Just wanted to fill in a little more on the 2011 Bison schedule than we could on the news tonight. LaFayette is a one year guarantee game, getting north of 100,000 to come play NDSU this year. Gene Taylor told me he’s talked to several other Patriot League schools for future dates, so that’s something to keep an eye on. Director of Football Operations Brian Gordon has been helping Taylor with scheduling for the past few months, and after the struggles to fill out the 2010 schedule, to get 2011 done before this season starts has to be a sigh of relief for Taylor. Now I did ask Taylor about the Minnesota game, as some know, the Big 10 is talking about going to 9 conference games but according to the Chicago Sun-Times, that doesn’t look likely to happen until 2015. Minnesota has 4 non-conference games in 2011, at USC, New Mexico State, Miami (OH) and NDSU. They would never give up the USC game, New Mexico State and Miami are from solid FBS conferences. NDSU could be dropped, but from a revenue standpoint, the Gophers would be silly to not play NDSU, especially after the 30,000 Bison fans that filled the Metrodome in 2007. Taylor told me it’s a 375 thousand dollar buyout for Minnesota if they want to get out of that game with NDSU, pricey, can’t see the U doing that.
As for UND, Taylor said talks with UND athletic director Brian Faison have been ongoing since the beginning of the year. Nothing seems to be on the horizon yet, but Taylor did tell me that in his opinion, it seemed like UND’s stance on playing every year is not nearly as strong as it was back in April. The earliest open date for NDSU now is 2012, where the Bison have just one non conference date firmed up; at Colorado State. 2013 has two dates already filled, Montana State and South Dakota, while 2014 looks filled with 3 non-conference dates, at Iowa State, Montana and South Dakota. It may seem like it’s 2012 or bust if the game is to come back.
– Dom Izzo