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Bisonation NDSU Bison Football RecruitingArticles: John Neis
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Search for 11th Game

Search for 11th Game

John Neis 3/6/13

In a recent interview with KFGO’s Mike McFeely (listen here)  NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor mentioned the search for a 6th home game is becoming more difficult by the day.  When Montana State wussed out and canceled their trip, the list of teams that had mutual open dates with NDSU were small.  Worse yet, as the days have gone by more teams have filled up their open spots and as of today there are even less teams with mutual open dates.

Currently NDSU has three open dates and can fill up to two of them. Everything we have heard from the athletic department says they only want to schedule 11 and have 2 bye weeks.  But we also heard that they will be playing 6 home games and with GT’s recent comments that might not happen.  The only way we see NDSU going with a 12 game schedule is if the only home game they can find is on 11-2.  I dont think anyone wants 2 bye weeks in a row following the KState game.  Best case scenario is bye weeks 9-7 and 11-2 and find someone to play 9-14

AVAILABLE TEAMS

BIG SKY

9-7 Northern Arizona has released their schedule saying they will play 11 but they do have the 7th available.  No way they open @Arizona @NDSU @UCDavis.  So if NDSU is looking for a home and home this would be a top choice since NDSU has been recruiting Arizona the last few years thanks to AJ Cooper’s connections.
Home Game: 20% Home and Home: 70%

9-7 Northern Colorado Some say they will play at home vs CSU-Pueblo but that game could be played opening weekend.  NDSU’s former NCC foe would be another team that NDSU would have to sign a home and home with and most likely travel for the first game.
Home Game: 20% Home and Home: 90%

9-14 Sacramento State Some have Sac St open 9-14 others say they will host Southern Oregon.  Either way it wouldnt cost Sac St much to buy out SOU. Yet another home and home situation and NDSU would have to travel first.
Home Game: 0% Home and Home: 60%

Big South

9-14 Liberty the Turner Gill coached Liberty Flames are having as much of a problem as NDSU filling out their schedule.  They still need 2 games to get to 11 and currently only have 4 home games.  The probability they are willing to travel to Fargodome in 2013 seems small.  But if GT is discussing a home and home this would be an interesting draw for the Bison.  Located in Lynchburg, Virginia it would not be an easy spot for Midwest fans to get to but it would give southern alumni a chance to see their team up close and against a fairly competitive team.
Home Game: 40% Home and Home: 80%

9-14 Presbyterian VMI 9-7/14 or Garner Webb 11-2  These teams host non counter teams (DII or lower) but none of these three are expected to make a playoff push.  If NDSU is looking for an easy win on the road these three rank right up their.  The probability either team is interested in playing NDSU is slim, but the opportunity to bring in the 2 time defending champs could change the opinion of an AD looking to boost ticket sales.  It might not be in NDSU’s interest to persuade a team to cancel a game to schedule the Bison, but at this point all options must be explored.
Home Game: 5% Home and Home: 10%

CAA

9-14 Villanova They have released their schedule with 11 games and 5 are at home.  Almost no chance they schedule 7 road games so if NDSU wants a home and home and are willing to travel first, Nova has to be at the top of the list of teams that would interest Bison fans.  They are consistently at the top of the Colonial, which is a top FCS conference.  Of all the teams we will list, there is no doubt every Bison fan has heard of Villanova……….the same can not be said of Gardner-Webb or even Liberty.
Home Game: 25% Home and Home: 50%

SoCon

11-2 Wofford NDSU’s 2012 playoff opponent has 11 games on their schedule and 6 are at home.  They would have to be interested in a home and home but the drawback for the Bison is having bye weeks on back to back weeks 9-7 and 9-14.  Any 11-2 games being looked at have to be at home because the two previous weeks NDSU is @Southern Illinois and @ Indiana St.  Three road games in a row is not something this team wants to do.
Home Game: 1% Home and Home: 50%

9-7 Elon Another total long shot and another team NDSU would have to travel to first.  Elon is rumored to be playing non-counter West Virginia Wesleyan and if NDSU is willing to travel first you have to believe Elon would really consider buying out WVW.
Home Game: 0% Home and Home: 85%

MEAC

9-7 or 9-14 Morgan State The Bears have 10 games scheduled and only have 4 home games, but MEAC teams are notorious for taking paydays.  This is not a team that would excite fans, but for many in BisoNation any chance to tailgate is a win for the fans.  Small chance GT entertains a home and home with them so if they want 200k+ to come to Fargo for a beatdown, NDSU will gladly write the check.
Home Game: 90% Home and Home: 20%

9-7 Bethune-Cookman If there was a team in the MEAC that NDSU might entertain a home and home with it would be the Wildcats in Daytona Beach, Florida.  It fits in with a state NDSU is currently recruiting,  but to open @KState @Bethune BYE is not an ideal way to open the season.  B-CU has a non counter in Virginia Union on the schedule that would need to be bought out.
Home Game: 0% Home and Home: 40%

9-7 NC Central 9-14 Savannah St Both have non counters on those dates and both want home games.  No way NDSU schedules home and home with these teams
Home Game: 5% Home and Home: 0%

Ohio Valley

9-14 Southeast Missouri St If it comes down to NDSU having to schedule a home and home and have 6 road games in 2013, the Redhawks have to be at the top of the list.  NDSU recruits Missouri and if the Bison are to travel, 9-14 has to be the preferred date over 9-7 and 11-2.  Open @KSU BYE @SEMU vsDelSt doesn’t look bad at all.
Home Game: 10% Home and Home: 95%

9-7 Murray St 9-14 Jacksonville St Both play non counters and would want home games.  Both are interesting options but Jax St is more interesting as again, NDSU is recruiting Florida for the 2014 class and beyond.  We don’t consider either of these real options.
Home Game: 0% Home and Home: 10%

Patriot

9-7 and 9-14 Bucknell Wow would this be a tough game for announcers.  The NDSU Bison (Bi-zuhn) vs the Bucknell Bison (Bi-suhn).   Only way NDSU considers a home and home is if NDSU wants to play a game near Adam Keller’s hometown of Lewisberry, PA.  Bucknell is located less than 2 hours north in Lewisburg, PA.    Bucknell plays 6 conference games so they have to fill 5-6 OOC games.  They are @Cornell @VMI and @Dartmouth for three of them so they need 2 more.  With only 3 home games on their schedule, seems unlikely they would come to Fargo in 2013.
Home Game: 20% Home and Home: 50%

9-14 Georgetown The Hoyas are an exciting name but their team is horrible and have no chance at making the playoffs.  They have 10 games scheduled, 4 are at home and one is a non counter.  We highly doubt Georgetown is willing to travel to Fargo for a payday since they make their money from basketball and not football.
Home Game: 30% Home and Home: 45%

11-2 Lehigh The 2011 NDSU playoff opponent already has 11 games scheduled and if an 11-2 game is agreed to, this would give Lehigh their only bye week the first week of the season.  Match that with NDSU wants to fill one of the September bye weeks and this has little chance of happening.  The only thing that makes this interesting is last year Lehigh want 10-1 and did not make the playoffs due to such an ugly schedule.  Maybe they want to improve their strength of schedule but they have other options that are less scary than NDSU.
Home Game: 3% Home and Home: 40%

Southland

9-14 McNeese State The Cowboys schedule has been released and they have a non counter on the 14th against West Alabama.  Home and home would make them happy but the chances are slim.
Home Game: 0% Home and Home: 10%

11-2 Lamar and Nicholls St Some speculate they will play each other that weekend but it could be 9-21 also.  Again not ideal for NDSU to have 2 bye weeks in a row in September but both these teams might be willing to take the payday.  Especially Lamar who has explored moving up to FBS.
Home Game: 20% Home and Home: 20%

SWAC

9-7 Mississippi Valley St still needs 2 more OOC games and are a top candidate to bring in for a payday.  Holding this back is they might want a home and home as NDSU did that last time they played when the Bison were in transition.
Home Game: 70% Home and Home: 60%

11-2 Arkansas Pine-Bluff Maybe the best team in the SWAC wants to try their luck against the back to back FCS champs.  Especially since they play in the SWAC which does not participate in the FCS playoffs.  Again 11-2 is not ideal for NDSU but the match up is very interesting.
Home Game: 20% Home and Home: 50%

9-7 Texas Southern One has to believe the Tigers are not interested in having their bye week the last week of the season, but a 200K payday can change anyone’s mind.  Not a very good chance this happens but they are available.
Home Game: 10% Home and Home: 10%

Independent

11-2 Monmouth The Hawks are in between conferences this year.  Last year they were a part of the Northeast and next year they plan to be in the Big South.  But this year they are struggling to fill their schedule and a road trip to Fargo on 11-2 is a real possibility.  If all 9-7 and 14 options fall through Monmouth will be on Gene Taylor’s speed dial to lock down 11-2.  This has to be a top candidate for a 2-1 home series.  They are located between Trenton, NJ and New York, NY
Home Game: 85% Home and Home: 20%

Pioneer

9-7 and 9-14 Butler, Dayton, Marist, Valparaiso and San Diego Pioneer teams do not offer scholarships so on paper any of their teams would not be in the same class as the worst team in the Missouri Valley Conference.  Home and Homes do not seem to enticing but maybe the NDSU staff wants to get on the good side of Dayton and Butler who are looking to join the Catholic 7 in the new Big East.  Or maybe those 2 schools need some money to get out of their conferences to join the new Big East.
Home Game: 90% Home and Home: 50%

Northeast all have 11-2 open

9-7 Bryant 5 OOC games 3 on the road
Home Game: 1% Home and Home: 20%

9-7 and 9-14 Duquesne 1 OOC game @YSU
Home Game: 80% Home and Home: 30%

9-7 and 9-14 Robert Morris 2 OOC games and both on the road
Home Game: 60% Home and Home: 50%

9-14 Sacred Heart 1 OOC game @Lafayette
Home Game: 80% Home and Home: 10%

9-7 Wagner 4 OOC games with 2 at home
Home Game: 2% Home and Home: 40%

The NEC is so tough to figure out since their conference schedule is not set yet.  With only 6 conference games, that leaves 5-6 OOC games to be fielded by each team.  Sacred Heart and Duquesne have to be at the top of the list for teams to come to Fargodome for a payday.  Bryant is not a real possibility.  Robert Morris has come to Fargo twice before, once in 2010 for the playoffs and the year after at the beginning of the season.  One would think they would want a home and home and maybe it is time NDSU throws the NEC a bone and travels to one of their stadiums.  Wagner who made the 2012 playoffs and beat Colgate on the road in the first round is the best of these teams.  They convinced Syracuse that they count towards bowl eligible wins even though the NEC only offers a max of 40 scholarships, time will tell if they are telling the truth.  The Seahawks are located just across the bridge from Brooklyn and would be a fun venue for East Coast NDSU fans to get to see their beloved Bison.  Long roadtrip for either team so the chances are slim this happens.