FARGO - North Dakota State will get its chance to play football against the University of Oregon.
They'll just have to wait. A while.
Last week we reported that rescheduling the postponed 2020 game "was close", NDSU announced today a Sept. 2028 date with the Ducks. The Bison will receive $675,000 for the game with a one million dollar buyout from Oregon to get out of the game. NDSU was supposed to open the 2020 season with the Ducks, but the game was postponed after the PAC-12 canceled all non-conference games because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's going to be a little further out than we hoped for an anticipated game, but that's the reality of football scheduling nowadays. " NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen told WDAY Sports Director Dom Izzo last week.
The Bison have three FBS games now on their future schedules. Next season NDSU will play at Arizona, in 2024 at Colorado and in 2028 at Oregon. NDSU deputy athletic director Todd Phelps is not optimistic about future FBS game. "As far as the conversations, the well is dry. There's no one that is hinting at a possibility. It's either a 'firm no' or 'talk to us in a couple of years, we're not interested right now.'
Phelps added: "there are no iron in the fire for scheduling at the FBS level."
The Bison did add four future non-conference games all FCS opponents. NDSU will play a home and home with East Tennessee State out of the Southern Conference. The Bison will play in Johnson City, Tennessee on September 14, 2024. The Buccaneers made the FCS Playoffs in 2018, just three years after reinstating football at the school. ETSU will return to Fargo for the season opener on September 5th.
The University of St. Thomas, which will begin its Division I transition in July, will play in Fargo on November 22, 2025. That year the Bison were slated to have a bye week the final week of the season, something that Phelps and head coach Matt Entz were not a fan of. "When that bye rolled around, everything in the Pioneer League was wide open, we reached out to St. Thomas first, we thought it was a good regional matchup." Phelps added.
The Tommies will receive $200,000 for the game. St. Thomas will play Northern Iowa this year and has future dates with Missouri Valley Football Conference opponents in 2023 (South Dakota), 2024 ( hosting UNI) and 2026 (North Dakota).
NDSU also added a single game with Austin Peay University for September 19, 2026. The Governors won the Ohio Valley Conference in 2019, en route to losing in the FCS quarterfinals to Montana State. They posted a 4-5 record during the FCS spring season. This will be the Governors second trip to Fargo, they opened the 2008 season in Fargo, which was a 41-6 Bison win. Austin Peay will receive $220,000 for the game.
NDSU also moved its previously scheduled 2025 game at Central Arkansas to September 12, 2026 to accommodate both schools.
With these announcements, the Bison's future schedules are set for 2022 and 2026. NDSU potentially could be opening the 2023 season with Eastern Washington at U.S. Bank Stadium, but still has openings in 2024 and 2025, which are both 12 game seasons.
As far as destination games, like U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, those are high on Phelps' radar to make happen. "We'll look in region and out of region, and to make sense for our fan base, in Dallas or Las Vegas. We're open to opportunities and ideas to drive some revenue like we did with Target Field."
There may be a potential reunion in the Lone Star State on the horizon as well.
"We've had people inquire about what happens in Frisco, we've had people in that region reach out to us, who you did a showcase game in Frisco, knowing what the fan base brings."
FUTURE NON-CONFERENCE GAMES FOR NDSU
2021 - Albany ($250,000) and Valparaiso (240,000), at Towson (home and home)
2022 - Drake ($230,000) and North Carolina A&T (240,000), at Arizona
2023 - Maine ($250,000) and at Central Arkansas (home and home)
2024 - at Colorado, at East Tennessee State (home and home) and Towson (home and home)
2025 - St. Thomas ($200,000)
2026 - East Tennessee State (home and home), at Central Arkansas (home and home), Austin Peay ($220,000)
FBS games against Power 5 schools 64% Destination games in Vegas, Minneapolis or Dallas 36%
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