FARGO - One of North Dakota State's most anticipated football games may get a second chance.
NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen told WDAY Sports Director Dom Izzo that talks are ongoing with the Bison and the University of Oregon about re-scheduling their 2020 season opener that was canceled.
"There's absolutely mutual interest, we're just trying to find the right date at this point. Oregon has a number of FCS games already scheduled out so that creates a logjam, but we're getting close. " Larsen said.
The Bison originally scheduled the game with Oregon in August of 2015 with a guaranteed payday of $650,000. The game was slated for September 5th and was tabbed by ESPN as one of the most anticipated games of the 2020 college football season. All of that came to a crashing halt with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The anticipation for all of our fanbase for that game was really high. And you look at the team we would have taken the field with, potentially could have been one of the best NDSU teams ever. We would have had a great turnout, there's no guarantees you win, but we would have a great effort out there."
The PAC-12 conference announced in the middle of July that non-conference games were going to be canceled. Eventually the PAC-12 delayed the start of its season until November. Now it appears the Bison and Ducks will have new life.
"We're hopeful to have something here at least before next football season in terms of rescheduled and on the books." Larsen said. "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. "
The missed out game took on added significance during the NFL Draft when former Bison quarterback Trey Lance was selected with the third overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers and then former Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell was drafted with the seventh overall pick by the Detroit Lions.
Oregon is one of the rare Power 5 teams that has consistently scheduled FCS teams. The Ducks have games against five FCS teams over the next six years.
OREGON FUTURE FCS GAMES
2021 - Stony Brook (September 18th)
2022 - Eastern Washington (September 10th)
2023 - Portland State (September 2nd)
2024 - Idaho (August 24th)
2025 - Montana State (August 30th)
2026 - Portland State (September 19th)
NDSU has two FBS games scheduled, in 2022 at Arizona and 2024 at Colorado. The Bison have non-conference games scheduled out as far as 2025, a road game at Central Arkansas.