Audience members of all ages cheer on the Ball State Cardinals during the home opener game against Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 17 in Scheumann Stadium for Family Weekend. Ball State won 41-14. Grace Ramey // DN File
Ball State football fan base ranks 88th happiest in FBS
Ball State football fans aren't the happiest in the country.
Cardinal fans rank No. 88 among Football Bowl Subdivision schools, according to a recent Fan Happiness Index done by ESPN.
In its ranking, Ball State fans were categorized as "disappointed" based on the six categories that went into the index – program power (record strength from 2012-2016), rivalry dominance, coaching stability, recruiting trend, revenue growth (revenue earned in 2016 relative to 2012-2015 average) and Twitter buzz.
"Despite rooting for a scuffling program, Cardinals fans are a glass-half-full bunch," says the description on Ball State's index page.
The Cardinals ranked 41 or below, in a 100-point scale, in five of the six categories – 14 in program power, 30 in rivalry dominance, 40 in coaching stability, 27 in recruiting trend and 41 in revenue growth. The best category for Ball State was a 98 in Twitter buzz, which measures the percentage of tweets from fans that are considered "positive."
Curious to know how each of those categories were ranked? Check out the methodology behind The Fan Happiness Index.
Ball State was one of five teams in the Mid-American Conference who earned a "disappointed" ranking. The other four were Akron (77), Ohio (78), Northern Illinois (95) and Eastern Michigan (97).
The ranking comes after Ball State finished 4-8 (1-7 MAC) last year, finishing the season on a five game losing streak.
See how the rest of the MAC measured up according to the index.
No. 19 - Toledo
No. 45 - Western Michigan
No. 56 - Central Michigan
No. 61 - Miami
No. 77 - Akron
No. 78 - Ohio
No. 88 - Ball State
No. 95 - Northern Illinois
No. 97 - Eastern Michigan
No. 119 - Bowling Green
No. 121 - Buffalo
No. 124 - Kent State