The number six is a historic one in the Football Championship Subdivision, as that’s the record setter for titles, belonging to Georgia Southern. The Eagles won titles in clumps, repeating in 1985-86, 1989-90 and 1999-2000. They were twice denied three peats in 1988 and 1998, but GSU for a long time was the standard bearer of the former 1-AA division.
Youngstown State is also in the conversation of the top FCS teams in history, the Penguins have four national championships, including three titles in a four year span (1991-1994) and then another in 1997. YSU has been on the doorstep of three more, losing in 1992, 1999 (to Georgia Southern) and of course last year to James Madison.
And that brings us to North Dakota State. The Bison have a chance to tie Georgia Southern’s mark of six championships and do it in a span of 13 years of being a Division 1 school. GSU began playing FCS in 1984 and the following season they had a title. They won their six titles in a 16 year span. With a win Saturday, the Bison can rightfully say their program is the best in FCS history, especially with the Eagles flying off to the Sun Belt. The rise to the top of the division has been remarkably fast for NDSU, compared to the schools that have been established for many years like Montana and Marshall, who have a combined 13 title game appearances. They combined to win four titles, Marshall of course has moved on to the FBS world.
Saturday’s game will determine who rules the roost in the FCS. Is James Madison now the undisputed king with back to back titles? Or are the Bison back with a sixth title in seven years? If it’s the latter, NDSU would have reached the mountaintop quicker than anyone else in history.