Ball State doesn't have much to win in MAC final Print
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Thursday, 04 December 2008 14:42
NCAAF Headline News

 DETROIT (AP) -Ball State is going to get shut out of the Bowl Championship Series even if the 12th-ranked Cardinals beat Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference championship game on Friday night.
Really, coach Brady Hoke insists that fact doesn't bother him.
``We don't control any of that and that hasn't been anything we've been concerned with,'' Ball State's coach said. ``Our concern is with Buffalo and the tremendous challenge we have.
``We don't even approach the subject, but I can't speak for the players when they're in their apartments and on campus.''
Non-BCS schools Utah, Boise State and TCU are all ahead of the Cardinals in the latest standings and only one of them is guaranteed a spot in one of the top bowls.
That likely leaves Ball State (12-0, 8-0 MAC) looking at a return trip to Ford Field for the Motor City Bowl.
Likewise, the Bulls (7-5, 5-3) probably won't change their postseason destination with a win or a loss in Detroit because they're likely making a short trip to Toronto for the International Bowl.
Buffalo is not about to quibble.
re eligible for a bowl for the first time since moving up to compete with college football's top-tiered teams in 1999.
``We've accomplished quite a bit, but we still have some things to get accomplished,'' coach Turner Gill said.
The Bulls are two-touchdown underdogs, but they don't sound content with just making it to the MAC championship game.
``We talked in the offseason about getting to Detroit and winning the game,'' Buffalo quarterback Drew Willy said. ``Emotions are going to be high and we're going to have a lot of confidence.
``We respect Ball State, but we're going for the win.''
If the Bulls are going to pull off an upset, they'll need Willy to play well.
The Unitas Golden Arm award finalist has thrown 33 TDs and just five interceptions over the past 18 games.
``I'm not going to sleep until this one is over with because Drew has played exceptional football,'' Hoke said. ``His timing is what's so impressive with the ball coming out of his hands.''
Ball State has a pretty impressive quarterback, too.
Nate Davis has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 3,000-plus yards with 25 TDs and just six interceptions, helping the Cardinals average almost 38 points.
Davis threw for three TDs in Ball State's 49-14 victory over Buffalo last year.
the past two years.''
Gill, though, said Ball State has also improved.
``Offensively, they've been the same,'' Gill said. ``Where they've really improved is on the defensive side, making them a good team overall.''
The Bulls have become a respectable program after winning just 10 games over seven seasons before coach Gill took over the program in 2006.
``Obviously, it was not a good situation based on history, but I had confidence we could get coaches to change the culture and to get players to believe,'' Gill said. ``The second half of Army game was probably the turning point of our season. That got us on a five-game winning streak.''

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