11th game options for BisonFARGO — Some of us in the ’80s Generation and older will probably never stop using the phrase of “ringing off the hook” when it comes to constant phone calls. The players on the North Dakota State football team probably have no idea what that means because, well, there are no phone hooks anymore.
By: Jeff Kolpack, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — Some of us in the ’80s Generation and older will probably never stop using the phrase of “ringing off the hook” when it comes to constant phone calls. The players on the North Dakota State football team probably have no idea what that means because, well, there are no phone hooks anymore.
But that was the phrase athletic director Gene Taylor used when asked about an 11th football game for next year, which has yet to be scheduled. You may have heard of two schools that are constantly calling Taylor: Oklahoma and Florida State.
Before anybody does a Frisco Freak Out and calls for tickets right now, know that it is a long shot NDSU would actually take either school up on the offer. For starters, “It would have to be for money they have never offered,” Taylor said. A guess here is that would be $1 million-plus.
Secondly, the Bison head coach just went from a national championship grin to the fetal position. NDSU already has a Football Bowl Subdivision game at Colorado State on Sept. 8, and the thought of playing three straight road games at CSU, Oklahoma and Northern Iowa would make for a sleepless summer for Craig Bohl.
Besides, NDSU may want to see how UNI gets through the early season three-game road gauntlet next season of Wisconsin, Iowa and Youngstown State.
A better option would be for NDSU to send a couple buses down to Cedar Falls on Sept. 8 to pick up the Savannah State (Ga.) squad after it plays the Panthers at the UNI-Dome. Bring the Tigers to Fargo for the week. Maybe throw in free tours of the Hjemkomst Center and Bonanzaville as appetizers.
Seriously, though, Taylor said there are still some FCS options out there. We’ve seen this game being played since NDSU went Division I, just not as often since league affiliation with the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Director of football operations Brian Gordon does most of the scheduling legwork these days, but he doesn’t comment on ongoing discussions. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told 204 times.
Taylor said Northern Arizona and Southern Utah are still looking for games, but everybody is looking for a home game. A national title, Taylor said, hurts more than it helps. Four schools flat-out told NDSU it will not travel to Fargo.
You can joke all you want to about going to Norman or Tallahassee, but if it’s April or May and there still isn’t an 11th game, you may find the Bison head coach in his office studying film of Oklahoma or Florida State.
He’ll also be curled up in the fetal position.
Kolpack is a sports writer at the Fargo Forum