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Published November 24 2010

Forum editorial: The Bison pull rabbit out of hat

To say it’s been a long time coming is an understatement. But on Saturday, the North Dakota State University Bison football team will host a playoff game. The 7-4 Bison, who haven’t looked like a good team in every game this season, got a playoff slot in an NCAA division where 7-4 was a fairly common record for teams that made the playoffs. The Bison had a few things going for them, not the least was an early season win against Kansas, a team from a major bowl championship conference.

Also, NDSU’s chances for a slot in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff certainly were helped by a bid of $100,000 to host the game, which is $70,000 more than the required minimum. The school needs to sell 9,000 tickets to reach the NCAA bid, a bar that will be cleared easily. Ticket sales for the 6 p.m. game have been brisk. The Fargodome seats approximately 19,000 at capacity for a football game.

That 7-4 regular season record looks stellar when compared to last year’s dismal 3-8. The turnaround has not been smooth, given injuries and an offense that tended to sputter when it needed to perform. Last week’s 3-0 loss in Missouri, for example, was not the stuff of a championship team.

But the Bison are in. Robert Morris University of Pittsburgh is coming to Fargo. RMU is 8-2, but has not been on the radar of Missouri Valley Conference teams. Few of the teams RMU plays have faced the Bison. It’s tough to tell by records and opponents which team has the edge. The Bison certainly will have home-field advantage. RMU has to travel across the country and then play in an unfamiliar dome, where the crowd promises to be very noisy.

Our congratulations go to Coach Craig Bohl, his talented team and the athletic administrators at NDSU. Just a few days ago it seemed a playoff berth for the Bison was a long shot. But they did it. They pulled the rabbit out of the hat. The next step is a win on Saturday.


Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.