When the NDSU Bison Football team agrees to play in a game, there is a certainty that they will come to play. Be it championship games or the FCS kickoff game or the occasional game against the "big" schools, they will always compete. Wins are never a guarantee, but there have been far more wins then losses over the last half decade.
When it was announced that NDSU would play against Iowa, I was excited. They're no Ohio State but are still a high end program. Then as last year happened today's game grew in magnitude. The reality that a team that was very much in play for the FBS playoff would be one of the team's first opponents was mind boggling. At one point it was set as the first game of the season then came the announcements about Charleston Southern and Eastern Washington. Having to play two top ten FCS teams to open the season is no cake walk, and it proved out that way with the consecutive overtime matches.
Even so, I don't think anyone considered those games to be on the same level as today's contest, yet the same result happened. When the clock hit all zeroes, NDSU had the higher score. This time in regulation, which I can't really quantify right now. How it took overtimes the last two week yet just 60 minutes today is quite a feat.
I didn't know if the Bison would win today. Some say they never doubted, and I'm not going to call them liars, but it is hard to believe that. The #13 team in the highest division of college football lost to the force from Fargo. The last game I can compare this to was the App State win over Michigan, but that Michigan team was bad. These Hawkeyes are no joke, yet as the game progressed the lines continued to get push for the Bison. It's crazy!
So many big time plays by our team. None bigger, I'd say, then Cam Pederson's kick to win it though. After missing a 50 yarder and not getting another chance, save for extra points, he came in and nailed the kick! Great job by the young man!
Now NDSU gets to be the talk of the College Football world. For days, weeks, months and even years this game will be mentioned from coast to coast. All that and a $500,000 check, not a bad outcome by any means!
But I don't think we will know the true significance of this win for a year, minimum. What it will do for the landscape of College Football. How it will increase the national visibility of NDSU even more. How recruiting will be upgraded after today's result. In the post game presser, coach Klieman said he would take any of the championships over today's win and I understand the logic behind that. But I don't agree.
This is the single biggest victory in the history of NDSU athletics. Bigger then the five championships. Bigger then the win over Oklahoma in the NCAA basketball tournament. Bigger then any of the other accomplishments that have been achieved by the rest of the athletics department. If you want to debate it, please do so in the comments! But I don't think there is much debating it.
Today wasn't unlike an earthquake and we have only just the faintest idea of what the aftershocks will bring. So let's enjoy this moment but like the team we cheer for, not get fat and happy off the one win. There's still work to be done and I, like many of you, am going to enjoy the ride!