The Ball State Cardinals football team is a college football program representing Ball State University in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Bowl Subdivision college football. Pete Lembo was Ball State's recent head coach, the 17th in the program's history, coaching from 2010 to 2015. 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. Ball State was originally classified as a teacher's college, participating in the National Junior College Athletic Association 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 program until 1981, before dropping to Division I-AA for a single season, before returning to Division I-A.