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 up this week, and the links to Ball U Nation and The Sixth Ball Brother can be found at the bottom. Go Cards!
1.) Ball State has three games standing in the way of being undefeated for the regular season. Two of the games are against upper echelon MAC teams in Central Michigan and Western Michigan. This Tuesday's contest pits the Cardinals against 2-7 Miami. How concerned about a "trap game" are you for the Cardinals?
Is it possible for Ball State to get beat? Sure. It's the MAC, and it's on the road, and the Cardinals have had some trouble getting going in road contests this year. As you often see, when the higher ranked team lets the lesser ranked team hang around for a while, it builds their confidence and promotes the sense that an upset is possible. If Ball State comes out strong, then this one is over quickly.
2.) The BCS standings released on Sunday put the Cardinals at 14th. How have your hopes for a BCS berth changed over the last week or so, with Ball State's victory, their move up in the polls, and teams ahead of them dropping?
My hopes are optimistic, but waning. Do I think BSU will finish in the Top 12 of the BCS standings? I do. Having said that, I also think Utah and Boise State are sitting pretty to win out and finish ahead of the Cardinals. That makes 3 teams possible BCS crashers, with only 1 granted an auto-berth. So barring major upsets, it's a longshot. I'm circling the BYU-Utah game on the calendar as one Utah could very easily lost. For Boise State, it's Fresno State, but that's a stretch.
3.) With the emergence of Louis Johnson on Wednesday, the Cardinals are not only talented, but very deep at the wide receiver position. Who on the offensive and defensive side of the ball do you expect to have a monster game on Tuesday?
I think MiQuale Lewis has a field day against the Red Hawks and their less than stellar run defense. Lewis should probably top the century mark, and may very well drop two-hundy on the Hawks. Sykes should have a big day also considering he'll probably be playing most of the 4th quarter if the game goes how I think it will. Nate Davis, Louis Johnson, Briggs Orsbon, Myles Trempe, and Darius Hill should have a decent night.
Defensively, I would hope the front 7 have a field day against this Miami offense. Not only to help secure a victory, but also to build needed confidence heading into the CMU game. Look for Brandon Crawford and Robert Eddins to have big games up front limiting the Red Hawk attack.
4.) What Miami player would you like to see suit up in Cardinal and White?
There are two who I would like to see in Cardinal and White. The first is defensive end Joe Coniglio, who would provide excellent pass rushing and depth at the end position as we get to Central Michigan and Western Michigan on the schedule. The second is kicker Nathan Parseghian. Not that Ian McGarvey isn't a good kicker, but Parseghian could shore up a suffering aspect of the Cardinals' attack.
5.) What do you expect from the Cardinals and Red Hawks in this mid-week contest. Does Ball State walk away 10-0 for their best start in school history or does Miami shock the world and shake up the BCS standings on their home turf?
When the final gun sounds, I expect the Cardinals to be 10-0 with another strong showing on national television. As I said yesterday, I think the game is over mid-way through the 3rd, Nate and the first string take the 4th quarter off, and Miami may score some garbage TDs as time winds down. Ultimately, the goal for this game should be to get the win, and rest the first string as much as possible given the next two games. Look for a 20-25 point Ball State win.
Other Roundtable Participants: