The FCS is Too Easy for North Dakota State

Opinion
The FCS is Too Easy for North Dakota State

North Dakota State University football has dominated the Football Championship Subdivision for over the last 60 years.  The Bison have only had 4 losing seasons in that time.   NDSU undoubtedly should move to the FBS. The NCSA defines FCS as “Football Championship Subdivision. FCS football teams can give out a maximum of 63 scholarships and can split up their scholarship money however they want.”  Opposed to the FBS as NCSA defines “FBS, Football Bowl Subdivision, is the highest level of college football in the U.S. The most elite football teams are found in the NCAA FBS. The most elite teams are found in the FBS subdivision. These schools are allowed to give out 85 full-ride scholarships, and usually attract five-star and four-star recruits at the top of their game.” As of 2017 there were 14,358 students enrolled in NDSU.  414 of those are student athletes.  

North Dakota State has an all time record against primarily FCS opponents of 774-378-34.  Having an all time FCS record of 43-4 and 9-1 in FCS national championship games.  They have won 17 NCAA titles in 1965, 1968, 1969, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021.   They have 9 FCS championships in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021. 

 Back in 2007 the Bison upset two FBS teams in the same year.  They beat Central Michigan 44-14, and power-five team Minnesota out of the Big 10 conference.  In 2010 the Bison inched past Big 12 powerhouse, Kansas.  The Associated Press said “ Ryan Jastram kicked two field goals and North Dakota State’s defense smothered Kansas in a season-opening 6-3 victory Saturday night.”  

The next season NDSU once again beat Minnesota by the score of 37-24.  They got wins in 3 FBS games in the next 4 seasons.  In 2016 the Bison upset the #13 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes 23-21.  The NCAA has this to say about the victory: “After beating AP No. 13 Iowa, North Dakota State received 74 votes in the AP Poll, barely missing out on a Top 25 ranking. The Bison ranked 27th that week. The 74 votes are the most ever earned by an FCS program in the AP Poll. NDSU would reach the FCS semifinals.”  

The Bison have had quite a few players drafted into the NFL but the two most notable ones are Carson Wentz and Trey Lance.  Wentz was drafted # 2 overall in 2016.  The NCAA said this about Wentz’s story.  “As an underrated high school recruit, Carson Wentz arrived at North Dakota State with little fanfare. Yet, when he finally took the field, Wentz captured the attention of the football world, carrying on the Bison Dynasty by winning more FCS national titles. Carson Wentz’s college success launched him to become the highest selected North Dakota State player in NFL draft history — No. 2 overall in 2016.”  Wentz got drafted #2 overall by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016.  In his rookie year he completed 379 passes on 607 attempts for a 62.4 completion percentage, leading all rookies that year in passing yards with 3,782 yards. 

This only further shows why they should be moved up due to even their low caliber prospects being top-notch college football players.  If they can keep recruiting low-star recruits and making them high profile pro prospects, they might get more attention from a lot more people.  Therefore they can get more students enrolled so they can realistically move up.  

Trey Lance was the other player drafted 3rd overall in 2021 to the San Francisco 49ers.  The NCAA said about Lance’s college career.  “ Lance’s time on the football field was limited for North Dakota State. He attempted just one pass while appearing in two games during the 2018 season and he played in North Dakota State’s only game last fall, a 39-28 win over Central Arkansas. But his star burned bright in the season between. During the 2019 season, Lance completed roughly two-thirds of his passes for nearly 3,000 yards, all while not throwing a single interception.”    Lance threw 71 passes, completing 41 of them.  For a 57.7 completion percentage in 6 games.  He sat behind Jimmy Garoppolo a large percent of the year.  Until Garoppolo sustained a strained calf and a torn/broken thumb.  The next year Lance broke his ankle in week 2 vs the Seahawks

The North Dakota State Bison have enough pro football players and have ruled the FCS world for the better half of six decades.  They have stamped themselves on the college football map as the team you have to go through in the FCS.  It would be great for NDSU as a program to move up to the FBS and try to start a new dynasty.       

About the Contributor
Jaxson is a junior at Carterville High School. He serves as a manager for multiple Lion teams and enjoys watching sports. He loves being involved in activities with friends. Jaxson loves eating at Buffalo Wild Wings.