I don't know if it's the coaches or the administration who is at fault; I only know that it's not the players. The players and the fans, for that matter, have been cheated.
I'll keep this short and sweet.
The Ball State Cardinals (12-1) were offered a bid to the Humanitarian Bowl to play Boise State (12-0). Yes, it was on Boise's Smurf Turf. Yes, it was a long way for Indiana fans to travel, but just how many Ball State fans will be traveling to their bowl game anyway? Especially now?
In case you aren't already aware, the Buffalo Bulls (8-5) stampeded over the Cardinals in the MAC Championship game tonight, 42-24.
They had a chance to go mano-a-mano, two undefeated teams battling it out in what surely would have been a more entertaining proposal than any Ball State will now receive.
If they had lost, it could have been written off as a road game against a BCS-quality team. If they had won, Ball State could have put themselves more permanently on the mid-major map, both in terms of recruiting and hype.
Instead, they were cowards and turned down the bid. Maybe they did the fans a favor. If they played at all as they did against Buffalo, it would have been an embarrassing display against the Broncos of Boise State.
I don't pretend to have inside knowledge of what goes on in Muncie, Indiana, but shame on whoever is responsible for the decision of turning down the Humanitarian Bowl invitation.
For those that say the Buffalo loss proves they shouldn't have accepted the invitation, I call bullshit. It makes it all the more obvious that they shouldn't have looked the gift horse in the mouth. They would have had a shot at redemption and relevance, on a (still) reasonably large stage.
Now, they will only have a shot at partial insignificance (if they win) or complete insignificance (if they lose).
Good luck playing in the random December bowl that no one but the most diehard of college football fans will be watching.