Archive for The Ponderings of Dr. Sheckles

The Ponderings of Dr. Sheckles

Pete Lembo is Not Your Coach


You don't want this guy








This is a warning to all BCS Athletic Directors, Pete Lembo is bad news.  Trust me on this.  He isn’t the guy to be the next coach of your school.  So Kansas, Mississippi State, NC State and the rest of you perennial cellar dwellers should just stay away.   I know it’s easy to be impressed by the Ball State Cardinals recent success.  They did just beat BCS schools back to back weeks, securing half of the teams wins all time versus such programs in the process.  The Cardinals may seem to be on the rise sure.  They have gone from two wins a couple of years ago to an offensive force that looks to go bowling this year.  You guys are being fooled.  This Lembo fella is just running the long con.

Look at the last two games, Ball State barely won.  They needed a last second miracle to beat Indiana and Southern Florida.  Pish Posh!  Indiana rarely plays football and Southern Florida had to be sleepy from that long flight.  So there you go Mr. Iowa State.  Stop sniffing around asking questions about how he is getting so much production out of that offense.  How he is thriving with ol’ noodle arm.  How they are 3-1 with a defense slightly more porous than a pasta strainer.  Take that back to Ames and on the way swing through Minnesota and tell them they aren’t interested either.  Mention to the rest of the AD’s out there that Pete hates puppies, candy, kids, and spring break.

I bet he’s lazy too.  It really shows.  If he wasn’t he’d of planned for IU to be forced into using a third string quarterback.  I bet Steve Spurrier would have planned for that!  You want further proof?   Look at his offensive play calling.  Those super effective runs up the middle show a real lack of creativity.  Sure the guy from UCLA was keen to bring up the trick play that saw Jamil Smith throw a touchdown to Wenning.  You can also forget the fact that 11 Cardinals have caught passes this year or that the backfield can throw four looks at you.  This man is vanilla as 1955.

You guys are from big time programs, you need big time names.  Ok, you guys can also get by with the assistants of big time names.  Whatever floats your boat.  Keep on ignoring Pete Lembo.  We Ball State fans have been down this path before.  Look what San Diego State and Michigan have gotten out of stealing Brady Hoke!  Nothing but a few bowl wins and some Denard INTs.   Can you believe the gall of that lady from Boston College?  She had the nerve to talk about Coach Lembo’s past.  How all he does is turn programs around and win games.  Look lady that was D-2 sissy ball stuff.  You Big 12, 10, SEC, Pac 24 types need not worry about that.  No no no, at the end of the day trust Dr. Sheckles.  I know you big time programs will soon come a calling for our coach, but really he’s a waste of your time.  (Did I mention he talks during movies?)

Mock me on twitter @doctorsheckles

The Ponderings of Dr. Sheckles

I tried to write about Ball State football over the last two weeks.  I really did.  I wanted to write how the Cardinals were victorious in their opener.  I wanted to write about expectations in a payday game at Clemson.  Even now I want to write about how they fared better than expected this weekend.  I couldn’t.  Truth is the Ball State season starts this Saturday night with a game at Indiana.

What will be in store for the Cards when they jaunt down Highway 37 this Saturday?  Well for one Tre Roberson won’t be taking snaps for the Hoosiers.  His season ending leg injury is a shame for Hoosiers fans, but a major benefit for Ball State’s D.  For ten seasons now, I have been watching Ball State linebackers and linemen be baffled by any semblance of a running quarterback.  This is a bullet I’m happy to dodge.  I’m certain Roberson would have torched Ball State as easily the Hoosiers best offensive weapon.  With him out, the scales very possibly could have tipped back into the Cardinals favor.  (Note: No, I am not happy a man was hurt. Please don’t think that.)

I would also not bet on Jawan Edwards having two sub par games in a row.  The vastly superior Clemson Tigers did a great job of holding him in check.  I’m thinking IU won’t be so lucky.  The Ball State line is a solid group and should have success opening up holes for the bowling ball runner.  Past them, I’m not certain the rest of the defense will be much better at stopping him.

Lastly, I’m pretty sure this will be a fun game to watch.  A nice, high scoring affair sounds about right. Keith Wenning does in fact have a wet noodle for an arm. He averages 5.4 yards per attempt this season.   He however, does seem to be good at noodling the ball to his players most of the time.  Will he be able to find enough offense for a victory?  We’ll see come Saturday.

The Ponderings of Dr. Sheckles

A Look at the BSU Cardinals

You may have noticed that Chris wrote a preview of college football in our state.  He ran through the possibilities for IU, Purdue, and Notre Dame.  Not a sniff of Ball State football action.  It says something when your state only has four D-1 schools and you can’t get mentioned in a preview of notable programs.

Alas, that is the fate of my Fighting Football Cardinals.  Ever the forgotten middle child of the state, destined to go unnoticed.  However, I have a feeling that is how second year coach Pete Lembo likes it.  He wasn’t the splashy hire like Kevin Wilson, but he is a winner.  We will have to wait and see if he can build on the modicum of success he had in year one.



Does he have a noodle arm?

Well, Keith Wenning will play QB.  He’s good, but not great, with an ok arm.  Wenning raised the bar in almost every way as a Soph.  The tricky thing will be the continued development.  My personal observations from last year were that he made a lot of safe, short throws.  That’s ok, I guess.  There is nothing wrong with being that type of quarterback, but it doesn’t exactly have the BSU faithful remember the good ol’ days of Nate Davis.  I hope I’m wrong.  I hope he the cannon to complete a few 40 yard bombs this year.

Holding Wenning back may be the receiving core.  Gone are Torieal Gibson and Briggs Orsbon.  What the Cardinals have this year is a bunch of short guys and a few tight ends.  None of them get their names mentioned.  They for the most part have been unremarkable.  Is this the reason we throw six yard outs on third and 10?

Jahwan Edwards may be the bell cow of this offense.  As a true freshman last year he continued the tradition of short yet stout backs at BSU punishing defenders.  While it is true he hit a bit of a wall late in the season, he is primed to have an even better sophomore year.  There are a slew of other backs behind Edwards who will act as change of pace and scat style.

The offensive line is a rather large group of smart and experienced chaps.  They will never be confused with Wisconsin but they seem to average about 6’5” and 300lb.  They should prove to be a nice anchor for this team.


Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

For as long as I have watched this team we have had the same mostly crappy defense.  It usually consist of an undersized front four, a slightly slow yet hard working crew of linebackers, and a secondary that gets beat just a little too often.  Will that change this year, probably not…but alas hope springs eternal.

The defensive line will replace three of the four starters.  The lone remainder is junior Nathan Ollie.  He had middling stats, but at least seems to be a piece that works.  The rest of the line is a bag of question marks.

He looks mean!

The linebackers are the backbone of this defense.  If Travis Freeman duplicates last year’s numbers (134 tackles, 9th nationally) he will be as close to a defensive star as the Cardinals get.  Tony Martin and Kenneth Lee add more veteran leadership and play to this unit.  They will both have to improve on the effort they gave last year.  The coaching staff has high confidence in Lee and thinks he could become a force for the defense.

The secondary is where this train derails.  The safeties, Brian Jones and Chris Pauling, are just too young (sophomore and freshman) to not be a major chink in the BSU armor.  Jeffery Garrett and Jason Pinkston return at corner.  Pinkston is a former All-Mac player who had a subpar junior year.  His bouncing back to form would go a long way to helping this unit.


Special Teams:

Here is what you need to know.  Ball State covers kicks pretty damn well, punter Scott Kovanda has been on the team since 2004, (Ok, not really, but it seems like it.) and the kicker Steven Schott is ok at best.


I am a pessimistic mess prior to every BSU season.  I’ll always assume they’ll end up something like 3-8.  However, I really like Coach Lembo and his system.  He knows this isn’t a two year turn around and is planning for the long haul.  This season could be a big turning point.  If they can get to a bowl this season will be a massive success.  Sadly, I just don’t see it happening.