Friday, September 12, 2008

Cardinal Roundtable: Akron

In an effort to rally the troops of the blogosphere who share their affinity for the Ball State University Cardinals, OTP is proud to present the next installment of the Cardinal Roundtable. Each week, a different BSU blog will pose questions to the group about the upcoming game and the season in general. This week's host is Brandon from BallUNation, and the links to our Blog Buddy counterparts can be found at the bottom. A special treat this week is that site co-creator RV has crawled out of his Hole-O-Preparation for the ND-Michigan showdown to give his insights as well. Go Cards!

1. If you could pick one player from another team in the MAC, who would it be and why?
Alan: Most would pick a defensive player, and though tempted to go with Larry English from Northern Illinois, I would love to see Central Michigan's Bryan Anderson. At 6-5, he would give Nate Davis a tall "Go-Get-It" receiver and load this offense more so than it currently is. A secondary benefit would provide nightmares for defensive coordinators as they would have to figure out how to cover Anderson, Dante Love, and Darius Hill. The smart money says take English, but the fan in me says take Anderson and watch this offense.

RV: I'd love to have Daniel Holtzclaw, based off of name alone. Not to mention the fact that he had over 100 tackles last season and would bring some much needed experience to the LBing corp.

2. What in your opinion is some of the challenges that you face as a blogger for a non-BCS school?
Alan: Well, the obvious answer is fanbase. As a blogger for a school who isn't a part of the major conferences and who doesn't have a huge following, there simply aren't a large number of even possible readers. If you cover Notre Dame, there is a national following of people who are starved for ND information. With BSU, it's different to a certain extent. That makes us focus more on content. Things outside the box. And we're also fortunate to blog about Kentucky, a BCS school, as well. I will say this though... despite the numbers being small, there is a rabid, passionate, knowledgeable fanbase of Cardinals for us to cater to.

RV: Recognition. The only reason someone is ever looking for you, is because you embarrassed yourself or you upset a team and people are wondering about the flash-in-the-pan. Nobody truly cares.

3. What made you decide to go to Ball State for college?
Alan: For me, it was in state, I couldn't make up my mind, had planned on going to post-graduate school, so my father chose for me based on cost and the fact that we had a family friend who went there in the 70's. The first time I saw the campus was when they dropped me off for Orientation. Looking back on it, I wouldn't have it any other way, and I'm damn proud to have two degrees from BSU.

RV: The women and football. Yeah, I went there for the nation's longest losing streak...but in all seriousness, the campus is absolutely beautiful, and their academics are very highly regarded around the country.

4. Jason Whitlock has been hyping us as a BCS gate crashing contender and other writers have begun to jump on the bandwagon. What upcoming game worries you the most in terms of Ball State losing?
Alan: When I looked at the schedule this season there were three games that to win would require a solid effort from the defense in addition to the usual offensive prowess. Navy, Indiana, and Central Michigan all worried me. One of those we've already recorded as a W. That leaves Indiana next week, and Central Michigan in November. We could literally bring our A game and still get beat in both those contests. Every other game on the schedule is in the "Should win" column, but the thing about the MidAmerican Conference is any team is capable of beating you if you don't show up to play. Other games we may beat ourselves, but IU and CMU could actually beat us themselves.

RV: Indiana. They have the weapons on offense to exploit our defense. Hopefully it'll end up a shootout and Nate Diggity will keep his head in the game.

5. What are your impressions so far of the defense? Is it better, worse, or about the same from last year?
Alan: Well, we have a very limited sample size. Game 1 they looked solid, but it was against a mediocre I-AA team. Game 2 was against the triple option, an offensive scheme that even the best defenses have trouble with. So where are we defensively? I don't know. This weekend's game at Akron will tell us quite a bit, as Akron is a talented team with a standard offensive attack. On the whole though, I like what I see. Our defense made stops against Navy when they needed, and ended up being a big reason why that was a W for the Cardinals.

RV: The defense is improved, I was happy with the Navy game...but it's hard to really judge anything off of Northeastern and a gimmick offense they won't see again. But I'd rather reserve judgement for a few games.

Check Out the Other Roundtable Participants:

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