Football Game Preview: Central Michigan @ Ball State

This week we get the preview early because I will be at the Ball State game tonight. With a rain day combined with the matchup I see no reason not to make my first trip to Ball State. Last season this was a huge game that was played up in Mt. Pleasant, Mi. This year it appears to be just another game for Dan LeFevour to pad his stats. I first was able to see Dan LeFevour play in 2007 when his Chippewas came to Purdue. By the end of that day I was sick of hearing the phrase LeFevour on the keeper. Through the luck of the draw I was able to see him play three times in the span of that next calendar year. That year in the Motor City Bowl he led his team to a near upset of the Boilers. If not for a last second field goal by Chris Summers the game would have gone into overtime. Again in 2008 a late touchdown by the Boilers helped them escape from LeFevour. I was glad to see him off of Purdue’s schedule. This is his last year at Central Michigan, and he will have a future somewhere in the NFL I am sure. For now though he is content on leading his team to another MAC title. The Chips are 6-0 in conference play, and 8-2 overall. It will be great to see them in action tonight. They have a great offense. Here are the Central Michigan games that I have seen:

9/18/1999: #14 Purdue 58 – Central Michigan 16
9/15/2007: Purdue 45 – Central Michigan 22
12/26/2007: Purdue 51 – Central Michigan 48
9/20/2008: Purdue 32 – Central Michigan 25

My history of seeing Ball State play is much more of a laugher. They have usually been a doormat for Purdue to roll early in the season. The best example of these games was in 2004 when Purdue crushed them 52-7. Thankfully they were off the schedule the last couple of years when they had a resurgence. Last season when the two teams met it was a huge game. Ball State was #14 in the country looking to become 10-0 on the season. Central Michigan was 8-2 and without a conference loss. This game was for positioning in the MAC. Ball State won a good game 31-24 to keep their dream season alive. Nate Davis and the core from that group is now gone. Ball State is 1-9 overall and 1-5 in the conference. Central Michigan comes into this game 14 point favorites, and I think that is kind. For now at least it looks like Ball State is back where they used to be. We will see if the great season paid dividends in recruiting. For now though they are the same old team that I am used to seeing. Here are the Ball State games that I have seen:

9/20/1997: Purdue 28 – Ball State 14
9/11/2004: #25 Purdue 59 – Ball State 7
9/16/2006: Purdue 38 – Ball State 28

Predictions: This is the final week of the Big Ten season. It is a big rivalry week with games between Ohio State and Michigan along with the annual Bucket game between the Hoosiers and the Boilermakers. Outside of the Big Ten Charlie Weis faces a must win game if he wants any chance to salvage his coaching career at Notre Dame. A win at Stanford seems unlikely so he must beat UConn to avoid ending the season 0-4. Last week I went 7-1 to bring my overall record up to 35-17. The only game I missed of course was my homer pick of Purdue over Michigan State. If not for a late State TD though I could have had another perfect week, and the Boilers would have another shot at a bowl. With this being the Boilers last game of the season the picks may end here. Unless I start feeling bored during the bowl season. I may have a Big Ten version then. Here are this week’s picks:

#10 Ohio State 35 – Michigan 17
#13 Iowa 28 – Minnesota 14
#16 Wisconsin 31 – Northwestern 17
#14 Penn State 31 – Michigan State 20
#17 Stanford 31 – #25 Cal 28
Grand Valley State 28 – Hillsdale 21
Notre Dame 35 – UConn 34
Purdue 35 – Indiana 28
Central Michigan 35 – Ball State 14

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