Bison Begin the Win Streak
The national championship win streak of a college football dynasty began on this date in 2012. NDSU’s Bison football team took home the trophy for 2011’s NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision, beating Sam Houston State’s Bearkats 17-6 in Frisco, Texas.
This win was the first FCS championship for NDSU, and three more followed in consecutive years. The Bison beat Sam Houston State again in 2013, 39 to 13. The next year, the team threepeat, besting the Towson Tigers 35 to 7. Then in 2015, the Bison won a fourth consecutive national championship in a nailbiter against Illinois State, 29 to 27.
The consecutive wins brought much attention as the media spoke of NDSU’s football dynasty. ESPN brought its “College GameDay” broadcast to downtown Fargo in 2013 and 2014. The network returned in 2015 with “SportsCenter on the Road” at the Fargodome.
A 33-game win streak also occurred during this era, until 2014 when the team fell to Northern Iowa 23 to 3 in Cedar Falls.
The repetitive wins came despite turnover at the top. Head coach Craig Bohl left the team in 2014 for the University of Wyoming. Assistant coach Chris Kleiman stepped into the shoes of the most winningest football coach at NDSU, and clinched that fourth title in his first season. Athletic director Gene Taylor also left the school, replaced by Matt Larsen.
The players also came and went, from running back Sam Ojuri to quarterback Brock Jensen to Adam Keller, a four-toed kicker. Some of those players continued in football after their time at NDSU. Former running back John Crocket plays for the Green Bay Packers. Jensen signed with the Miami Dolphins in the 2014 NFL Draft. He went on, however, to teach school in Moorhead.
The Bison’s “drive for five” began in August 2015, but the team lost its opener against the University of Montana. However, the Bison bounced back and entered the playoffs, once again facing the likes of UNI and Montana. And come Saturday, it’s off to Frisco for yet another championship game.
Dakota Datebook written by Jack Dura