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A good month for NDSU

FARGO — North Dakota State will close November with a couple of practices and some weight training work. It’s been a pretty good month.

“It’s been an exceptional month,” head coach Craig Bohl said. “I think our football team has gotten better. Now it’s another chapter, another season.”

NDSU defeated Illinois State, Youngstown State and South Dakota in November to complete an 11-0 regular season and earn the No. 1 overall seed in the FCS playoffs. NDSU is one of eight teams to get a first-round bye and will play the winner of Furman and South Carolina State on Dec. 7.

There was still some head scratching by the head coach on Monday over the playoff field, most notably only two Missouri Valley Football Conference teams being selected. He thought at least three and possibly four should have made it.

“I think the competition deserves that, however the selection committee saw it otherwise,” Bohl said.

The Division I FCS selection committee used the Simple Ratings System for the first time as part of its criteria. The rankings were released on the NCAA website, but the methodology on how the ratings were tabulated has not been made public.

The Simple Ratings System had 11-1 Eastern Illinois ahead of NDSU, although the committee gave the Bison the top nod.

Youngstown State was rated 24th, Northern Iowa 31st, and Southern Illinois 32nd. It’s probably why Missouri Valley Football commissioner Patty Viverito’s reaction to the playoff field was “disappointed, but not surprised.”

She said Youngstown, SIU and UNI each needed to win one more game.

“I know they were in the mix until the bitter end,” Viverito said. “Each of them had some things on their resume that didn’t make it easy for the committee to select them.”

At least NDSU is in the opposite bracket of South Dakota State, which wasn’t the case last year. The Bison and Jackrabbits played in the second round.

Asked if the Valley did any lobbying on conference rematches so soon in the playoffs, Viverito said, “Let’s just say our feelings on that matter were well known.”

Jeff Kolpack
Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.