It’s the hottest talker right now surrounding the Bison football team thanks to Mr. Kolpack, wrapping up the schedule for the 2012 season. Now I know Florida State, Oklahoma, Michigan State and Pittsburgh are all sexy options and the fans would love to see how NDSU would stack up against the upper echelon competition. But I hate to throw cold water on these thoughts, but it’s NOT a good idea. Craig Bohl and Gene Taylor have stressed to me and Jeff over the past couple of years they want to play FBS games against teams they feel they have a chance to compete. (And beat in my opinion) As impressive as NDSU’s wins over Minnesota, Central Michigan, Ball State and Kansas are, these are not Florida State, Michigan State and Oklahoma. I’m not against NDSU playing one of those schools once every five years or so, but here are the potential downsides of playing an upper-echelon FBS School:
- Injuries (I know you can get hurt in any football game, but the chance certaintly goes up playing against most of the time bigger and sometimes quicker athletes)
- Potential Mental Injury – If NDSU loses say 47-7 to Oklahoma or Florida State, what does that do to the pysche of the team? Could it carry over to a game against a FCS or MVFC opponent and lose to a team that they should beat? Could ruin a potential great season.
- Leads to my third point, I firmly believe NDSU thinks they have the potential of another national championship with this class, either 2012 or 2013 and a loss to a team like a Nebraska, Wisconsin or FSU could de-rail some of those hopes.
Now I did a little research on five other Missouri Valley Schools and they’re FBS matchups, because the detractors to this post will point at SDSU and USD.
- 2010 – at Nebraska - at Minnesota
- 2011 – at Illinois – at Air Force, at Wisconsin
- 2012 – at Kansas – at Northwestern
- 2013 – at Nebraka - at Kansas
- 2014 – at Missouri TBD
- 2015 – at Minnesota – at Kansas State
My opinion (and mine alone) looks at SDSU and USD and says those two schools are in a way different boat than NDSU. SDSU is trying to fund money to renovate it’s football stadium and a couple of big paydays at Nebraska and Missouri can certaintly help in that way; and facing regional schools near it’s backyard. NDSU fans would argue that Nebraska isn’t far away either, but I believe that Bohl just doesn’t want that game. South Dakota is wrapping up it’s D-1 transition and multiple games against FBS is a common trend (think 2007, NDSU played Central Michigan and Minnesota; a strategy Bohl and Taylor said he would NOT go back to) Now there a couple teams on these schedules that could/should appeal to NDSU; Illinois and Northwestern. Both are bowl teams (most years) and Illinois is an area NDSU in the past loved to hit for recruiting. Both also are matchups that NDSU can certaintly think heading into the matchup that they have a solid shot of winning the football game.
Western Illinois Northern Iowa SIU
- 2010 – at Purdue at Iowa State at Illinois
- 2011 -at Missouri at Iowa State at Mississippi
- 2012 – at Iowa State at Wisconsin, at Iowa at Miami (OH)
- 2013 – at Minnesota at Iowa State at Illinois
- 2014 – at Northwestern at Iowa at Purdue
We know UNI’s situation in terms of funds and the reason they’re playing both Wisconsin and Iowa next season. But you look at Western and SIU and the teams are reasonable in terms of location and skill. And for those poo-pooing NDSU’s future FBS teams a closer look says these squads are pretty good:
2010 – Kansas (Game was announced in June of 2009, NDSU coming off 6-5 season, KU was coming off an Orange Bowl win in 07 and a Insight Bowl win in 08, no reason to think the Jayhawks weren’t going to be pretty good until the Mark Magino blowup in 2009)
2013 - Kansas State ( Wildcats are coming off a 10-3 season in 2012 and a appearance in the Cotton Bowl, one of the oldest bowl games around, losing to Arkansas, I may be the only one in the boat saying this may be the best team NDSU has faced)
2014 - Iowa State ( Paul Rhoades has turned around the Cyclones, enough to beat Nebraska, Texas and this year Oklahoma State, giving OSU it’s only loss of the year, safe to say that’s a pretty good game when NDSU heads to Ames.)
2016 - Iowa ( Normally in the top tier of the Big 10 and almost always playing in a bowl game, you can bet if not Kansas State, then the Hawkeyes take the top spot of toughest team faced yet)
So there you go, definetly sense a Video Blog dedicated to this topic the longer an 11th game is an option! Gene Taylor has told me he wants that 11th game at HOME, the last option to him would be to play an FCS on the road in a home and home series, meaning they’d come to Fargo in 2014 (since 2013 schedule is done) And remember looming for NDSU is a home and home with Montana and Montana State coming to Fargo. Things looked pretty good on the schedule front.