The Sweep

SI.com's All-American Blog Team

Mccartney_cory
Views
16228
Comments
75
Davis-johnson
Nate Davis (left) and Ball State could have faced Ian Johnson and Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images; Steve Conner/Icon SMI

 

What could have been the most intriguing non-BCS game on the bowl schedule won't likely happen.

Ball State has passed on an opportunity to play Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl, a game that, if the Fighting Lettermans beat Buffalo for the MAC crown, would be the only bowl game to feature two unbeatens.

Instead, the Cardinals are likely to go to either the GMAC Bowl or the Motor City Bowl, while the Broncos now seem Poinsettia Bowl-bound. Nevada and Maryland will likely play in the Humanitarian.

So why would Ball State balk on a game that's sure to draw tons of attention? MAC commissioner Rick Chryst told the Idaho Statesman. "I think the importance of our own bowl relationships and the proximity of those games for Ball State probably were the facts that keep Ball State in our bowl mix for this season."

Staying close to its Muncie, Ind., campus may be one reason, but Ball State simply didn't want to have to play this game on their opponents' home field. Can you blame the Cardinals? The Broncos are 64-3 on the SmurfTurf the past 10 seasons.

Before the announcement, there were preliminary talks of the teams playing in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit, one of the three games affiliated with the MAC. But the main hang-up was trying to find a site both schools could be happy with.

"I don't sense there's definitely a neutral site out there," WAC commissioner Karl Benson told The Star Press (Muncie). "Somebody's going to have home-field advantage."

But doesn't tossing out a matchup that's actually on one of the team's home fields seem like a cop-out? Granted, Detroit is closer to Muncie than Boise, but the Cardinals don't play every game at Ford Field. They could consider the Independence Bowl, which if both the SEC and Big 12 send two teams to BCS games, would have had two at-large spots available and would no doubt be clamoring for a hyped matchup like this.

Of course, neither team has accepted a bowl bid, which means it conceivably could happen, but if it doesn't, does Ball State end up looking like the bad guy because it didn't want to play on its opponent's field in a bowl game? Credit the Humanitarian Bowl, which at least tried to make it happen, but you can't fault the Cardinals for balking on playing in Boise.

What it comes down to is that a game that would have given national buzz to a non-BCS bowl schedule that's, let's face it, often laced with tryptophan, won't happen. If the Cardinals end up playing in Motown and Boise State in San Diego, both the MAC and WAC will be to blame for not delivering.

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    Tuukka Rask takes blame for Bruins' Game 1 loss
    Views
    2267
    Comments
    230
  2. 2
    Smush Parker allegedly punches high schooler
    Views
    1798
    Comments
    139
  3. 3
    Joel Quenneville's Midnight Hawk favored to win Illinois Derby
    Views
    444
    Comments
    88
  4. 4
    Quarterback freefalling down draft boards
    Views
    6574
    Comments
    88
  5. 5
    Accuser's lawyer calls for Florida State to charge Jameis Winston
    Views
    2793
    Comments
    27

SI.com

SI Photos