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Jeff Kolpack, Published October 15 2010

Kolpack: Bison football no easy guess

This morning, I submitted my letter of resignation. In picking Bison college football games.

I give. Uncle. The white flag is waving.

There was a time in our weekly picks of North Dakota State football in Saturday’s Forum that pegging Bison games was as easy as predicting leaves would fall off trees in the fall.

The record was 9-2 in 2007 and 2008 including a perfect score prediction on one glorious Saturday. The 2008 predictions were the best effort in years by a local scribe considering the Bison opened the season ranked first in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision and maintained it for almost a month.

I wasn’t buying it, and the team finished 6-5. Why Vegas wasn’t calling me, I couldn’t figure out.

Well, now we know why it wasn’t calling. The true colors are showing this year with my 2-4 record and score predictions that are not even close. I have morphed into mediocrity with credibility flailing like Brett Favre’s career.

Then again, even the commissioner of the Missouri Valley Football Conference is stumped.

“You and me both,” Patty Viverito said. “This has never happened in my 25 years, not even close to this.”

What is happening in the Missouri Valley is unprecedented parity. Nobody has more than two wins and nobody has more than two losses in league play. At this rate, everybody is going to finish 4-4.

Viverito got a sarcastic e-mail from a member of the FCS playoff committee wondering who will be the champion if all nine teams are 4-4. NDSU is example No. 1 for this – the Bison are the highest ranked league team nationally, yet are tied for last in the conference standings at 1-2.

For a change, a decade of Northern Iowa-Southern Illinois and everybody else is gone for now. Indiana State has a better overall record than SIU and UNI.

“The bottom teams are a lot better,” Viverito said. “In any given year, you have a certain number of teams that are in their proverbial rebuilding years. We just have a year where everybody is right in the same place. The teams that have dominated are not as dominant and the teams that have struggled in recent years have turned it around in a big way.”

With four missed NDSU predictions, I’ve already equaled my most defeats for an entire season. It won’t get any easier, so perhaps the best thing to do is take a page of philosophy from the great George Constanza.

Whatever I think from now on, I will do the opposite.


Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be heard on the Saturday Morning Sports Show, 9-11 a.m. on WDAY-AM (970). He can be reached at (701) 241-5546.

Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia