This NDSU football season has been one of the more underwhelming seasons that the program has endured by its standards. They only won eight regular season games, lost to all three Dakota schools, and for the first time since 2010, the Bison will be playing on Thanksgiving weekend.
NDSU received no love from the playoff committee as they were left out of the top eight seeds. Rather than a seed they got the next best thing, a first-round playoff game against the Pioneer Football League champion Drake Bulldogs.
This hasn’t been a great season for NDSU under any circumstance but at the same time, the Bison did catch a break as they can make right what once went wrong if they get far enough in the playoffs.
The top eight seeds in the FCS playoff bracket are as follows, #1 South Dakota State, #2 Montana, #3 South Dakota, #4 Idaho, #5 Albany, #6 Montana State, #7 Furman, # 8 Villanova.
NDSU fell on the right side of the bracket meaning the seed teams on their side are Montana, South Dakota, Montana State, and Furman. The Bison were placed in the upper right quadrant of the bracket meaning they would face Drake and if they win they would face #6 Montana State. I said the Bison can right some wrongs throughout the regular season and they can as UND is also in the same part of the bracket as the Bison. UND hosts Sacramento State and if they win they will head to the Dakotadome in the 2nd round where South Dakota is waiting.
If NDSU wins against Montana State the Bison could face UND or USD in the quarterfinals. NDSU lost to both of those schools during the regular season and they might just get a 2nd chance to beat one and move on to the semi-finals and more than likely get Montana who has looked like the 2nd best team in the country all season long.
The Bison would face South Dakota State again in Frisco if they get back to the championship game and the Bison would look to end a five-game losing streak to the Jacks.
NDSU hasn’t had a great season but they can make it a memorable season if they can channel some of that postseason magic on the road. If I was an opponent of NDSU in the playoffs I wouldn’t want to face them right now, they are riding a wave of momentum and they are a different team come playoff time.
The Bison will host the Drake Bulldogs in the first round of the FCS playoffs on Saturday, November 25th at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN+