By Marc Daniels
UCF will begin preparation for their game with Ball State in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg on December 21st. The Knights will try and post their 10th win of the season, something a UCF team has done only three previous times. The Cardinals bring a six game win streak into the contest and seek the school's first bowl win. Ball State is 0-5 in bowl games, their last game against Tulsa in the 2009 GMAC Bowl.
Here are some non-football facts about UCF's bowl opponent you may not know. Ball State is located in Muncie, Indiana and has an enrollment of just over 22,000. The school was originally known as Indiana Normal Institute before it was bought by a group of five brothers, the Ball Brothers. Glass manufacturers, the Ball Brothers were philanthropists who are responsible for much of the early industry and social programs around Muncie, Indiana.
The football team's first conference title came in 1942 when Ball State won the Indiana Intercollegiate Conference title. It has won five MAC titles with the most recent being in 1996. The team was ranked as high as 12th in AP Poll in 2008 when current Michigan Coach Brady Hoke led the team.
Among the famous alums who went to Ball State include David Letterman, Joyce DeWitt who starred in the sitcom Three's Company, Stedman Graham who is most know as Oprah Winfrey's longtime boyfriend, Jim Davis who created "Garfield" the cat and his cartoon character and sports columnist Jason Whitlock.
Basketball returns this week as Donnie Jones' team faces Bethune-Cookman on Wednesday night before the team's first road game out of state at Old Dominion on Friday.
Major props to all parties involved on moving the basketball game against Stetson to December 20th so fans can attend that game before heading to St. Petersburg for the bowl game the next day.
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