Friday, September 19, 2008

Cardinal Roundtable: Indiana

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. We're hosting this week, and the links to our Blog Buddy counterparts can be found at the bottom. Go Cards!

1.) So it's Indiana week. Do you see this game as a rivalry? If no, why not. If so, why?
It's a rivalry in the sense that it's personal. It isn't a rivalry in the sense that both schools view the other as a rival. I can tell you through my conversations this week with Hoosier fans that BSU isn't viewed as a real threat. The majority of fans that I've spoken to feel like the Hoosiers are going to walk all over this school from Muncie. And if history is any indicator, they're right. BSU has never beaten the Hoosiers, and were handled well last year on their trip to Bloomington. So yes, it's a rivalry to me, and most BSU fans, regardless of what IU fans may choose to believe.

2.) What player on Indiana's team concerns you most?
The easy answer is Kellen Lewis, but I am of the belief that checking Marcus Thigpen's success running the ball will be the indicator of IU's success on the field. Kellen Lewis will get his, sure. But if this BSU defense can stop Thigpen from reaching the corners and turning upfield, if they force him to run between the tackles where he isn't used to running, then they have the possibility of stopping the IU attack before it gets going. If Thigpen goes for a monster game, this one won't be close.

3.) Bill Lynch. Thoughts?
Great guy. Good dad. Crappy football coach. The Tubby Smith of football if you want me to be blunt. Success his first few years based on other people's recruits, steady decline under his leadership, emotional job saving dead cat bounce before he gets shown the door. It happened at Ball State and it will happen at IU if they leave him there. Their best bet? Dump him now before he does any more damage.

4.) What one player on Indiana's roster to do you want to snap up for Ball State and convert to good instead of evil?
I would take either of their DEs Kirlew or Middleton. Those guys are defensive specialists that are big, quick, and smart. A breakthrough DE would change the entire offensive gameplan of opposing teams and they would roughshod over some of the smaller undersized MAC opponents. They are scary for a number of reasons, and should they pressure Davis on Saturday the Cardinals could be looking at a long evening.

5.) Since it's IU Hate Week, what is the one thing you dislike most about the IU football program?
To be truthful, I don't hate anything about IU's football program. The Hate Week is all in good fun, and when IU and Ball State do well, it's good for the state, for both programs, and for the schools. My concern with IU, though, and the general reason for my discontent is two fold. One, the Bill Lynch factor. Which I addressed above. Two... the sheer disrespect and disregard that IU fans have shown this week. Not all, but some, have basically insinuated that BSU is a school full of losers who couldn't get in anywhere else. I can only hope the football team on Saturday saves their own reputation and dignity, and in a small way, shows the Hoosiers and their fans that the football monopoly in Indiana is officially over.

Check out the other participants:

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