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Bison set for GameDay

FARGO -- ESPN "College GameDay" analyst Kirk Herbstreit doesn't think NCAA Division I FBS teams should play FCS teams, with one asterisk: North Dakota State.

FARGO - ESPN “College GameDay” analyst Kirk Herbstreit doesn’t think NCAA Division I FBS teams should play FCS teams, with one asterisk: North Dakota State.
“I think FCS should play FCS, and I think the FBS should play FBS with the one exception being North Dakota State because of a pretty proven track record,” said Herbstreit on the eve of today’s “College GameDay” show, which is originating from downtown Fargo. “I love the postseason of FCS. I think it’s awesome to watch those games … but mixing the two I’m just not a fan of.”
The defending three-time FCS national champion, NDSU has won its past five meetings against FBS teams, including a 34-14 win at Big 12 Conference member Iowa State to start this season.
NDSU’s success against FBS programs is part of the reason ESPN has chosen to bring “College GameDay” to Fargo for two consecutive seasons.
NDSU opened up last season with a 24-21 win at defending Big 12 champion Kansas State, and followed that with a convincing win at Iowa State this fall.
The Bison have an 8-3 record against FBS teams, including wins against teams from the Big 12 and Big Ten Conference. The Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and ACC are referred to as the Power 5 FBS conferences.
“Not everybody is North Dakota State at this level,” Herbstreit said.
“College GameDay” host Chris Fowler thinks there is still a place for FBS vs. FCS matchups if the right programs are involved.
“Too many FBS programs look to schedule weak FCS teams as an automatic win,” Fowler said. “It’s a glorified scrimmage. I think North Dakota State is in a different category.”
The Bison don’t have an FBS opponent on their 2015 schedule. In 2016, NDSU is slated to play at Iowa, a Big Ten member.
“Those of us that know how good these (top FCS) programs are, enjoy seeing teams get an opportunity to challenge a Power 5 team,” Fowler said. “Programs at the top of FCS are certainly capable of doing what North Dakota State has done, there just aren’t very many of them.”
Lee Fitting, the senior coordinating producer for “College GameDay,” said last year’s show in Fargo was the most talked about location of that season “bar none.” Fitting is expecting a similar vibe today.
“I’d be shocked if it were any less a scene than last year,” Fitting said.
Here are other highlights from Friday’s “College GameDay” news conference:
- Herbstreit was asked to compare the Bison to a FBS program with a similar style of play.
“I would say an Alabama type of team based on kind of the philosophy and the way they win,” Herbstreit said. “They roll up their sleeves and just pound you and get you to submit and just kind of kill your will.”
- Fowler recently talked to former NDSU head coach Craig Bohl, who is now the head coach at Wyoming.
“He was excited that we were back here,” Fowler said. “He didn’t expect anything different.”
Bohl is 2-0 at Wyoming, but play at No. 2-ranked Oregon today.
“His personal 26-game win streak is in deep trouble maybe,” Fowler cracked, referring to Bohl’s 24 wins in a row with the Bison and first two wins with Wyoming.
- Fitting said the guest picker for the prediction segment on today’s show had been confirmed Friday, but he wasn’t willing to share the identity of that person.
“It will be a good scene (today),” Fitting said.

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Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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