The countdown has reached 69; which means we are less than 10 weeks away from the 2013 season beginning and now finally the 2013 schedule is done; leading to today’s stat.
Countdown To 2013: NerdStat #69:
- 11: That’s the amount of games that NDSU will play this season. After much debate and discussion about a possible 12th game, the Bison will play 11 after the addition of Division 2 Ferris State. I mentioned on the news on Wednesday; the opponent isn’t going to get anyone excited but the fact now that the games counts; that certainly should. There is still plenty we don’t know about the Simple Rating System that the FCS Playoff Committee will use and how it will value wins; but this is a huge boost not only to the Bison but the 80 percent of FCS teams that are playing D-2 games this upcoming season. This means 11 countable games and in the long term view of things that’s as a big a win for NDSU as some games on the field; granted a D2 win will not mean as much as a FBS or FCS victory; but 9-2 and 8-3 and they all count could be huge as compared to 8-2 or 7-3.
- I did some Izzo Power Rankings to determine NDSU’s hardest games on the schedule; going from 11 (easiest) to 1 (hardest); so please debate and discuss.
Izzo Power Rankings – 2013 NDSU Schedule
11. Ferris State – D-2 team, the home opener, this game should be decided early.
10. Delaware State – a MEAC team, playing in loudest environment they’ve likely ever seen, should be decided early again.
9. Missouri State – Bears have a ways to go; they played NDSU tough last year in Springfield; but talent disparity is still wide.
8. South Dakota – Joe Glenn’s team should be better in 2013; they have some pieces but feel will struggle again in the Valley.
7. at Indiana State – Shakir Bell is back for one more go-around; Terre Haute is a tough place to get motivated to play not a ton of people; this is a mid-October game; new coach and scheme for Sycamores; NDSU should take advantage.
6. Illinois State – Matt Brown is finally gone; but ISU has brought in some heavy duty transfers and Colton Underwood returns one of the best players in the league; this game in mid-November should be fun at the Dome.
5. at Southern Illinois – Every year in Carbondale is tough and this season should be no different. Definite pressure on Dale Lennon to make the playoffs this year and got to believe they want to beat the Bison bad with three straight losses to them; that 9-3 win in 2011 one of the guttiest victories NDSU has had in last three seasons.
4. Northern Iowa – Loudest regular season crowd at the Dome was for UNI in 2011. I expect even louder for this game on October 5th. The only downer its so early in the conference season; just the 2nd game. UNI will be back this year; Sawyer Kollmorgen starts his 2nd year as starter; David Johnson is back at running back; Mark Farley’s team will be in the hunt in the Valley.
3. at SDSU – After two losses in Fargo last year you can believe this game in Brookings in late September will be rocking. The Jacks bring most everyone back and are currently being ranked in the top 10 in most FCS preseason polls and for good reason. Zach Zenner; while not having his best games against NDSU; still ran for over two thousand yards last year and Austin Sumner begins his 3rd year as starting quarterback; this game will have lots of Bison fans there; and will be a great game to be at.
2. at Youngstown – The Ice Castle in mid November. That’s all you need to say. What a tremendous game this could be, YSU I’m sure would love to get some payback for how last year’s game went at the Dome and Kurt Hess is back for his senior season. The Youngstown series has been terrific since NDSU joined the Valley; last year’s game was the first blowout; I don’t expect one this year and I think the conference title could be up for grabs in this game; that’s why I have it ranked as the hardest FCS regular season game for NDSU.
1. at Kansas State – This is obvious for many reasons; it’s a Big 12 school; coming off a conference title and a Fiesta Bowl appearance. K-State lost a lot; but does bring back its entire starting offensive line and they also bring something that no other NDSU FBS opponent has faced; an experienced head coach. Glen Mason had been at Minnesota for a while and Butch Jones is now coaching at Tennessee(he was Central Michigan coach); but none of them are Bill Snyder. Snyder will not let his team ignore or look past NDSU and that’s the biggest reason why this game will be unlike the other FBS matchups in the past; simply because K-State’s head man is unlike any they’ve faced.
So there it is folks; what do you think?