Stepping it up
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 13:09
When I was younger I was faced with this dilemma: Wrestling or Basketball? I wasn’t exactly ecstatic about the idea of wearing a spandex singlet, so by default I chose the latter.
The first league I ever participated in was a complete joke. If there was a Ricky Rubio of the North, I was it. After a few years of posting LeBron like numbers, I made the dauntless decision to try-out for my town’s traveling team. It was disastrous and I landed on the “C” team.
After the first week of practice we were scheduled to play the B team in a scrimmage. Reluctantly, I showed-up and awaited our butt whooping. Now, are team wasn’t exactly over-matched physically, but what did separate us from the B team was our lack of basketball skill.
During the game, something happen that was hard to explain. At first we struggled to keep up but about half way through we started playing like an actual basketball team. We went on to beat them in the scrimmage and it was the highlight of the year.
What I’m getting at is the Bison play better against stronger opponents. Much like my C team when we played the B squad. Naturally, you go into the game with the mind set of being the underdog on principle. Believing, “we have nothing to lose in this game; our program is getting paid to play here might as well come away with the victory.”
Yeah, three straight wins against FBS opponents is nice but it’s all a part of a bigger scheme. If we can beat irrelevant Big 10 or Mountain West, why shouldn’t a bigger program be waiting at our doorstep with an invite to The Coliseum or Horseshoe?
One may argue, “Why would a National Championship contender put their season on the line against the Bison?
Short answer: Strength of schedule. After this season the four playoff team format will be implemented. Programs will be forced to beef up their strength of schedule to solidify one of the top four spots. And even though the Bison are from the FCS, wouldn’t a win against defending National Champs look sexier than a win against a sub-par team from one of the BCS conference? (For example: Kansas, Minnesota, or Colorado State)
Not only do we strengthen up a contenders schedule, we get rewarded with more money. A reported $250,000 will be received by NDSU for playing in Fort Collins. That alone is enough to have us play any team in the country. Take in account the glory that would come with upsetting a big time program, in their house! (A la Appalachian State) Who wouldn’t want to see the Bison roll into The Big House and steal a victory in Michigan against a legitimate Big 10 team?
I know this is a pipe-dream, so for now we will take it one FBS opponent at a time. Maybe one day we will get the chance to play a big time contender, but then again, maybe not. All I know is that we can be sure, like my C team, the Bison will be ready to step up to the challenge.