NDSU Dream Matchups
After seeing the Bison dismantle Cal Poly yesterday, it got me thinking.
NDSU is far and away the best and the deepest team in the FCS. This Massacre yesterday was proof positive. What would happen though if the team played in the Big Ten West? Or even better, if the team had Nebraska, Wisconsin or Alabama on their schedule?
Here's a list of some dream matchups that could possibly allow the Bison to play competitive games followed by the expert's opinions from Bison Media Zone.
Wisconsin: This would be a situation where they would have to run the ball more because of Wisconsin's linebackers and DB's. This is would be a nice hard fought game.
Here are what the experts say :
Wisconsin – The Badgers have scheduled games with Valley teams Southern Illinois and Illinois State in 2020 and 2022. This seems like a no-brainer for the two schools. The proximity alone makes it appealing since NDSU has played all the other regional states that have FBS schools (Minnesota, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa, Iowa State) with the exception of Missouri and Nebraska. A large portion of NDSU’s recruiting area is in the Badger state, some of the the Bison’s best players have come from there (Brock Jensen, Kole Heckendorf, Colten Heagle) and its coaching staff has great ties to the state. Wisconsin doesn’t have a problem selling out, but the amount of Bison fans that would go to Madison might be more that would go to Lincoln, I believe it. Madison is a great college town and a game with NDSU would make for attractive TV as well, beyond the Big Ten Network, I could see FS1 (they have the Big 10 contract) wanting this for an early kickoff. Probability: It Will Happen (2026 or later)
Nebraska: Nebraska has always been known as a running team but lately it hasn't been so much. I think the Bison can beat them easily because of their balanced attack.
Here are what the experts say:
Nebraska – Of course the Huskers are back in the FCS scheduling mode, adding games with SDSU and UND last December, which got some Bison fans’ attention since why they did schedule with the Jacks and Fighting Hawks and not the Bison? The answer there is self-explanatory, but with Big 10 teams needing games, would they call the 701 area code? New head coach Scott Frost knows Klieman well from their days together at Northern Iowa, there was talk a couple years ago when Frost was coaching at Central Florida for a possible matchup with NDSU. The Bison fans would flock to Lincoln and would somehow find tickets to get into the stadium, even if it were just five thousand. It would be a game talked about for a long time. Probability: Possibly, but not for a while (2028 or later)
Alabama: The Nick Saban era has been golden for the Crimson Tide. This Is a measuring stick game for the Bison to see how great they can be. I don't consider Alabama elite but they're close.
Here are what the experts say :
Alabama – The dream matchup. The two powerhouses in Division One football. NDSU and Alabama have almost been in lock step with the Bison when they have won championships, the Crimson Tide won titles in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017, along with playing in the title game in 2016. They are the standard bearers of FBS, Nick Saban has an abundance of riches, including two starting quarterbacks heading into this season. Saban doesn’t shy away from scheduling the FCS, Bison fans will remember a game against Georgia Southern in 2012 that was a lot closer than Saban wanted. That GSU team was the one that nearly came to Fargo and won. (Bama won the title that year) Alabama will play FCS teams three of the next four years (The Citadel, Western Carolina and Mercer) and will likely continue that scheduling philosophy. They have added some impressive games down the road, including actual road games at Texas and Notre Dame, but as long as the SEC maintains an eight game conference schedule, FCS games will be in play. Sources told me NDSU made a call to Alabama at least once about an open date for the 2018 season, but believe they were rebuffed because Bama wants to keep playing schools regional to its area. This would be a fantastic game just to talk about, I’m not sure how good the actual game would be. Alabama is at another level, but it would be fun to see the champions of the FCS play the champions of the FBS. Probability: Ain’t gonna happen
Lastly, it would be great to see the Bison play Michigan, anywhere. Judging by last nights performance against Notre Dame, how great would it be to see Michigan get embarrassed by an FCS team... believe me it could happen.