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Jeff Kolpack, Published December 16 2011

Bison football Bohl reflects on playoffs and his history

Fargo - North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl reverted to a little sarcasm – at least it was assumed to be sarcasm – recently when talking about his weekly Monday news conferences with local media outlets.

“As soon as the season ends,” he said, “I get out the calendar and look forward to the next time we have to talk.”

The fact he still has weekly news conferences in the middle of December is a testament to the Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoff system. Bohl, as an assistant at Football Bowl Subdivision schools, has coached in most of the biggest venues and in most of the biggest bowl games in college football.

The FCS format is a whole different animal.

“Playoffs are fun,” he said. “You have an opportunity to keep on playing if you win, and if you don’t, you’re playing very good football teams and you go out and give it your best shot. It’s a great format.”

NDSU hosts Georgia Southern today in the semifinals at the Fargodome. When he was at Nebraska, for instance, Bohl said he remembers battling for poll position late in the regular season.

“I can remember sitting there going, ‘Geez, we got to beat some team by such and such so we’re going to get ‘x’ number of style points,’” he said. “What’s great about this system is that football teams change during the course of the season. This is a new season. You have the opportunity to tee it up. Let’s find out who the best team is.”

Currently at 20 teams, it appears there is momentum to increase the playoff field to 24. NDSU, for instance, is used as a prime example when the Bison – considered the last team to be selected in 2010 – advanced to the quarterfinals.

“There are teams out there in the FCS that had a good season that were left out of the playoffs and deserve to be in the postseason,” said Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Monken.

Like Bohl, Monken has experienced both FCS and FBS systems. He was an assistant at Navy, Georgia Tech and Arizona State. He’s in the camp that he doesn’t think a playoff system will ever happen at the FBS level.

“That’s why the playoffs are great for our level,” he said.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia