For the fifth consecutive year, the North Dakota State Bison are champions of the FCS.
The Bison (13-2) handled Jacksonville State (13-2) with relative ease Saturday afternoon, defeating the Gamecocks, 37-10, for the program’s 12th championship overall, its fifth since joining the FCS in 2004.
The Bison were propelled on offense by the return of quarterback Carson Wentz. The senior missed the team’s last eight games after breaking his wrist on Oct. 17. The NFL prospect passed for nearly 200 yards and a touchdown, and added 79 yards on the ground with another score.
However, it was the Bison defense that really dominated the contest. The unit held Gamecock quarterback Eli Jenkins to just 57 yards passing and forced two interceptions as well.
Jacksonville State came into Saturday’s contest as perhaps the hottest team in the FCS. The top-seeded Gamecocks won 12 in row since nearly taking down Auburn back in week two. However, North Dakota State proved once again why it is the premier program in the FCS.
The question that remains now is: Are the Bison college football’s most prolific dynasty?
The only suitable challenger for that title in the FBS ranks is Alabama. The Crimson Tide undoubtedly face increased hurdles — from the national spotlight to pressure from fans and boosters, and on other fronts as well. Strictly in terms of results, however, the Bison come out ahead.
Alabama is going for its fourth championship in the Nick Saban era on Monday, but that would “only” mark the fourth title in seven seasons for the Crimson Tide. It’s a wildly impressive achievement, but not quite five in five like North Dakota State.
The other comparable dynasty is Mount Union, which plays in Division III. The Raiders won their 12th Division III title back in December, and have appeared in the championship game in each of the last 11 seasons — they’ve won five of those.
The Raiders also own a staggering regular season win streak of 103 games. Still, not even Mount Union can top the Bison’s streak of five straight titles.
North Dakota State might not have the extended consistency to its dominance that Mount Union does, but in terms of grabbing the ultimate prize, no one can currently top this remarkable Bison run.