As an alum and super homer when it comes to Ball State athletics, it might surprise you to hear the next sentence.
Ball State football does NOT deserve a shot at a BCS bowl.
Even if Utah or Boise State had lost a game, and the real BSU was ranked in the top 12, they still should be snubbed for any of the BCS games. Here’s why.
Ball State has run the table thus far, advancing to 12-0 and shooting up to No. 12 in the BCS rankings. However, it did it in the Mid-American Conference, which truly isn’t a power conference. The athletes aren’t as big, fast, strong, or anything like the athletes in the Pac-10, Big Ten, Big 12, etc.
Teams like the Cardinals in a mid-major are just better athletes than the teams in their conference. Nate Davis has an NFL arm; it’s just that bigger programs weren’t willing to help accommodate someone with a learning disability.
Ball State would also get run out of the building. Not just because the Cards don’t have super athletes on the team, but the lack of speed on defense would kill them. The only time they won by less than 10 points was against Central Michigan, who has a fast and mobile quarterback.
If they faced Tim Tebow, what would happen when he also has Percy Harvin attacking them at all directions? It wouldn’t be fun to go watch a BCS game when Ball State was getting slaughtered. It would, however, be great fun to go watch them win in the MAC’s biggest bowl game (keep in mind I’m assuming that Buffalo is going down this Friday).
When your signature win is against another mid-major, then it’s just that much harder to actually make a case for them to be invited to a BCS game. It’s not like the Motor City Bowl is a chump or gimmie, either. Projections show North Carolina State, Iowa, or Minnesota, three very good football programs.
There’s more to the story, though, with Brady Hoke and Davis about to be on their way out. I’d love to think that if BSU can run the table and go 14-0 without a BCS win, that maybe Hoke and Davis decide they can do it one more year here, and go after a BCS birth.
It’s a little selfish, and a lot ridiculous since I think Davis has already packed his bags for the NFL and Hoke can’t have a better season than this with his alma mater, but it would be great to have them both back next season.
When the bowl selections are made, and the games are announced, I’ll start getting my affairs in order so I can take the road trip to (hopefully) Detroit and watch my beloved Cardinals make me the proudest alum ever. Sorry, David Letterman, I’ll be just a little more proud.