Another national championship for the Bison is in the books. The North Dakota State football team dominated Eastern Washington in Frisco, Texas for the most part. While the Eagles made it interesting with a late touchdown, NDSU drove down the field and capped off the win with a touchdown run by Easton Stick. With the 38-24 win, NDSU claimed their second championship in the last two seasons and their seventh in the last eight seasons. Clearly, this is nothing new to Bison fans, as we bask in yet another championship victory.
NDSU football is turning into the Alabama of the FCS. They win or are in the championship game nearly every year and usually only suffer one loss in a given season. This season, the Bison went undefeated and won the championship. Alabama failed to win the FBS championship, but that was their only loss all season. While FBS competition can’t be compared to FCS, NDSU and Alabama are essentially doing the same thing — dominating their conference.
You wonder if there will ever be a point where we get sick of winning. I know everyone likes to win; it’s just more fun to win than lose. NDSU has spoiled its fans in the recent years with a collection of championships. However, I think competition makes sports fun, and the FCS seems to have no competition for the Bison. And the same could be said about Alabama. We occasionally get a “run for our money” type game with South Dakota State or James Madison. Similarly, Alabama could suffer an occasional loss or close game with Georgia or LSU. For the most part though, ‘Bama and NDSU come out on top and ultimately win the whole thing.
This is the difference between college football and the NFL. The NFL is unpredictable for the most part. No team reigns for a decade and takes home a handful of championships, with exception to the New England Patriots. An NFL team could go 14-2 in the regular season, get a bye and still lose in their first playoff game. There are multiple cases of this happening. In contrast, there have been teams that go 9-7, barely make the playoffs and then go on to win the Super Bowl.
You don’t see this stuff in college football. It’s very predictable. There’s a good chance Alabama goes to the championship at the start of the FBS season, same with the Bison in the FCS. If they go undefeated in the regular season, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they won the championship. If you go 16-0 in the NFL, you’re still not guaranteed a championship. Take the 2007 New England Patriots for example. They went 16-0 in the regular season and had one of the best quarterback-wide receiver connections in NFL history. They were considered unstoppable and were almost a lock to receive the Lombardi Trophy. However, they lost to the New York Giants 17-14, thus failing to achieve a perfect season. Ironically, the Giants finished 10-6 and had to play on the road throughout the playoffs and were underdogs in every game playoff game, including the Super Bowl. Despite this, they won it anyway.
Winning too much can be a scary thing. We become so used to winning championships that by the time we hit a certain point, we won’t even be excited. It will just be another day at the office. There will be no triumph, no pride, nothing. There’s a significantly larger amount of excitement when a team wins a championship after not winning one for a while or if they haven’t won one at all. If the Minnesota Vikings ever win a Super Bowl (I say if because, honestly, I’m not 100 percent they will win one in our lifetime), Minneapolis would set a record for most DUIs in a night. I mean it would be the best moment in Minnesota sports history. Why? Because the Vikings haven’t sniffed a Super Bowl since the 1970s. I could list hundreds of other examples of teams that would go nuts after a championship.
You could make the argument that NDSU should move up to the FBS. I believe they could compete in smaller FBS conferences like the American Athletic or as an independent. The current independent teams in the FBS are Army, Brigham Young, Liberty, New Mexico State, Notre Dame and Massachusetts. The only team in that group the Bison can’t beat is Notre Dame. Other than that, they could likely win the other games or at least keep it close. It would be a bit more of a challenge, but we’ve proven we could use one.
The Bison are getting a new coach and quarterback next season, so things may actually be a little different for a change. The Bison will have to overcome these obstacles while also attempting to continue the legacy of winning national championships. I could see them losing two maybe even three games. It’s sad that I have to say that to make it sound like a bad season for NDSU. Given how they have performed in past regular seasons, however, that would be considered underachieving. I just want to see some competition. I’m not cheering for the Bison to lose, but I don’t want games at the Fargodome where the score is 35-0 at the end of the first quarter.