If Rodney Dangerfield were still alive, he would probably be making plans to attend this Saturday's contest between the Ball State Cardinals and the Northern Illinois Huskies. This matchup is a perfect example of a game that is not receiving any fanfare but has the makings of an exciting college football game.
As Rodney would've put it, they're getting "no respect."
NIU comes to Scheumann Stadium in Muncie, Indiana with a record of 4-1. The Huskies will be looking for their fourth straight victory after opening their season with an 18-17 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Northern Illinois is one of just 10 FBS programs to win at least 11 games in each of the last two years. Last season, the Huskies won their first Mid-American Conference championship in football since 1983. This year, NIU defeated the Central Michigan Chippewas 55-24 to begin MAC play at 1-0.
Ball State returns home with a 3-2 record after losing a conference game to the Kent State Golden Flashes on the road 45-43. The Cardinals have already defeated Indiana from the Big Ten and South Florida out of the Big East. Ball State started its season with a win against fellow MAC West foe Eastern Michigan.
Northern Illinois has won five of the last six games played against Ball State at Scheumann Stadium. In Muncie, the overall series is tied 9-9.
This game is not only a key MAC West showdown, but this is the fifth year these two combatants are playing for "The Bronze Stalk." NIU has won the trophy three years in a row after Ball State won the inaugural edition.
For the fans that will attend the game or view it on television, they will be treated to several outstanding players and interesting storylines. Read on for my analysis of the game that deserves more respect.