Better option for Ball State than Indiana

By Tyler Poslosky

Tyler Poslosky writes Poz's Points for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily reflect those of the paper or The Daily.

Some aspects of collegiate athletics leave you scratching your head while trying to digest the reasoning for such outlandish decisions. There are more than enough of these quirky instances to write a thesis or a never-ending love story.  

Ball State (2-2) added another chapter to this already lengthy stack of puzzling decisions by scheduling No. 1 Indiana in Assembly Hall.

If you’ve been completely delusional to what happened last Sunday, Indiana issued a 101-53 victory over Ball State in front of acrowd of 17,126.

It was Ball State’s second consecutive catastrophe this season — the first came in the form of a 20-point loss to Indiana State on Nov. 20.

Ball State didn’t have a chance against Indiana. I’m not debating that aspect. Rather, I’m bewildered that this game was scheduled in the first place.

Sadly, football coach Pete Lembo isn’t calling the plays from behind the Cardinals’ bench. But football is a different animal for Ball State compared to the prestigious Indiana basketball history.

This calamity was the spin off of pure domination by one program over the other. It was a glorified scrimmage, with Indiana running circles around its inferior opponent.

Ball State and Indiana have met 20 times, with the Hoosiers winning 19 of those contests, respectively. Ball State’s lone triumph was back in 1937, when it held on 42-38 under former and Hall of Fame coach Branch McCracken, who steered both programs during his lengthy coaching career.  

The shellacking handed down by Indiana was the largest margin of victory in the all-time series against Ball State. It was also one of the most disturbing games in recent memory and perhaps program history. The previous worst loss in coach Billy Taylor’s tenure was 34 points, a 76-42 defeat to Kent State on Feb. 6, 2010.

Scratch that one off the list.

The Hoosiers became the first team to hit the century mark on the Cardinals with Taylor at the helm, and became the first team since then-No. 1 Connecticut beat Ball State 101-62 on Dec. 28, 2003.

Squaring off against the best in the country inside one of the most lively and energetic venues must have been a thrilling experience for Ball State. Every team in the nation is foaming at the mouth for a shot at knocking the college basketball kings off their throne.

But Ball State’s hopes of pulling off a miracle were put on hold and disappeared quicker than one of David Copperfield’s famous magic tricks.

If Ball State wants to schedule in-state opponents, then why not go toe-to-toe with Valparaiso of the Horizon League or IPFW of the Summit League?

Ball State and Valparaiso have met 59 times, with Ball State holding a 31-28 edge in the series. Ball State also is a perfect 4-0 against IPFW.

I sure hope the experience was worth the humiliation suffered, because nothing else stems from the disaster that unfolded last Sunday. The same wouldn’t be said if it was a Valparaiso or IPFW on the schedule instead. 


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