After losing their most productive player to the transfer portal, what does the 2023 college football season hold for the Ball State Cardinals? Can Mike Neu’s team bounce back to bowl eligibility? Our Ball State season predictions hold the answers.
Ball State Season Predictions: Predicting the Game-By-Game Results
Using groupthink, College Football Network analysts have painstakingly gone through every game for every team in the Sun Belt and across the country.
Find Every MAC Season Prediction per team: Ball State | Central Michigan | Eastern Michigan | Northern Illinois | Toledo | Western Michigan | Akron | Bowling Green | Buffalo | Kent State | Miami (OH) | Ohio
Picking these games straight up with a projected score using the rosters as up-to-date as the last spring practice, what do the Ball State season predictions look like for 2023?
Week 1 – Ball State at Kentucky: Loss, 13-35
It’s a tough start to our 2023 Ball State season predictions as the Cardinals travel into SEC territory in consecutive weeks to begin their campaign. Facing a Devin Leary-led Kentucky Wildcats team when you’re replacing the two best cornerbacks on your roster is far from ideal. Ball State lost the only previous contest between these two teams.
Week 2 – Ball State at Georgia: Loss, 6-42
There may be some question marks over the Georgia Bulldogs’ QB situation as we write these season predictions in late May, but there’s no question that the reigning national champions have the advantage in all phases of the clash with Ball State. They were gashed on the ground last fall, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a repeat when they travel to Athens.
MORE: 2023 MAC RB Rankings
Week 3 – Ball State vs. Indiana State: Win, 31-8
Indiana State gave the Cardinals their last defeat to a non-FBS team when they beat Ball State in Muncie. Our season predictions suggest that there won’t be a repeat of that college football shock as Neu’s team records their first win of the year. Watch out for new running back Marquez Cooper asserting his will on the FCS opponent.
Week 4 – Ball State vs. Georgia Southern: Loss, 17-30
Expected to be one of the best teams in the Sun Belt this season, Georgia Southern brings their high-volume passing attack to Scheumann Stadium in Week 4. The Cardinals couldn’t contain Kyle Vantrease on the road last fall, and with the losses on both sides of the ball, Ball State might face the same issue with new quarterback Davis Brin.
Week 5 – Ball State at Western Michigan: Loss, 20-22
Western Michigan holds a 27-22 head-to-head winning record against the Cardinals and took care of business in Muncie last fall. While we’re predicting a close contest in our Ball State season predictions, home-field advantage and a difficult-to-penetrate Broncos rush defense give them an edge.
Week 6 – Ball State at Eastern Michigan: Loss, 21-27
With the return of Samson Evans to the Eastern Michigan offense, we’re expecting the Eagles to be one of the top teams in the MAC West this fall. Ball State has won the last two times the teams have met in Ypsilanti, but our season predictions suggest a repeat of the closely fought defeat from last fall.
Week 7 – Ball State vs. Toledo: Loss, 20-35
Ball State has lost their last two games to Toledo, and the reigning MAC champions come to Muncie and leave with a substantial win. A triple-headed offensive monster of Dequan Finn, Jacquez Stuart, and Jerjuan Newton should prove too difficult to stop for the Cardinals.
Week 8 – Ball State vs. Central Michigan: Win, 26-19
Central Michigan was one of Ball State’s three MAC wins last fall, and the Cardinals chalk up their first conference win of our 2023 season predictions against the Chippewas in Week 8.
With most of their production from last season departed via the transfer portal or NFL Draft, Central Michigan may prop up the MAC West this fall.
Week 10 – Ball State at Bowling Green: Loss, 22-28
Bowling Green was bowl-eligible last fall for the first time since 2015, and while the Falcons might not attain that same level of success this season, they boast one of the top wide receivers in the MAC. Odieu Hiliare may prove too much for the Cardinals to keep down in Week 10.
Week 11 – Ball State at Northern Illinois: Loss, 24-27
It was a difficult season for the Northern Illinois Huskies in 2022, but our season predictions suggest that better times are ahead for Thomas Hammock’s team. With the second-best running back in the MAC, Ontario Brown, they should edge a close game with the Cardinals.
Week 12 – Ball State vs. Kent State: Loss, 25-26
Ball State ends our 2023 season predictions with a string of close games. Like the Cardinals, Kent State lost their most productive playmaker to the transfer portal, but a tighter run defense might prove a difference-maker between the two teams in this Week 12 clash.
Week 13 – Ball State vs. Miami (OH): Loss, 24-27
With Miami (OH) returning quarterback Brett Gabbert, our season predictions expect the RedHawks to continue a three-game winning streak over Ball State. No more than one touchdown has separated the two teams in those games, and that trend also continues as the Cardinals come out on the wrong side of a three-point game.
The result puts a cap on a 2-10 season, the first time since 2017.