davis; the same applies to him. This is a case of “Big Fish, Little Pond.”

Let’s also talk about etiquette. See, I spelled that correctly. No one’s Faulkner in here, but I’m a fervent believer that people who take time to rebut blog posts should take their time making grammatical sense. Most college football fans in the blogosphere are graduates (well, at the least from high school). Case in point:

“it has been proven. it will be a good game tommorow. o yeah and nice mascot… isn’t your s a cardinal.. thats a bird. and a pussy bird at that.. FIRE UP CHIPS …see u wednesday!!” – Anonymous

What the hell is that? A text message? If you are going to take time to bash another school, do it intelligently. The same thing happened with Arkansas fans earlier this year. IU fans even got in on the action. If you type like a 9th grader sends texts, you will lose credibility. You’re also making your fanbase look retarded. Why not just stab your mother in the back by showing her your wonderful usage of grammar? Here’s another:

“WHOOOO FIRE UP CHIPS!! YOU BETTER BRING YOUR A GAME TO MOUNT P. THIS WEEK! IT CAN GET PRETTY HOSTILE IN K-SHORTS…” – Anonymous

This reminds me of Macho Man Randy Savage. Couldn’t “Anonymous” just have added, “SNAP INTO A SLIM JIM!!!” and been done with it? Again, let’s be intelligent here. I know we at OTP tend to get a little inflammatory at times, but we at least tend to do so with common sense and facts. For example, Alan bashed CMU for not having a mascot. I’m sorry, but you can’t argue with that. If you have no mascot, you have no heart. If you’re afraid of backlash from your team name by having that mascot, you are weak-willed. If it’s that big of an issue, change your name. Go with the CMU Nylon Stockings or Wet Blankets or something.

Tonight should put the CMU fanbase in the league of IU and Arkansas fans here at OTP. The ones who tend to show up here seem to be the annoying guy at the house party. You know the one: “Who wants to play Asshole?!? Come on, let’s get shitfaced! Hey, where’s all the hot chicks?!? You think this popped collar looks awesome? Put on some Dave Matthews!!!” OTP doesn’t like that guy, but like BSU, sometimes you have to put up with that just to have a good party. And this year has definitely been a party. Wash this down with a cold one:

Ball State: 31
CMU: 17

Life on the Edge: Bye Week Edition

Most of you know Edge as the roving correspondent for our OTP Muncie bureau. He brings delight and joy to the masses with his Rock & Roll Report Cards after Ball State games which he decides to rock out at in person. In an effort to ensure your Awesome Quotient, or AQ as we like to call it, increases on a weekly basis, Edge offers insight into the Cards’ upcoming opponent as well. This week’s edition? A bye week!.

Life On The Edge: Off Week Edition

This week is as good as any for a bye week, and it couldn’t come a moment too soon. The Cards avoided the dreaded trap, and have now secured a winning season by going 7-0 and coming in at number 24 with a bullet. If history is correct, not losing this weekend could skyrocket them all the way to 23rd. Granted, a lot of beds will have to be shat upon, but is it not entirely possible?

Watching the WKU game on a 17″ laptop screen seemed to be appropriate. Who needs hi-def to see a game like the one we saw Saturday? Everything about it was ugly, and it might as well be on a low-quality stream, just to enhance its ugliness. On all fronts, this game was just… bleh.

The beauty of seeing this game on the computer was the fact it allowed me to listen to some real homers. These announcers were bad, man. For instance, at many points in the first half, they claimed WKU were absolutely dominating the game. Really? A fumble out of the end zone, a missed field goal, and another lost fumble? And you’re “dominating”? Come on guys. Just because the BSU offense was running on about 70% efficiency doesn’t mean you’re earning anything.

That brings up the next point of the Cards play on both sides of the ball Saturday. Yes, we held them to only 7 points, but by all rights, this game should have been close on the scoreboard. Like I said earlier, this is a good week for a bye. You can see the mild exhaustion in the players at this point. With some huge games coming up, they need this time to recharge the batteries. It appeared that the Cards were simply in conservation mode, but they need to get back to big game mentality starting next week.

In other news… I just can’t seem to avoid talking about IU this week. They are a staggering 2-4 this season, and I’m thinking of a polite way to say, “I told you so, arrogant shits!” Alan is much more of a wordsmith than I am, so I’ll ask for his advice. In the meantime, as I mentioned a month or so ago, there are phases to the Lynch Era as a fan. The first step is denial. Clearly this has been the case thus far.

But I’m hearing rumblings that some fans are past this stage and have headed towards anger. AA gives out chips for achievements in sobriety, so I will present these people with a chip. You’re doing well, but it’s a long road ahead ladies and gents of the cream and crimson.

Things in life are cyclical: the stock market ups and downs, the ebb and flow of industry, bellbottoms, and even the weather. Lynch Eras fall into this cycle. You will fail; there is no getting around it. Acceptance awaits you, and it’s humbling. I mean look at Ball State… 24th in the nation and 7-0 now. Five years ago I’d say you were bullshitting me and probably pull a Pete Townshend guitar smash over your back. But the Cards are out of the dark and finally into the light. And now the cycle is complete.

Life on the Edge: Western Kentucky Edition

Most of you know Edge as the roving correspondent for our OTP Muncie bureau. He brings delight and joy to the masses with his Rock & Roll Report Cards after Ball State games which he decides to rock out at in person. In an effort to ensure your Awesome Quotient, or AQ as we like to call it, increases on a weekly basis, Edge offers insight into the Cards’ upcoming opponent as well. This week’s edition? Western Kentucky.

Life On The Edge: Western Kentucky Edition

For Ball State, this weekend could be a trap game. Probably not, but as we’ve seen this year in the lovely world of NCAA football, anything is possible. The Cards, now 25th in the AP Poll and 6-0 overall face a milestone game this weekend: 7-0. What does that mean? A winning season. Still feels good to say that I am a fan of a team that may (undoubtedly) be a winning team.

Western Kentucky is not a good team. But believe it or not, they have an advantage. They have played six games this year, and four of those have been against BCS schools. I heard a good explanation this week of why this type of experience is a benefit from Joe Maddon, manager of baseball’s Tampa Bay Rays. He says that being in a division with elite teams such as the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees forces you to ramp up your game and speed up the progress of success. Less than a decade old, this team won their division and also secured a spot in the ALCS.

Back to the game this weekend, I couldn’t yet compare the Hilltoppers to the Rays, but teams with their types of schedules need to be respected. Three of the four BCS teams Western has seen have a shot of beating or decimating the Cards (Kentucky, Alabama, Virginia Tech). The fourth was IU. 42-20.

All this being said, if the Cards just take this game seriously, they will take this game… seriously. The Hilltoppers, like I said, just aren’t that good. They have a semi-respectable secondary, which still shouldn’t be a problem for the Cardinals offense. The Hilltopper offense is another story…

News this week is that the Hilltopper offense is going through some problems in that preseason-declared starter K.J. Black was set to make his big return this weekend from an injury in week two. On Tuesday, coach Elson named backup David Wolke the starter for the rest of the season and told Black he should consider seeking another school. Ouch bitch, you got jacked bitch. This has Van Halen/Haggar/Roth written all over it.
However this episode pans out, it won’t change the fact that the Hilltopper offense is ineffective. In five games, Wolke has thrown 5 TD passes and just over 500 yards. The rushing attack has earned them 768 yards on 217 carries in six games (3.54 yards per carry). Again, just not effective. But, their defense has 7 interceptions. So, yeah…

Warnings aside, this should be a win by a large margin for the Cards. 7-0 is music to my ears.

Ball State: 48
Western Kentucky: 13

Life on the Edge: Kent State Edition

Most of you know Edge as the roving correspondent for our OTP Muncie bureau. He brings delight and joy to the masses with his Rock & Roll Report Cards after Ball State games which he decides to rock out at in person. In an effort to ensure your Awesome Quotient, or AQ as we like to call it, increases on a weekly basis, Edge offers insight into the Cards’ upcoming opponent as well. This week’s edition? Kent State.

Life On The Edge: Kent State Edition

Those of you who are looking for a non-stop block of rock need look no further than the Ball State homecoming game this Saturday. The predictions are in, and it looks like a solid Ball State victory. Of course, most gave IU the edge last week, including me. Nothing is a sure thing in football, which is why the game is played. But we shouldn’t have too many difficulties.

Kent State is a step below Navy and fourteen ahead of Northeastern. Cardinal fans should have something to celebrate Saturday evening. Since it’s not too often we get a chance to start (gasp) 5-0, if I were able to be there, I would clear my calendar for a couple days after. As it stands, I will be in Nashville for a concert and have to miss my Cards for the first and only time at home this season.

We should probably talk about Love, and since this is a blog, an opinion or two might sneak out here or there. We’ve all had time to let it sink in that we will be without our star receiver for the rest of the year. Nothing will change that. Adjustments have to be made, and if the IU game was any indication, we will be just fine.

Certain people are going to have to step up the challenge. Orsbon and Ifft in particular. I have no doubt they’ll be able to give a couple fresh, constant targets for Davis, but it’s not going to happen all in one week. We’ll have to give it time to coalesce, but I’d feel safe going into late October knowing they’ve developed into their bigger roles nicely. Also, MiQuale Lewis will have to pound more yards on the ground. This is a great chance for him to really shine, and so far he’s been beyond outstanding.

The biggest thing is that this team can’t succeed with just two star players on offense (Davis-Love). I don’t think any of us can expect any team to live or die by two players (New England). Ball State knows this, and Saturday is a big test to see how successful life after Love – A.L. – will be. I’ll put my money on the Cards, and I anticipate a blowout. Rock on.

Ball State: 45
Kent State: 20

Life on the Edge: IU Hate Week Edition

Most of you know Edge as the roving correspondent for our OTP Muncie bureau. He brings delight and joy to the masses with his Rock & Roll Report Cards after Ball State games which he decides to rock out at in person. In an effort to ensure your Awesome Quotient, or AQ as we like to call it, increases on a weekly basis, Edge offers insight into the Cards’ upcoming opponent as well. This week’s edition? Indiana. Hate Week. Hatehatehatehatehate.

Life On The Edge:IU Hate Week Edition

I think if John Lennon were alive, he’d stage a week-long peace demonstration in bed if he could read some of the vitriol being passed back and forth between Ball State and IU fans. It’s starting to get nasty, and who couldn’t understand? I mean, it is IU Hate Week at OTP (Ed. note: hatehatehatehate). Maybe Lennon wouldn’t waste his time with this argument. I don’t even know why we have to waste our time with this argument. Let’s have a talk…

Rivals.com message boards are always fun to peruse. It’s like watching a comedian go back and forth with a witty audience member. It’s entertaining, like most boards. But when the comedian turns to you and rips on your sweater your mom made for you, it’s not funny anymore. The gloves have to come off.

So here we have some arrogant IU fans — you know the type — who claim their team will make history by defeating Ball State. Puh-lease. This is like me bragging about beating my 2-year-old daughter at Guitar Hero. We all know Ball State is the red-headed stepchild of Indiana collegiate athletics (whereas Purdue is the uncle in jail for misconduct with a minor). We are constantly embarassed by our athletics, most recently the racist Ronnie Thompson. I don’t even want to get started, but just hear me when I say BSU alum are used to being let down.

But what about IU? Well, you have Bill Lynch. There. We’re even.

Yes, IU was in a bowl last year (loss). Yes, IU had a 7-5 season. Were any of these kids Lynch’s recruits? Didn’t IU have a lot of “let’s win this one for the ol’ Gipper” in them last year?

Don’t get me wrong. Bill is a nice guy. I’ve never heard anyone outside of the football community utter a negative word about him off the field. And his lack of success at Ball State is debatable, I won’t lie. Poor facilities, poor alumni support, and poor choice of assistants = Letterman fodder.

But come on — the guy is the Michael Scott of Indiana football. It’s hard to say a bad thing about the guy because he is so genuine, but it’s also hard to overlook the fact that he just might not be that good at his job. Time will tell, but if I’m a betting man, my money’s not on Lynch succeeding past this year.

Here’s the deal: neither Ball State or IU have faced their real challenges yet this year. In around 48 hours, forget about the midterms. Forget about the warm-up gigs. Forget about the hood rats. It’s go-time.

My money is on the Cardinals. That’s mostly an indication of my allegiance. Do I think IU can win? Yes. Either team could to be honest. There’s a good chance that this game will be tight most of the day. And in the end, it may come down to turnovers, penalties, and special teams. Whichever team controls those three elements will win.

As a side note, I was told by a former IU defensive back that Ball State only runs 3 or 4 plays in any given situation (such as 3rd and short, 3rd and long, etc.). He said they had the most tendencies of any team he ever faced and that the defense should be able to tame the Cards easily. I’ll take his word for it, so this is the one thing that scares me. IU — I think you have the edge in this game.

Then again, you have Bill Lynch.