Ball State Cardinals
2022 Ball State Cardinals football team
Ball State Athletics wordmark.png
First season1924
Athletic directorBeth Goetz
Head coachMike Neu
7th season, 28–42 (.400)
StadiumScheumann Stadium
(capacity: 22,500)
Year built1967
Field surfaceSprinTurf
LocationMuncie, Indiana
NCAA divisionDivision I FBS
ConferenceMid-American Conference
Past conferencesIIC (1934–1947)
ICC (1951–1967)
All-time record432–390–32 (.525)
Bowl record1–8 (.111)
Conference titles11
Division titles4
RivalriesIndiana State (rivalry)
Northern Illinois (rivalry)
Current uniform
Ball state football unif.png
ColorsCardinal and white[1]
Fight songBall State Fight Song
MascotCharlie Cardinal
Marching bandThe Pride of Mid-America Marching Band

The Ball State Cardinals football team is a college football program representing Ball State University in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) college football. Mike Neu is the head coach. Ball State plays its home games on Scheumann Stadium on the campus of Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. The Cardinals compete in the Mid-American Conference as a member of the West Division.

The Cardinals have a 421–381–32 record, which ranks below the top 50 most victories among NCAA FBS programs.[2] Ball State was originally classified as a teacher's college, participating in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) from 1937 until 1956. In 1957, they were classified as a Small College school until 1972. Ball State received Division II classification in 1973, before becoming a Division I-AA program in 1975 and a Division I-A (now FBS) program in 1981, dropping to Division I-AA for a single season (1982) before returning to Division I-A.[3]

Conference affiliations

Ball State has been an independent and affiliated with multiple conferences.[4]


Conference championships

Year Conference Coach Record
1942 Indiana Intercollegiate Conference John Magnabosco 6–2
1964 Heartland Collegiate Conference Ray Louthen 5–3
1965 Heartland Collegiate Conference Ray Louthen 9–0–1
1966 Heartland Collegiate Conference Ray Louthen 7–1–1
1967 Heartland Collegiate Conference Ray Louthen 7–3
1976 Mid-American Conference Dave McClain 8–3
1978 Mid-American Conference Dwight Wallace 10–1
1989 Mid-American Conference Paul Schudel 7–3–2
1993 Mid-American Conference Paul Schudel 8–3–1
1996 Mid-American Conference Bill Lynch 8–4
2020 Mid-American Conference Mike Neu 6–1

Division championships

Year Division Coach Opponent CG result
2001 MAC West Bill Lynch N/A lost tiebreaker to Toledo
2007 MAC West Brady Hoke N/A lost tiebreaker to Central Michigan
2008 MAC West Brady Hoke Buffalo L 24–42
2020 MAC West Mike Neu Buffalo W 38–28

Bowl games

Ball State has appeared in nine NCAA Division I postseason bowl games, in which they have compiled a 1–8 record.[5] Within all FBS teams, Ball State was one of eight that had never won a sanctioned bowl game, until the 2020 Arizona Bowl.[6]

Season Date Bowl Opponent Result
1989 December 9, 1989 California Bowl Fresno State L 6–27
1993 December 17, 1993 Las Vegas Bowl Utah State L 33–42
1996 December 18, 1996 Las Vegas Bowl Nevada L 15–18
2007 January 5, 2008 International Bowl Rutgers L 30–52
2008 January 6, 2009 GMAC Bowl Tulsa L 13–45
2012 December 21, 2012 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl UCF L 17–38
2013 January 5, 2014 GoDaddy Bowl Arkansas State L 20–23
2020 December 31, 2020 Arizona Bowl San Jose State W 34–13
2021 December 25, 2021 Camellia Bowl Georgia State L 20–51

Ball State also appeared in two NCAA College Division postseason bowl games, where they compiled a record of 0–1–1.

Season Date Bowl Opponent Result
1965 December 11, 1965 Grantland Rice Bowl Tennessee State T 14–14
1967 December 9, 1967 Grantland Rice Bowl Eastern Kentucky L 13–27

Head coaches

Main article: List of Ball State Cardinals head football coaches

The Ball State Cardinals have had 17 head coaches throughout the program's history. With 68 victories, John Magnabosco has the most victories in the program's history, followed by Paul Schudel (60 wins) and Dave McClain (46).[7]


Indiana State

Main article: Blue Key Victory Bell

Ball State leads the series with Indiana State 38–24–1 with the last game played in 2014.[8][9]

Miami (OH)

Main article: Redbird Rivalry Trophy

Ball State and Miami were granted rivalry status by the MAC in 2017. The cross-division foes play each year for the Red Bird Rivalry trophy. BSU has been known as the Cardinals since 1927, while Miami adopted the RedHawks moniker in 1997. The series dates back to 1931 but really heated up in the 1970s when BSU joined the MAC. [10]

Northern Illinois

Main article: Bronze Stalk Trophy

The Cardinals have played Northern Illinois six times in football since the launch of the Bronze Stalk Trophy. The trophy depicts several cornstalks in tribute to the prevalence of maize around the respective home states of the rivals.[11] Northern Illinois holds a 24–21–2 lead in the series through the 2019 season.[12]

Cardinals in professional football

See also: List of Ball State Cardinals in the NFL Draft

Quarterback Nate Davis
Quarterback Nate Davis

Ball State has produced a total of 27 NFL draft selections.[13] The following "Active" and "All-Star" lists account for past and present Ball State University football players that have participated in the National Football League, the Canadian Football League, and the Arena Football League.


As of December 2021, there are a total of four Cardinals listed on team rosters in the NFL,[14] CFL,[15] AFL,[16] and XFL.[17]


Among the numerous Cardinals who have participated in the NFL, CFL, and AFL, three have received all-star recognition by their respective leagues.

Future non-conference opponents

Announced schedules as of December 27, 2019.[21]

2022 2023 2024 2025 2026 2027
at Tennessee at Kentucky Army at Purdue at Western Kentucky Western Kentucky
Murray State at Army at Miami (FL) at Liberty
at Georgia Southern Indiana State Liberty at UConn
UConn Georgia Southern


  1. ^ "Brand Colors - Ball State University". Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  2. ^ "2012 Football Bowl Subdivision Records - All-Time Team Won-Loss Records" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  3. ^ DeLassus, David. "Ball State Historical Data". College Football Data Warehouse. Archived from the original on May 15, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  4. ^ "Reference at".
  5. ^ "Ball State Cardinals Bowls". College Football at
  6. ^ "Ball State vs. San José State - Game Summary - December 31, 2020 - ESPN".
  7. ^ "Ball State Football Year-by-year results" (PDF). Ball State University Athletic Department. Retrieved August 7, 2013.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "15therecordbook (PDF)" (PDF). Indiana State University Athletics.
  9. ^ Tribune-Star, Todd Golden. "ISU football defeats Ball State 27-20 to win Victory Bell". Terre Haute Tribune-Star.
  10. ^ "Ball State hosts Miami for Red Bird Rivalry, Homecoming".
  11. ^ Doug Zaleski (November 23, 2007). "BSU-Northern Illinois winner will collect Bronze Stalk trophy". Gannett. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
  12. ^ "Winsipedia - Ball State Cardinals vs. Northern Illinois Huskies football series history". Winsipedia. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
  13. ^ "Ball St. Drafted Players/Alumni". USA Today Sports Digital Properties. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  14. ^ "NFL Players by College - B". ESPN. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  15. ^ "Active Players". Canadian Football League. Archived from the original on August 26, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  16. ^ "AFL Players". ArenaFan. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  17. ^ "XFL Draft picks 2019: Complete results, rosters, players for new football league". Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  18. ^ a b "Blaine Bishop NFL Football Statistics". USA Today Sports Digital Properties. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  19. ^ a b "Timmy Brown NFL Football Statistics". USA Today Sports Digital Properties. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  20. ^ "Kenny Stucker". ArenaFan. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  21. ^ "Ball State Cardinals Football Future Schedules". Retrieved December 27, 2019.