The oddsmakers think highly of Ball State.
The Cardinals are seven-point favorites at the Rubber Bowl. They should be.
Quarterback Nate Davis and his team are slowly becoming the MAC's darlings. His favorite target is Dante Love, a 5-foot-10 senior who is breaking school receiving records.
It's not just them. The Cardinals have several NFL prospects. Punter Chris Miller has been the nation's best for a couple years. Tight end Darius Hill is always there for a crucial first down. And that's not to mention some of Ball State's playmakers on defense.
Despite giving up 346 rushing yards, the Cardinals beat Navy 35-23 on national television last week.
There's a reason, however, why Ball State isn't a top-25 team. The Cardinals have struggled to stop the run. The performance against Navy didn't reassure anyone. That makes Ball State a better matchup for Akron than for other MAC teams.