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North Dakota lawmakers want new rivalry trophy for North Dakota State-North Dakota series

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As North Dakota State and North Dakota move one step closer to having their in-state rivalry renewed on an annual basis, the call for a rivalry trophy has been made by a couple of lawmakers from the state of North Dakota. Because the old trophy, The Nickel Trophy, has been donated to the North Dakota State Heritage Center when the football rivalry seemingly went dormant, lawmakers have asked students at both universities to begin forming plans for a new rivalry trophy that can be held by the winning program.

North Dakota Senator Scott Meyer introduced a resolution in the state senate, and the resolution passed. The resolution asks the student bodies to “design and implement a new football rivalry trophy.” Sen. Jordan Kannianen carried the bill and joked about how much success the North Dakota State Bison have had in hoisting trophies lately, referencing the seven national championships in the past eight seasons. North Dakota State was recently officially invited to be honored at the White House by President Donald Trump.

North Dakota will join the Missouri Valley Football Conference beginning in 2020, which will bring the two in-state football programs back in the same conference for the first time since sharing a home in the North Central Conference when both programs played at the Division 2 level. The two schools first met in football on Nov. 3, 1894 and have played a total of 111 times over the course of the rivalry’s history. North Dakota leads the all-time series with a record of 62-46-3, which includes wins in five of the most recent seven meetings. Of course, North Dakota State has risen to national championship heights since this rivalry has gone into a bit of a hibernation.

North Dakota State is scheduled to host North Dakota on Sept. 7, 2019.

FCS national champion North Dakota State invited to White House

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After winning its seventh national championship in eight years, the North Dakota Bison are heading to the White House once again. The Bison have officially been invited to be honored at the White House by President Donald Trump, as reported by MyNDNow.com.

The university is now coordinating the details to get the team to Washington D.C. for a ceremony in their honor, with the help of North Dakota Senator John Hoven.

“After a meeting with the President, I spoke with him about the Bison’s championship win,” Hoven said in a statement. “We appreciate him extending the invitation for the team to visit the White House. Historically, one of the great honors that comes along with winning a sports championship is to receive an invitation from the President to visit the White House. With NDSU’s history of excellence, it is only fitting that they be honored at the White House and we look forward to working with the President to coordinate the visit.”

With any luck, the government will not be shut down at the time the Bison head to the nation’s capital so they can enjoy something a bit more appetizing than room temperature fast food items from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King. Clemson players were treated to that assortment when they made their visit to the White House last month.

North Dakota State tops preseason FCS coaches Top 25

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Stop me if you have heard this one before, but North Dakota State will begin the college football season as the No. 1 team in the nation. The Bison received 23 first-place votes to pace their path to the top spot in the inaugural AFCA preseason FCS coaches poll.

North Dakota State is coming off a sixth national title in the past seven years and has become accustomed to starting the year as the top team in the FCS. However, this is the first time the AFCA has organized its own coaches poll for the FCS, so this is a bit of a landmark milestone for the Bison. North Dakota State is followed by last year’s runner-up and the team that interrupted the national title streak, No. 2 James Madison. The Dukes received the remaining three first-place votes that did not go to North Dakota State.

North Dakota State was also the preseason No. 1 in the previously released STATS FCS preseason Top 25. The top six teams are the same in both polls. After that, there are slight differences in rankings between the two polls.

2018 AFCA FCS Coaches Preseason Poll

  1. North Dakota State (23)
  2. James Madison (3)
  3. South Dakota State
  4. Sam Houston State
  5. Kennesaw State
  6. Jacksonville State
  7. Eastern Washington
  8. Weber State
  9. New Hampshire
  10. Samford
  11. Wofford
  12. Northern Iowa
  13. Elon
  14. North Carolina A&T
  15. Central Arkansas
  16. Delaware
  17. Nicholls State
  18. McNeese State
  19. Villanova
  20. Illinois State
  21. Furman
  22. Stony Brook
  23. Austin Peay
  24. Youngstown State
  25. Montana

North Dakota State gives Chris Klieman contract extension

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After coaching North Dakota State to a national championship last season, Chris Klieman has been given a contract extension.

The school announced the contract extension, which is now good through the 2023 season. The new extension tacks on two years to the existing contract for the head coach of the FCS juggernaut Bison.

“Chris has done an exceptional job in leading our football program on a national level,” North Dakota State director of athletics Matt Larsen said in a released statement. “Not only have we won three national championships during his tenure, but our student-athletes are achieving high marks in the classroom and are actively engaged on campus and in the Fargo-Moorhead community. I look forward to working with him and his staff for years to come.”

Klieman was named head coach at North Dakota State after former Bison head coach Craig Bohl was hired by Wyoming in 2014. In his short time as head coach, Klieman has continued to keep North Dakota State among the top FCS programs in the nation with three national titles (2014, 2015, 2017) and four consecutive Missouri Valley Football Conference championships. Prior to becoming the head coach of the program, Klieman was a defensive back coach and defensive coordinator under Bohl.

The defending FCS national champion North Dakota State Bison open their 2018 season at home against Cal Poly on September 1. North Dakota State will not play an FBS opponent this fall or in 2019, but will play at Oregon in 2020.

Defending national champion James Madison takes No. 1 seed in FCS playoffs

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Last week the playoff field for Division 2 and Division 3 was set, and we are still two weeks away from learning what four teams will compete in the fourth College Football Playoff. Today it was the FCS playoff field that was unveiled for the first time. Not surprisingly, defending national champion James Madison, the top-ranked team in FCS, took the top spot in the 24-team field.

At 11-0, it was expected the Dukes would be the number one overall seed. The Colonial Athletic Association champions are in the FCS playoffs for a fourth-straight season. The number two seed is a familiar name to those following FCS football. North Dakota State (10-1) took the second overall seed in the playoff field. The five-time national champs remains a force to reckon with once again and will hope to get a shot at playoff revenge against James Madison in this year’s championship game. It was James Madison that eliminated the Bison from the postseason last year with a 27-17 upset in the semifinals.

JMU went on to top Bo Pelini and Youngstown State in the championship game after the unseeded Penguins went on a miraculous run to the championship game. Youngstown State had taken out the No. 3 seed Jacksonville State (40-24) and No. 2 seed Eastern Washington (40-38) before falling against the No. 4 seeded Dukes. Youngstown State did not reach the postseason this year.

Jacksonville State takes the three-seed, followed by Central Arkansas, South Dakota State, Sam Houston State, Wofford and Southern Utah. Other automatic entrants through conference championship automatic qualifiers include Kennesaw State, Central Connecticut State, Lehigh, and San Diego. At-large teams making the field include Northern Arizona, Weber State, Monmouth, Elon, New Hampshire, Stony Brook, South Dakota, Northern Iowa, Western Illinois, Furman, Samford, and Nicholls State.

You can view the full bracket HERE.