NDSU’s first football game of 2016 is in less than a week, so it seems like a good time to look ahead to a few things I’m looking forward to in the new year.
- First up is next week’s title game. We’ll dive full into it this coming week, but Jacksonville State intrigues me. Kolpack says he sees a lot of Illinois State in this team with Jenkins and Pope comparing to Roberson and Coprich. The difference maker may be JSU’s defensive line, which has four transfers from SEC schools. The Bison offensive line will be in for a challenge. I think it’s going to be a great game.
- Back to Big 10 territory. NDSU will meet up with Iowa in September, the Hawkeyes fresh off a beatdown in the Rose Bowl, but coming off a successful season that saw them go 12-2. CJ Beathard will return for his senior season at quarterback, coming off throwing 17 touchdown passes. The environment will be fantastic and in my opinion, this will be the toughest FBS opponent NDSU has faced since moving up to Division 1. What a challenge and opportunity.
- Eastern Washington and its high flying offense will come to Fargo. The best player in FCS will be there as well in my opinion, Cooper Kupp, who by the end of his career, will be the all-time leading receiver in FCS history. The Eagles will need to find a quarterback, but for Bison fans this is a game a long time coming after the 2010 quarterfinal game in Cheney. There’s still a possibility this game gets flexed into the ESPN FCS Kickoff, I’m told by several sources that ESPN wants NDSU in the game, but the Bison still need to complete their 2016 schedule before that can happen.
- The Fargodome’s new video boards. They will be installed over the summer, costing between 7.5 and 9 million dollars. The boards will be placed on the north and south ends of the dome. It’s been a sore spot for fans over the past few years and they are outdated, to go along with the new lights and new turf, this was a long time coming.
- The effect of cost of attendance. It may not be known with the 2016 recruiting class, but this will be the first that will have the measure. We’ve been told time and time again by the coaches that they don’t want players solely coming to NDSU because of the additional money, but it stands to reason that the Bison may get some players because they’re paying the $3400 and the schools they’re recruiting against don’t.
That’s just a couple. Big week coming, resting up tomorrow and we’ll launch into it on Monday.