NDSU athetic director Gene Taylor expressed some surprise this morning over the news that Georgia Southern is moving its football program to the Football Bowl Subdivision level.
“It’s a program that’s had a lot of success over the years but it’s a challenge,” he said. “It’s definitely a challenge. Some schools have made the transition easier than others … more however have struggled with it. But if anybody has a good shot at it, they do.”
Taylor reiterated that moving up is not a subject of discussion at NDSU.
“We’re just too young in all of this stuff, really,” he said.
A couple of notes I took from the Statesboro Herald newspaper story. The athletic budget at GSU is about $12 million, which is around $3 million less than NDSU’s total budget ($14.9 million this year). GSU officials believe they need to raise another $4.4 million annually to make the FBS leap with the biggest chunk going from 63 to 85 scholarships. That’s a healthy jump.
I actually admire the guts it takes to do this. But the difference between intestinal fortitude and reality is in the money and if GSU doesn’t raise it every year, problems will arise. I also question playing in a lower tier FBS league and whether playing on a Tuesday or Wednesday night in a half empty stadium on an ESPN network like the MAC does is really that beneficial. Maybe it is.
Also interesting that the GSU president poo-booed Frisco, Texas. I think if you asked the thousands of NDSU fans who were in Frisco, many would tell you they had an absolute blast with the event and that they would take that over the Motor City Bowl, or whatever late December bowl games the non-BCS schools play. Win or lose, for those of you who were there, am I wrong?