As I’m posting this, the lights are half out in the Superdome, so enjoy tonight’s edition of the Ramblings, delving deeper into the BracketBusters selection show and the FCS Connection to the Super Bowl, plus a bit more on Signing Day.
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
Plenty to talk about tonight from the Bunker, we’ll revisit yesterday’s game in Brookings where NDSU lost for the 2nd straight year by double digits, also more on Trayvonn Wright’s injury and what this means going forward. Also an update to NDSU football recruiting and why linebacker is so important to this recruiting class and an impressive weekend for the Bison grapplers, enjoy!
Back from the bunker tonight with thoughts on the NDSU hoops weekend in Indianapolis and Macomb, dealing with the 1st conference loss of the season and some potential BracketBuster matchups that could be really intriguing, the games will be announced next Monday, 13 of the games will be televised on the ESPN networks. Also some thoughts on Gus Bradley, his staff and some football updates. Enjoy!
Several things to muse about on this Wednesday night, so bare with me for a little bit here folks; starting with the NFL coaching carousel surrounding former NDSU assistant Gus Bradley. Bradley was in Philadelphia Tuesday for a 2nd interview with the Eagles; where everything we were hearing that he was the frontrunner for the job. Then out of nowhere on Wednesday morning ESPN reports that Oregon’s Chip Kelly has the job. Bradley seemed unfazed, since he was on a plane later that day for Jacksonville and interviewing for the Jaguars job. The Jags have been interviewing several offensive minded coaches, so they may go in another direction and while Bison fans may be discouraged over Bradley not getting a job, Viking fans will be quick to point out that Leslie Frazier had several interviews before he got his first head coaching gig. Curious to see what happens with Gus, but one thing is for certain he’ll be ok after this process is done.
Now in my never ending posts about conference re-alignment get set for it to really kick into high gear shortly. News today that San Diego State backed out of the Big East and will stay in the Mountain West wasn’t too surprising after Boise State said they weren’t going a few weeks ago, it’s stunning though that three schools pledged to join the Big East and never played a game there (SDSU, Boise State and TCU) The trickle down will be felt thru the lower level leagues with SDSU staying, Tulsa is likely now for the Big East, making a hole in Conference USA, which they may go for Western Kentucky, which opens the Sun Belt, likely for Georgia Southern or Appalachian State. It’s been in the works for a while and looks like this will be the catalyst to make it happen. Interesting to note about Western Kentucky; the Hilltoppers left the Gateway and FCS in 2006 (opening the door for NDSU and SDSU into the Valley) and started FBS play in 2008; they only won 4 games thru their first three years in FBS, WKU has rebounded with back to back 7 win campaigns, and now are set to move up into a higher profile league from the Sun Belt to Conference USA, with slightly bigger TV money. Some NDSU fans will clamor now for the Bison to move up but this case with WKU is more about proximity and luck than anything; there’s no one that could have foreseen than WKU moved up to FBS that 6 years later they would have the opportunity to leave the league that took a chance on them for greener pastures. If GSU and App State move up guaranteed the microscope will be firmly on them in Fargo, Cedar Falls and Missoula.
Huge basketball weekend starts for NDSU tomorrow night in Indianapolis, facing IUPUI, the game as mentioned earlier will not be played in the Jungle but rather at the home of the Indiana Pacers. Interesting to see how the Bison respond after the loss of Taylor Braun, this is a HUGE three game stretch for NDSU, at IUPUI, at Western Illinois, then at SDSU. Keep an eye tomorrow night on the game in Macomb, SDSU plays Western Illinois, you’ll remember that’s a rematch of the Summit League championship from last year, the Leathernecks took the Jacks to OT before falling; this WIU team is still solid, the loss of Obi Emegano is something we’ll have to look at and all-conference center Terrell Parks is battling a knee injury, he may not play tomorrow night and his status for Saturday is up in the air, obviously that would be a huge loss for WIU, who will want this game in the 50′s. Should be fun to watch this weekend.
We’ve hit the new year, but that doesn’t mean the Sunday Night Ramblings are done from the Izzo bunker, tonight more info on Taylor Braun’s injury and a look ahead to NDSU’s week on the road that includes a showdown with the other team that’s tied for 1st, Western Illinois; the Leathernecks have had a great start to the year. Also have more info on the 3 verbals that NDSU locked up today, including one from Florida, which to my knowledge is one of the first recruits out of that state in a long time. Bison now up to 15 verbals for the class of 2013. One note on Connor Wentz, the tight end out of Florida, he’s the cousin of backup quarterback Carson. More recruiting and hoops news later this week!
Well a rather large week for NDSU athletics started last night with a great crowd at the BSA(biggest since some guys named Woodside, Winkelman and Nelson played there) as the Bison rallied to knock off SDSU and send a message to the rest of the Summit League that they’re for real, making the next 2 months lots of fun. As for football; Craig Bohl will hold his final news conference of the season tomorrow, and the final preps have to be done, NDSU leaves for Texas on Wednesday and so does the Forum Posse, cowboy hat included for those dying to know! Reminder as well, Fargo to Frisco airs 9pm Friday night on WDAY and then re-airs on the CW Saturday morning at 11am, NDSU Hall of Famer and Buffalo Bills Wall of Famer Phil Hansen will also be part of the show. Should be a great week; Happy New Year!
Busy day folks, crowd of over 5 thousand at the Dome to see NDSU beat UND 72-52, the Bison improve to 8-2 and get set for another test against the Big 10 with Minnesota on Tuesday. Saul Phillips team has some athleticism and some nice key pieces of the bench from Chris Kading
and a new freshman starter in Kory Brown. Interested to see how NDSU figures into the Summit League mix. Jeff and I break down tonight’s game and also some FCS Semifinal talk, enjoy back tomorrow with a full game day preview of NDSU-Georgia Southern.
What a great scene in Bloomington tonight, great crowd and atmosphere and to see the “Big Handsome” Cody Zeller in action was impressive. NDSU handled things well for the most part, aside from a 5 minute stretch in the 2nd half when things got away from them. Jeff and I recap everything in the Bison 87-61 loss here in the postgame show.
Folks, this is going to be fun, what an environment here at Assembly Hall, make the Bison Media Blog your home for full coverage tonight, Jeff, Kevin Schnepf, Hayden Goethe and I will be live blogging and tweeting updates, enjoy the PreGame show (without props, they wouldnt let Jeff throw a chair!)