Going into Saturday's MAC Championship game against Buffalo, the Ball State Cardinals are 12-0 and 15 point favorites. They have been that way for most of the season. In those 12 games they average scoring 37.7 points per game while only giving up 16.7 points per game. Yet through all of that when the BCS Standings came out last Saturday, the Cardinals found themselves outside the top 10 at number 12. Two other Non-BCS Schools are ahead of Ball State; the Utah Utes sit at number 6 and Boise State is at 9. Those two teams have earned their respect in the eyes of the pubic and voters by each winning a BCS Bowl game. The Utes did it in the Fiesta Bowl against Pitt, and the Broncos did it against Oklahoma in an epic game. Due to the BCS rules, it is highly unlikely that both Utah and Boise State will both get BCS bids. The BCS states:
The champion of Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Sun Belt Conference or the Western Athletic Conference will earn an automatic berth in a BCS bowl game if either: A. Such team is ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS Standings, or, B. Such team is ranked in the top 16 of the final BCS Standings and its ranking in the final BCS Standings is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the BCS bowls. No more than one such team from Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Sun Belt Conference, and the Western Athletic Conference shall earn an automatic berth in any year. (Note: a second team may be eligible for at-large eligibility as noted below.) If two or more teams from those conferences satisfy the provisions for an automatic berth, then the team with the highest finish in the final BCS Standings will receive the automatic berth, and the remaining team or teams will be considered for at-large selection if it meets the criteria.Reading that you will understand that Utah will be selected and Boise State could be left out. So that left an interesting proposition. Due to some issues with the ACC, the Humanitarian Bowl extended an offer to Ball State to come and play Boise State in a game which would pit two undefeated teams against each other. The Cardinals response...no thank you. In a world where Non-BCS Schools are clamoring for respect, Ball State had their chance to get respect, and declined it. Yes, it would have been a tough game for them playing Boise State at home essentially. But a win would've garnered them a ton of respect, even a close loss would. Now they will probably win the MAC title this weekend, head off to the Motor City Bowl to face an ACC juggernaut like NC State, and when they finish the season undefeated they can look back at the fact that they did not beat a ranked team all year and their best wins are against Navy and Western Michigan. Ball State you earned the no-respect label.