Sports

Here Come the Aggies

Here Come the Aggies

North Dakota State announced a game to wrap up the 2020 football schedule Wednesday, as North Carolina A&T will make its debut in the Fargodome on September 19th of that year. The Aggies have built themselves into a solid FCS program over the last five years, winning the Celebration Bowl four times in that time span. NC A&T had a tremendous 2018, posting a 10-2 record, starting the year with a win over Jacksonville State in the FCS Kickoff, then following that up with a win over East Carolina, an FBS team.

That marked the third straight year that A&T had beaten an FBS team, joining wins over Kent State in 2016 and Charlotte in 2017. For a while this season the Aggies had risen to heights unseen for a MEAC team, sitting at fourth in the media poll and they were included in my Bracketology after a conference loss to Florida A&M. They have been ranked for 26 straight weeks and have posted a 22-2 record over the past two seasons. This will be another strong non-conference test for NC A&T and a welcome change in scheduling for the top teams in the MEAC, who have usually passed on playing opponents like North Dakota State.

NDSU will play A&T 240,000 dollars for the game, a payday that’s right in line of the going rate these days. This also completes the non-conference schedule for that season as the Bison open that year at Oregon on September 5th, then will play Drake in the home opener on the 12th and then A&T.

The other interesting tidbit out of today’s announcement was the conference schedules were unveiled for NDSU for the first time for 2020 and 2021. Western Illinois and Southern Illinois will drop out of the rotation that year as North Dakota officially joins the league that year. You can read about the rationale for why teams are dropping off here.

UND will make its first trip to Fargo as a Missouri Valley member on November 14th, 2020, the home finale of that season. NDSU will go to Grand Forks for the first time as a Valley school on Ocotober 2nd, 2021, the league opener that season. That’s a mistake on the league’s part in my opinion, I think the rivalry games should go last every year, that either SDSU or UND should be the last game of the regular season for the Bison, but that’s a topic for a different time.

As far as 2021, NDSU has no non-conference games scheduled as of yet. Jeremy Jorgenson, who handles all of NDSU’s football schedules said today on Bison 1660 that “an FBS game is the top priority for us.” For those wondering the odd numbered years (2021, 2023, 2025) is when the Big Ten West schools play five home games, so Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and the like are out of the mix for FBS games. We can start pondering that later in the offseason.

Here’s a look at the next two years for NDSU which are now complete:

       2019

  • Aug. 31st vs Butler (at Target Field)
  • Sept. 7th vs North Dakota
  • Sept. 14th at Delaware
  • Sept. 21st vs UC Davis
  • Sept. 28th  BYE WEEK
  • Oct. 5th  at Illinois State
  • Oct. 12th vs Northern Iowa
  • Oct. 19th vs Missouri State
  • Oct. 26th at SDSU
  • Nov. 2nd at Youngstown State
  • Nov. 9th vs Western Illinois
  • Nov. 16th vs South Dakota
  • Nov. 23rd at Southern Illinois

      2020 (Indiana State and UND join, Western and Southern Illinois drop off)

  • Sept. 5th at Oregon
  • Sept. 12th vs Drake
  • Sept. 19th vs NC A&T
  • Sept. 26th at UNI
  • Oct. 3rd vs Illinois State
  • Oct. 10th at Indiana State
  • Oct. 17th vs SDSU
  • Oct. 24th vs Youngstown
  • Oct. 31st at Missouri State
  • Nov. 7th – BYE WEEK
  • Nov. 14th – vs UND
  • Nov. 21st – at South Dakota

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