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Brad Tastad, Published April 14 2013

Could conference realignment be good deal for NDSU Bison?

A couple of weeks ago, two teams in the same 1-AA division (FBS or whatever it’s officially called) as North Dakota State University that have had great playoff success decided to make the jump to the big-time football sports division known as 1-A. And, if you should need refreshing, that means Georgia Southern and Appalachian State are now in the same division as Louisiana State University, Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Nebraska and everyone else who plays at the top football level. And that begins immediately, as those two teams are no longer eligible for the 1-AA playoffs.

When I read that article, my first thought was obvious: If those two 1-AA powerhouses are leaving to join the top level, NDSU will not be far behind. In fact, I will add to the prediction I made in early January, after NDSU had won their second straight 1-AA championship: Not only will the Bison win their third straight 1-AA title in 2013, but they will do so with an unbeaten record. And, yes, that means NDSU will beat Kansas State in their season opener in August.

Because NDSU has finished 14-1 in each of the past two 1-AA championship-winning seasons, to three-peat as champions with anything less than a perfect record would simply be duplicating what they’ve already accomplished. And the Herd will want to take another step with their third consecutive title, and the only step left to take is to finish with an unbeaten national championship.

After that happens, NDSU will announce it, too, is going to make the jump to the 1-A level immediately. And other schools will follow.

Now, this brings back a thought I’ve had before, but another opportunity has arisen to make the following concept a possibility: If NDSU does make the move, wouldn’t it be great if Montana, Montana State, South Dakota State University, the University of South Dakota, Northern Colorado, the University of North Dakota, Northern Iowa and Southern Utah also decided to take the 1-A plunge?

That way, those nine universities could consolidate into a conference. And let’s see, what name could we give to this new conference?

How about the North Central Conference?

Tastad lives in Portland, N.D.