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Jeff Kolpack, Published December 13 2012

Kolpack: Georgia Southern should pass on move to FBS

Fargo - The trip to Statesboro, Ga., back in 2006 was a lesson in the history of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. New to this level of football, it was a virtual living museum of success in what formerly was called Division I-AA.

The stadium had to this day the best natural grass field I’ve seen. Georgia Southern University has a lot going for it, with millions of dollars in building projects in recent years, a pleasant climate sans the hot and humid days of summer and ocean beaches not far away.

But GSU doesn’t have everything. This year, it has a student from every state in the union with the exception of North Dakota.

The school wants to change that. When the Eagles play NDSU tonight in the FCS semifinals at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome, GSU wouldn’t mind if the ESPN2 signal found its way to the heart of some high school kid in North Dakota.

Sounds like a plan. We’ll send you one. Oh, and there is one small, tiny stipulation before we let any North Dakotans attend Georgia Southern: You have to stay in the FCS.

Don’t do it. Don’t jump ship. This FCS tournament is too much fun with your triple option and Erk Russell tradition. Why leave this?

You’ll never be Georgia or Georgia Tech, at least not in the Sun Belt Conference if that indeed is the destination. You’ll always be what Troy State is to the Crimson Tide in Alabama: A smaller state school.

And that’s great, because if we’re going to send you a North Dakotan, especially a rural one, we prefer the smaller scale university.

We need you. If you go to the Football Bowl Subdivision and others follow like Appalachian State and Delaware, the next thing you know we’ll be covering a NDSU and Chadron State playoff game because of the rule of finding an FBS conference first before a team can move.

There are no FBS leagues that would take NDSU in our neck of the woods.

We’ve been through this before. A bunch of Division II schools will move to FCS, cut scholarships and the level of football will drop.

Don’t go. There will be no more national titles, just a victory in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl or GoDaddy.com Bowl. What looks more impressive in your Parrish Football Center: an FCS national title or a trophy from the New Orleans Bowl.

We Fargoans are also into the every-state thing. The Fargo Marathon has in the last few years drawn runners from every state, many using the Fargo event as their ticket to running 50 marathons in all 50 states.

Drop the FBS dream and we’ll send you a student. We’ll even find a couple of boosters to pay for it. It’s either that or watch the school try and sell tickets to a Minnesota-Duluth first-round game.

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