About Ball State Cardinals
Ball State Cardinals had the basketball program running before the football. The hoops took off in season 1920-21 whereas the gridiron guys started in 1924. The Cardinals are located in Mid-American Conference and are members of West NCAA Division I.
The college’s colours are cardinal and white and their mascot is Charlie Cardinal. The team’s main rivals are Indiana State and Northern Illinois.
The college wasn’t classified as a large college until the seventies when it finally started playing their games in division II and eventually reaching Division I (now FBS) in 1975.
The football team of Cardinals had made seven trips to Bowls but is yet to win a single one; their last appearance was in 2013 season when they lost to Arkansas State in GoDaddy Bowl.
The program has 10 conference championships to their name, the last one being in 1996 and three division titles.
It’s not a surprise that with not a lot of success within the football program, there were only 27 players that were selected in NFL drafts.
The most accomplished NFL players hailing from the Ball State are Blaine Bishop and Timmy Brown. Bishop, who played as safety spent most of his career playing for Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/ Tennessee Titans as the club was going through transitions. Bishop earned himself four Pro Bowl selections and one All-Pro nomination.
Brown, played as running back/kick returner for most of his career in Philadelphia, where he earned 3 Pro Bowls selections and was inducted to Eagles Honor Roll.
There are only a handful Ball State players currently in the NFL, and the most accomplished is Willie Snead who’s playing as wide receiver for the Saints. He holds the record of most games with 100+ receiving yards in the history of the college.
Luckily for the college, the basketball team had a bit more success, especially during the eighties and nineties when the Cardinals won seven MAC tournaments making it their total and record at that time.
The furthest the Cardinals had been to NCAA tournament was in 1990 when they reach the NCAA Sweet Sixteen round.
There have only been three players that reached the NBA league from this college and the most accomplished out of the three must be Bonzi Wells who played in the NBA for ten seasons, five of which he spent in Portland. Two MAC Player of the Year awards he won, never translated well once he went into professional league.
Ball State Cardinals hadn’t produced plenty of well accomplished players but the program proved that it is possible to reach pro leagues even when one hails from a smaller college.