Media Timeout: Coaching staff having problems recruiting football's top players

There's a problem with the Ball State football team's coaching staff.

The problem isn't necessarily in the play calling - it's not even in the starting lineups. It starts way before that - in recruiting.

Bill Lynch has proved that he cannot win enough blue-chip players to allow Ball State to compete on a consistently high level. Yes, he got Marcus Merriweather, but a tailback can't win six games a season on his own. He needs more players.

The only two winning seasons Bill Lynch had were in 1995 and 1996. He even took the '96 team to the Las Vegas Bowl. Unfortunately for Lynch, these successful seasons happened under players mostly recruited by Paul Schudel.

Schudel coached from 1985-1994 and compiled a 60-48-4 record. He should also get credit, though, for the 15-8 record Lynch posted over the next two seasons.

When a starting pitcher comes out of the game with runners on base, and those runners score, the reliever does not get the earned runs. The guy who started it all gets the credit.

In his third and fourth seasons, when Lynch's recruits would be getting playing time, he tallied only six wins against 16 losses. Things only got worse from there.

In the 1999 season, the Cardinals lost every game of the season. No Ball State football team completed a season without a win or a tie since 1929 when Paul "Billy" Williams accomplished the dubious feat in the 1925 season.

In the NFL, you can't blame a coach for a bad season. Usually the players are as much to blame as the coaching staff, but the pros don't recruit players like teams on the college level do.

If players are to blame for Lynch's lackluster tenure, the blame should in turn be placed on the coaches for bringing in the wrong players.

Sure the Cardinals tied for a MAC-West title last season, but so did two other teams. The four conference teams that Ball State beat were only a combined 13-14 when when Ball State won.

That means Ball State can beat bad to mediocre teams on a regular basis. Not exactly something you'd put on a resume.

Lynch brought in a new quarterback last week after Talmadge Hill's four-interceptions outing against Northern Illinois. This may or may not have been a good move, but it surely was not ground-breaking. New quarterback Andy Roesch was simply the lesser of two evils for that particular week.

Every other school the Cardinals have played this season have had a star quarterback. From Clemson to Indiana State, Ball State has struggled stopping the quarterback. If the ISU Sycamores can bring in a solid quarterback, why can't the Ball State Cardinals?

If Bill Lynch can't start bringing in better players, maybe it's time the athletic department brings in a coach who can.

Write to Jay at


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