I think we all can agree there are a variety of opinions regarding future scheduling for NDSU and UND and it appears that game will not happen in 2013; so everyone can aim the pitchforks somewhere else!
1) Wanted to follow up on Jeff’s last post on NDSU’s decision to play just 11 games for this coming season, which already has produced some interesting comments; Gene Taylor told me that he and Craig Bohl would prefer to play 11 this season especially after the grind of the last 3 seasons, some forget NDSU played 14 games in 2010, that’s a total of 44 games over the last three years, if you take the average 6-5 team over that same time span, NDSU has played an entire season (11) more games than the average FCS team over that same time span. When viewed thru that spectrum, that’s a heck of a lot of football. I was in the camp that favored playing 12 games this season, and as schedules continue to finalize, more FCS teams are heading that route, as of today; 24 teams are playing 12 games in 2013. Taylor added “playing 12 games isn’t out completely; if someone approaches us about a home and home, that’s something we’d take a look at.” The only reason why 12 games is such a lightning rod this year coincides with the FCS playoff field expanding to 24. The Selection Committee is going to have it’s work cut out for them when trying to determine at-large teams just look at this example of blank resumes:
TEAM A TEAM B
- 9-3 Record 8-3 Record
- No FBS or D-2 Wins No FBS or D-2 Wins
- Finished 3rd In Big Sky Conference Finished 2nd in MVFC
This is where I believe the rub lies with the committee, and why playing 12 could be an advantage over playing 11; now this argument is moot if this team is from the Big South, Northeast or Ohio Valley, I think the 8-3 team gets in. This argument would apply to teams from the Big 3 leagues (Colonial, Big Sky and the Valley). Now the Bison fans are going to flip out on me and say “Dom, no way NDSU will lose 3 games next season!” but it’s just something to look at it as the season develops next fall. If you do look at some of the teams playing 12 games next season (Montana for example; they are not playing a FBS game and ARE playing a D-2 game; something I know NDSU would not do).
2) Update on the BSA renovation; Taylor said the goal is still be ready to move forward come April, the governor’s budget will be approved in April and on the budget is the BSA renovation project, once that is signed off; Taylor said they need to have the necessary 36 million raised so that the project can begin by starting with the bidding process. The new indoor track facility has already drastically changed how things look on the north side, the BSA would take it to a whole new level.
3) Also spoke with Taylor on NDSU women’s basketball coach Caroyln DeHoff, I have received numerous tweets and emails over the past year and a half about when NDSU will start looking for a new coach, for the record; DeHoff still has a year left on her contract after this season. The Bison sit at 7-13 on the year, 3-5 in the Summit League; tied for 5th, but with Omaha ineligble for postseason, in reality it’s 4th. There have been plenty of ugly moments this year, most notably the 20 point loss to D-2 Alaska-Anchorage, but also take into account, the Bison are down perhaps their best player in Janae Burich for the season, lost another critical player in Hannah Linz; Taylor told me he knows and respects the challenges that have been thrown at DeHoff this season; basically playing with just 7 scholarship players; the Bison did knock off IUPUI two weeks ago, the Jags then went and beat SDSU in Brookings; Taylor added he’s “seen positive signs and encouraged by the progress.” The Bison have road trips to Vermillion, Macomb and Indianapolis and the season finale against South Dakota State; couple nice bright spots have been the freshmen Marena Whittle and Holly Johnson, and I’ve heard good things about the transfer from Southern Illinois in Brooke LeMar. We’ll be live tomorrow night at the BSA with Saul Phillips previewing the NDSU-UMKC matchup at 6:20 on Channel 6!