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Dec
17
2016

#NDSU’s 2198 Day Playoff Win and FCS Title Streak Comes to an End

519_north_dakota_state-bisons-secondary-2012

Good morning, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) sports fans.

Many of you know that I’m probably one of the few Virginia Tech alumni that tweet about all things North Dakota – the joke comes in the room, “Yeah, you’re the first guy I’ve met from North Dakota.”  Yes, I was born and raised in North Dakota and much of my family still resides in the upper midwest in North Dakota and Minnesota.

Last night’s game had sort of a special significance for me.  My uncle played football at North Dakota State University in 1958 – and many in my family, including me, are North Dakota State University (NDSU) Bison athletic donors.  North Dakota is a small state – you know know?  The city of Washington, DC has more people than the entire state of North Dakota – and North Dakota is much like Wisconsin when the Green Bay Packers are on television – when the Bison are on TV in North Dakota, the entire state shuts down.

Last night, NDSU’s Football Championship Series (FCS) title run came to an end to a team that matched the physicality of the Bison.  James Madison University (JMU) game to play – and has the best running back in Khalid Abdullah, who rushed for 180 yards on the Bison defense. (h/t @inforum)  I knew in my heart of hearts this would going to be a tough game for the Bison to win – and knew it would be going to the 4th quarter despite the good start by James Madison.  Jeff Kolpack mentioned in that Fargo (ND) Forum article above that Mike Houston, the JMU head football coach, had a ton of respect for the Bison:

It’s what head coach Mike Houston had in mind when he took over the program last winter. He didn’t hesitate to talk about NDSU to his players in the offseason, essentially saying if you want to win a national title, you have to run a program like NDSU.

And that’s a major point here from Houston – let’s talk about NDSU’s FCS football program:

  • You know by now that no FCS team wants to schedule the Bison anymore;
  • In 2010, NDSU made the FCS quarterfinals;
  • in 2011, NDSU won the FCS title vs. Sam Houston State;
  • In 2012, NDSU won the FCS title vs. Sam Houston State;
  • In 2013, NDSU won the FCS title vs. Towson;
  • In 2014, NDSU won the FCS title vs. Illinois State;
  • In 2015, NDSU won the FCS title vs. Jacksonville State;
  • In 2016, NDSU made it to the FCS semifinals, but lost to a better JMU football team;
  • Before the loss to JMU, NDSU won 22 straight playoff games; and
  • NDSU has had multiple NFL draft picks, including a top 2 pick in Carson Wentz this past year.

This was a hell of a run by NDSU.  It is hard to win a national title in any sport.  Repeating is much harder.  The Bison won five FCS titles in a row and were one game away from an appearance in a 6th straight title game – this is nothing short of amazing – it is legendary not to lose an FCS playoff game in 2198 days (you take every team’s best shot every time on the field). Many schools would trade for that position in a second.  This is streak that I will probably not see in my lifetime.

I mentioned to site friend, @AnishESPN, who has been on our @AllSportsDACC podcast, that I was really proud of this team’s run in the postseason (he said on the broadcast that JMU was the better team last night, but the better the better program overall – lost that game – he’s right).  Here’s our conversation below:

 

 

Next year, the Bison return 15 starters – this is a young team that had maybe 8-9 seniors – lots to play for 😉 Go Bison!!

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