This post will be a brief change in programming for the week, we’ll resume full New Hampshire-NDSU coverage tomorrow, but there’s some news to be discussed today that affects both the Bison and Montana. First up, the Griz released their 2014 schedule today, they will play 12 games next season and will come to Fargo, except not on the date we originally thought.
Montana was supposed to come to Fargo on September 6th, NDSU’s home opener for 2014, but today it was revealed that that game has been moved to September 20th, as the Griz will instead host Central Washington. Spoke briefly to NDSU Athletic Director Gene Taylor about the schedule switch he told me that new head coach Chris Klieman preferred not to open next year with at Iowa State then home to Montana, and the Griz wanted a 6th home game therefore the move.
With the game getting moved that also has an affect on NDSU returning to ESPN. For those that don’t remember, refer to this blog post back in October, where Taylor said he contacted ESPN about being a part of its new FCS season opening TV package. Taylor confirmed that NDSU will no longer be considered for that opening weekend (we’re thinking August 23rd or 24th) but that ESPN still will move forward with the project. Disappointing news for some Bison fans considering the amount of exposure the team has had in recent years and you can bet that the Iowa State game will garner a national TV spot.
Finally what does this mean for the 2014 schedule? Well at least for now 10 opponents are still locked in and ’14 is again a year where the Bison could play 12. Taylor told me that he believes Klieman would like to play 12 games next season with a younger team and get some valuable experience. That means it’s a distinct possibility we see another Division 2 team return to Fargo next September, likely on September 6th and possibly another road game for the Bison on either September 13th or 27th, remember there are no bye weeks for NDSU when conference play begins in 2014. We’ll keep an eye on it of course.