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Akron vs. Ball State - Preview

By mrasor Published: November 5, 2010

Football
By now you're certainly aware that ESPN.com has a feature called "The Bottom 10."
Akron has reached the pinnacle of this list, which means our alma mater is the worst team in the country. (I say "alma mater" because no current student could possibly possess the stamina to follow this team so far into the depths. And of course, Akron doesn't attract any of those fans that didn't attend the university, like Ohio State.)
The good news is, Ball State is No. 9 on that list. And it's likely the Zips will get back the only offensive playmaker, Jeremy LaFrance, for today's 1 p.m. game against the Cardinals.
Oddsmaker still think the Zips will lose by 13.5. But those oddsmakers have been so abused by Rob Ianello's team that the Zips would be getting two touchdowns against the Little Giants.
I think this game will be different than the first nine. I think Akron will win.
That would not be great news for everyone. I get the sense some people would rather that Ianello fall flat on his face -- as comeuppance for some sin, whether it be snubbing them personally, canceling the golf outing, or just replacing a likable guy in J.D. Brookhart.
That is unfortunate. I predicted that Ianello's style would wear thin on players, but it has done more to anger fans.
Ianello's personality works fine with a winning program. It is intolerable when the team stinks. Look at Bill Belichick as an example. It's ironic because Ianello is a branch (of sorts) from Belichick's coaching tree. But anyhow, Belichick was despised when he coached bad Cleveland teams. With the same standoffish personality, he is beloved as a Super Bowl winner.
Unless the coach tee-pee's Luis Proenza's yacht, he'll be here for three years.
And by winning against Ball State and maybe Buffalo, this program will be (like it or not) heading in a better direction than it was at the end of last season.
As for today's game, Ball State turns the ball over a lot. The Cardinals hardly have a passing game. This game could easily end without a bona fide offensive touchdown. This is a bold prediction for any level of football, but I would say it's likely the defenses and special teams will account for more touchdowns than the offenses.
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