North Dakota State Bison football
|North Dakota State Bison Football|
2nd year, 15–1 (.938)
|Stadium surface||AstroTurf Magic Carpet II (2012)|
|Location||Fargo, North Dakota|
|League||NCAA Division I FCS|
|Conference||Missouri Valley Football Conference|
Great West (2004–2007)|
North Central (1922–2003)
|All-time record||681–370–35 (.643)|
|Postseason bowl record||7–5 (.583)|
18–1 (Div. I FCS)|
30–12 (Div. II)
|Claimed national titles||
1925, 1932, 1935, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Green and Yellow
|Fight song||On Bison|
|Marching band||Gold Star Marching Band|
South Dakota State University (Dakota Marker)|
University of North Dakota (Nickel Trophy)
The North Dakota State Bison football program represents North Dakota State University in college football at the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision level and competes in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Bison play in the 19,000 seat Fargodome located in Fargo, ND. The Bison have won 12 National Championships and 31 Conference Championships and are the four-time defending NCAA Division I-FCS National Champions (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). NDSU has the record for the longest winning streak in Division I-FCS which stands at 33 consecutive games spanning from 2012 to 2014. It is also tied for the 3rd longest streak in NCAA football during the past 50 years. In the final AP Football Poll of the 2013-14 season; after their third consecutive National Championship, North Dakota State finished with 17 votes which ranked them at #29 in all of D1 football, the highest of any team in the history of FCS football. Since 2011, the North Dakota State Bison have a record of 58-3 (.951) including an ongoing 16 game playoff win streak, and have won 4 straight FCS championships (The only FCS team to do so), making them the most successful college football program this decade at any level. The Bison are 112-30 (.789) since moving to Division I in 2004. Since 1964, the Bison have had only 3 losing seasons and an overall record of 469-132-4 (.779) through that 51 year span, one of the best in all of college football. Of all teams established after 1894, only Oklahoma has won a higher percentage of their games than NDSU. ESPN labeled the Bison Football program as the 'Titan' of the FCS.
- 1 History
- 2 Records and streaks
- 3 Fargodome
- 4 National championships
- 5 Record against FBS competition
- 6 Record against Missouri Valley Football Conference
- 7 Conference championships
- 8 Playoff history
- 9 Head coaching history
- 10 All-Time statistical leaders
- 11 Notable players
- 12 Stadiums
- 13 References
- 14 External links
The Bison fielded their first team in 1894 and were originally known as the NDAC Farmers. From the early 1900s to 1921, the North Dakota Agricultural College (Later renamed North Dakota State University) mascot was the Aggies. The first coach for the new NDAC football team was Henry Bolley, who also fielded the first football program at Purdue University in 1887 and was their first Quarterback. He challenged the University of North Dakota to a football match in 1890, but did not have enough players until 1894, the first official year of football at NDSU. In 1902, Eddie Cochems, known as the father of the forward pass was hired as head coach of the Bison where he experimented building an offense around his new technique; which subsequently became legal in the 1906 college football season; Cochems went 9-1 in his 2 year stint as head coach. The college hired famed Michigan Halfback Paul Magoffin, the first player to ever catch a forward pass in 1907, as head coach, but he left for the head coaching position offered to him by George Washington University a year later. The 1918 season was cancelled due to the outbreak of the Spanish Flu in conjunction with the first World War. The 1943 and 1944 seasons were also cancelled due to World War II and the shortage of eligible players. Keeping with their Michigan favoritism, the NDAC hired Stanley Borleske in 1919 to coach the football, basketball, and baseball teams. After six years of coaching and a 36-36-7 record, Borleske left for Fresno State but is largely credited with developing the Bison mascot. It was well known he was not a fan of the "Aggies" mascot, wanting something 'strong and fierce' he came up with the 'Bison' which remains the mascot today. He also coined the term "Thundering Herd" which is still a common reference to the NDSU Bison Football fanbase.
1922–2003: Division II
In 1921, NDSU became a charter member of the now-defunct North Central Conference, which they remained affiliated with for 82 years until 2003. Their primary rival during this time were the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux (who have since changed their nickname) whom they competed with to win the Nickel Trophy. As members of Division II, they won 8 national championships with an overall record of 347-94-4 having only 2 losing seasons from 1964-2003.
2004–Present: Division I (FCS)
In 2004, all North Dakota State athletic teams moved to Division I. From 2004 to 2007, the Bison were members of the Great West Football Conference. Since 2008 they have been affiliated with the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Since moving to Division I, their primary rival are the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits whom they compete with each year for the Dakota Marker. The team's former head coach was Craig Bohl, who led the Bison from 2003 to 2014, holds the school record for most wins by a head coach. At the beginning of the 2015 football season the Bison had a Division I record of 117-30 and has been coached by Chris Klieman since 2014.
The NDSU Bison are the only FCS program to ever be ranked higher #34 in the AP National Football Poll. After the 2011 Championship Game, the Bison became only the second team in FCS History to receive votes in the final AP Top 25 with 2, putting them at #32 overall (FCS Record); the other being Appalachian State who receive 5 votes after their third consecutive FCS Championship in 2007 and ended at #34. After the 2012 season, the Bison again broke the barrier and became the first ever FCS team to breach the poll twice by receiving 1 vote and ending at #36 in the nation. Due to the overwhelming support and attention NDSU got during this run, ESPN announced that it would host its ESPN College GameDay program in downtown Fargo on September 21, 2013. The Bison ended up beating Delaware State 51-0 later that day. The Bison finished the 2013 regular season with an undefeated 11-0 record, their first perfect season since 1990. The Bison became the first FCS team to ever finish the regular season ranked on the AP Poll at #34 with 1 vote. After a perfect season (15-0) and winning their third consecutive championship game. After the 2013 season, the Bison were ranked #29 in the National Division I AP Poll, tallying a massive 17 votes, far beyond what any other FCS team had ever received.
In 2014, after beating their 5th consecutive FBS team, Iowa State, and their subsequent game against Weber State; which was their 26th straight victory, ESPN again announced they would bring their College Gameday program back to downtown Fargo on September 13, 2014 to cover the Bison's amazing run for the second straight year. The visit marked first time the show has ever visited the same FCS school twice and only the 6th time they have visited a non-FBS school since 1993.The Bison won an FCS record 33 straight games from 2012 to 2014, which is also the 3rd longest in the history of Division 1 NCAA football. From 2010 to 2014, the Bison did not lose a single road game, a span of 22 games. They also have an ongoing winning streak of 20 home games (since 2012) and 12 Consecutive Playoff Wins (FCS Record). The Bison have won 15 straight home openers since their 1999 loss to Ferris State and are 21-1 in home openers since the Fargodome opened in 1992.
Collectively, the Bison have won 31 conference championships, and 12 national championships. They were selected as NCAA College Division II champions by polling three times (1965, 1968, 1969), won the NCAA Division II National Football Championship five times (1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990), and have won the NCAA Division I Football Championship four times in consecutive seasons (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014). From 2012 to 2014, the Bison had an FCS record of 33 straight wins, which is tied for the third longest in modern NCAA history. The Bison football program has had only 3 losing seasons since 1964.
Historically, only 5 teams established after 1893; Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Florida, and Clemson have won more total games than NDSU's 681.
The 2013 Bison
The 2013 Bison team is considered by many to be one of the best teams in the history of the FCS having a perfect 15-0 season (the first program to do that since Marshall in 1996) and winning their third consecutive national championship (tying an FCS Record), with a majority of the starters playing in all 3 national championship games and going 43-2 in their 3 year stint, a number unrivaled in Division 1 FCS football. The Bison only lost 2 games in the three year span by a combined 6 points. Through 2013, the Bison outscored their opponents by a combined 581-169 (+412) on the season; only two other teams in FCS history have had a larger point spread through a season (1996 Marshall +448) and (1999 Georgia Southern +485). Unlike the Marshall and Georgia Southern teams, NDSU's defense held their opponents to just 127 points in the regular season (11.5 ppg) and just 11 ppg through the playoffs that year. NDSU ran through the playoffs with an average margin of victory of 32.75 points, just behind the 1996 Marshall team which averaged a 34 point spread. In 2013, the Bison tallied 3 shutouts, and held 9 teams to 10 points or less including a streak of 9 consecutive Quarters without allowing a point. The offense was known for a ground and pound strategy which wore opponents down and controlled the time of possession, averaging over 34 minutes of possession per game in 2013 while allowing an average of just 250 yards of opposing offense, much of which came at the end of the second half when the Bison subbed in second stringers. From 2011-2013, the Bison defense in the 12 playoff games they played allowed an average of just 9.3 points per game, an FCS Record. The only playoff loss the seniors experienced in their 4 year career was the 38-31 OT loss at Eastern Washington in the FCS Quarterfinals in 2010 on controversial call during a cold, rainy night; Eastern Washington won the National Championship that year. The span of seasons that culminated for NDSU in the years after that overtime loss is arguably the best and most dominate years Division 1 football has seen from a single team.
Records and streaks
- 33 Consecutive Wins (2012-2014) (3rd Longest in past 50 years of NCAA Division I football.)
- 30 Straight Weeks at #1 in the FCS Coaches Poll (2012-2014)
- 8 Consecutive Weeks with at least 1 vote in the AP Top 25 College Football Poll (2014)
- Finished 29th in the final AP Top 25 College Football Poll of the 2013-2014 season
- 22 Consecutive Road Wins (2012-2014)
- 18 Consecutive Wins against the Missouri Valley Conference (2012-2014) (Conference Record)
Division II records
8 National Championships (1965, 1968, 1969, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990)
7 National Championship Game Appearances (1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990)
- 4 Consecutive National Championships (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) FCS Record
- 5 Consecutive Winning Seasons (48 winning seasons in last 51 years)
- 5 Consecutive Playoff Appearances (2010-Present)
- 5 Consecutive Wins against FBS Competition (2010-Present) FCS Record
- 38 Consecutive Non-Conference Home wins (Ongoing)
- 13 Consecutive Home Playoff Wins (Last home playoff loss against (DII) MSU-Mankato in 1991)
- 16 Consecutive Playoff/Post-season Wins (2011-Present)
- 16 Consecutive Home Opening Wins (1999-Present) (21/22 Overall in Fargodome)
- 23 Consecutive Home Wins (2012-Present)
- 64 Consecutive Games without being shut out (2010-Present)
- 4 Consecutive Conference Championships (2011-Present)
The Bison have played in the Fargodome since it opened in 1993. It holds 18,700 for football games and over 19,000 including standing room only tickets. The record attendance at the Fargodome is 19,108 when the Bison played Missouri State on October 12, 2013. The Bison have never lost a playoff game in the Fargodome, going a perfect 13-0. The last home playoff loss the Bison suffered was in 1991 against MSU-Mankato when they were a member of Division II and still playing at Dacotah Field. The tremendous crowd noise caused by the Fargodome's steel roof disrupts many opposing offenses and creates one of the best home field advantages in college football
Records in the Fargodome
- Playoffs: 13-0 (1.000)
- Home Openers: 21-1 (.955)
- Overall Record: 121-21 (.852)
- Last Bison Home Loss: Oct. 13, 2012, Indiana State (17-14).
In 2011, the Fargodome was ranked as the 49th best stadium in college football. The article cites, "There aren't many indoor venues in college football, but the few that do exist at the non-FBS level are very unfriendly to any visiting team. That effect is only amplified in a playoff atmosphere." The Fargodome is routinely ranked as one of the loudest college football stadiums in the country. On December 10, 2011 in a game against Lehigh, the crowd noise was measured at 111 decibels, comparable to when the New Orleans Saints play in the Superdome. During the 2011 playoffs, the decibel level spiked past 130 decibels several times but was not an official measurement. On December 14, 2012 in an FCS semifinal game against Georgia Southern, the crowd noise exceeded the 115 decibel mark and was known to be one of the loudest games in NDSU history. The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead conducted an informal study of Fargodome crowd noise from the press box during a playoff semifinal game last December. The readings showed a high of 111 decibels following a late touchdown by quarterback Brock Jensen. The decibel meter consistently read 102-106 throughout that game, according to The Forum. http://www.ndsu.edu/news/view/detail/11083/ During the 2013 Furman playoff game, the crowd noise was measured at 115 decibels. The record for the loudest indoor stadium crowd was set in 2013 at the Sacramento Kings stadium Sleep Train Arena at 126 decibels. Due to the notorious noise, the Fargodome is sometimes referred to as the "Thunderdome".
North Dakota State has won 12 national championships, eight as a member of Division II and four as a member of Division I (FCS). The Bison have been the runner-up three times (1967, 1981, 1984).
|1965||Darrell Mudra||NCAA DII by Polling||11-0||20-7||Grambling State|
|1968||Ron Erhardt||NCAA DII by Polling||10-0||23-14||Arkansas State|
|1969||Ron Erhardt||NCAA DII by Polling||10-0||30-3||Montana|
|1983||Don Morton||NCAA DII Playoff||12-1||41-21||Central State|
|1985||Earle Solomonson||NCAA DII Playoff||11-2-1||35-7||North Alabama|
|1986||Earle Solomonson||NCAA DII Playoff||13-0||27-7||South Dakota|
|1988||Rocky Hager||NCAA DII Playoff||14-0||35-21||Portland State|
|1990||Rocky Hager||NCAA DII Playoff||14-0||51-11||IUP|
|2011||Craig Bohl||NCAA DI 20 Team Playoff||14-1||17-6||Sam Houston State|
|2012||Craig Bohl||NCAA DI 20 Team Playoff||14-1||39-13||Sam Houston State|
|2013||Craig Bohl||NCAA DI 24 Team Playoff||15-0||35-7||Towson|
|2014||Chris Klieman||NCAA DI 24 Team Playoff||15-1||29-27||Illinois State|
Record against FBS competition
|2009||Iowa State||Big 12||L||17-34||3-3|
|2012||Colorado State||Mtn West||W||22-7||6-3|
|2013||Kansas State||Big 12||W||24-21||7-3|
|2014||Iowa State||Big 12||W||34-14||8-3|
Record against Missouri Valley Football Conference
North Dakota State has a winning record against every team in the Missouri Valley Conference except the UNI Panthers.
|South Dakota State||59-40-5||.591|
Division I (FCS)
North Dakota State has appeared in 5 straight NCAA Division I FCS playoff berths and have an overall record of 18-1 in post-season play since becoming eligible in 2008 including a current record streak of 16 consecutive playoff wins from 2012 to present. NDSU has reached the playoff Quarterfinals for 5 consecutive seasons and the championship game for 4 consecutive seasons. Since the beginning of 2011, NDSU has won 4 National Championships and gone 58-3 which included a 33 game winning streak from 2012 to 2014; the longest streak in both NDSU and D1-FCS history. NDSU is one of only two college football teams (Division I, Division II, and Division III) in history to win four straight championship games, the other being Augustana who won four consecutive Division III Championships between 1983 and 1986. The Bison have never lost a playoff game in the Fargodome, going a perfect 13-0, the last home playoff loss was in 1992 against MSU-Mankato while NDSU was still a member of Division II. The ESPN television program College GameDay hosted their program from downtown Fargo on September 13, 2013 to cover NDSU's run and returned for a second season on September 13, 2014.
|2010||#16||2-1|| First Round
| Robert Morris
#4 Montana State
#5 Eastern Washington
|2011||#2||4-0|| Second Round
| #17 James Madison
#3 Georgia Southern
#1 Sam Houston State
|2012||#1||4-0|| Second Round
| #19 South Dakota State
#6 Georgia Southern
#5 Sam Houston State
|2013||#1||4-0|| Second Round
#11 Coastal Carolina
#15 New Hampshire
|2014||#2||4-0|| Second Round
| #14 South Dakota State
#6 Coastal Carolina
#19 Sam Houston State
#5 Illinois State
North Dakota State appeared in 23 NCAA Division II Playoff Berth's from 1964 to 2003. During this stretch NDSU compiled a massive 347-94-4 winning almost 80% of their games for 4 decades and claiming 8 Championships along the way. NDSU appeared in 7 out of 10 Championship games from 1981-1990; including appearing in 5 straight Championship games, an unrivaled number in DII as they posted an astounding 111-16-2(.875) mark from 1981-1990. While this is a startling record, from 1964 to 1973 the Bison went 90-12-1(.887) which included a 35 game unbeaten streak.
|1964||1-0||Winner||Mineral Water Bowl||Western State||14-13||Darrell Mudra|
|1965||1-0||Champions||Pecan Bowl||Grambling State||20-7||Darrell Mudra|
|1967||0-1||Runner Up||Pecan Bowl||Texas-Arlington||13-10||Ron Erhardt|
|1968||1-0||Champions||Pecan Bowl||Arkansas State||23-14||Ron Erhardt|
|1969||1-0||Champions||Camellia Bowl||Montana||30-3||Ron Erhardt|
|1970||1-0||3rd Place||Camellia Bowl||Montana||31-16||Ron Erhardt|
|1976||1-1||3rd Place||Semifinals||Montana State||10-3||Jim Wacker|
|1977||1-1||3rd Place||Semifinals||Jacksonville State||31-7||Jim Wacker|
|1981||2-1||Runner Up||Championship||Southwest Texas State||42-13||Don Morton|
|1982||1-1||3rd Place||Semifinals||UC Davis||19-14||Don Morton|
|1983||3-0||Champions||Championship||Central State||26-17||Don Morton|
|1984||2-1||Runner Up*||Championship||Troy State||18-17||Don Morton|
|1985||3-0||Champions||Championship||North Alabama||35-7||Earle Solomonson|
|1986||3-0||Champions||Championship||South Dakota||27-7||Earle Solomonson|
|1988||4-0||Champions||Championship||Portland State||35-21||Rocky Hager|
|1989||1-1||Quarterfinals||Jacksonville State||21-17||Rocky Hager|
|1991||0-1||1st Round||Mankato State||27-7||Rocky Hager|
|1992||1-1||Quarterfinals||Pittsburg State||38-37(OT)||Rocky Hager|
|1994||1-1||Quarterfinals||North Dakota||14-7||Rocky Hager|
|1995||1-1||Quarterfinals||Pittsburg State||9-7||Rocky Hager|
|1997||0-1||1st Round||Northwest Missouri State||39-28||Bob Babich|
|2000||2-1||Semifinals||Delta State||34-16||Bob Babich|
- At the end of the 1984 championship game NDSU took the lead on a field goal making it 17-15 with 1:36 left; after being on the Troy State 2-yard line and settling for 3 points. Troy State subsequently drove down the field with no timeouts to the Bison's 33 yard line with :15 remaining. With apparent confusion on the field Troy State (known since 2005 as simply Troy) rushed the field goal team out on the field and freshman kicker Ted Clem kicked the longest field goal in Troy history of 50 yards as time expired to give the Trojans the victory.
Head coaching history
Chris Klieman is the 30th and current head coach of the Bison who has a 15-1 record as head coach since 2014. Craig Bohl holds the record for most wins in school history with 104 in his 10 year career averaging over 10 wins per season. Rocky Hager holds the record for most conference titles won with 5.
|#||Coach||Years Active||Record||Conference Titles|
|1||Henry Luke Bolley||1894–1899||7-8-1||No Affiliation|
|2||Jack Harrison||1900–1901||15-1-1||No Affiliation|
|3||Eddie Cochems||1902–1903||9-1-0||No Affiliation|
|4||A. L. Marshall||1904–1905||4-7-1||No Affiliation|
|5||Gil Dobie||1906–1907||8-0-0||No Affiliation|
|6||Paul Magoffin||1908||2-3-0||No Affiliation|
|7||Arthur Reuber||1909–1912||12-7-1||No Affiliation|
|8||Howard Wood||1913–1914||5-5-2||No Affiliation|
|9||Paul J. Davis||1915–1917||10-7-1||No Affiliation|
|10||Stanley Borleske||1919–1921, 1923–1924, 1928||20-18-5||0|
|14||Stan Kostka||1941, 1946–1947||8-17-0||0|
|15||Robert A. Lowe||1942–1945||3-9-2||0|
All-Time statistical leaders
- Passing Yards: 451 - Steve Walker (2006)
- Rushing Yards: 263 - Tyler Roehl (2007)
- Receiving Yards: 232 - Len Kretchman (1988)
- Passing Yards: 2,874 - Carson Wentz (2014)
- Rushing Yards: 1,920 - John Crockett (2014)
- Receiving Yards: 1,191 - Zach Vraa (2013)
- Field Goals Made: 29‡ - Adam Keller (2014)
- Points By a Kicker: 145‡ - Adam Keller (2014)
- Passing Yards: 7,651 - Brock Jensen (2010-2014)
- Rushing Yards: 4,700 - Lamar Gordon (1997-2001)
- Receiving Yards: 2,732 - Kole Heckendorf (2005-2008)
- Field Goals Made: 53 - Adam Keller (2011-2015)
- Career Starts: 61‡ - Christian Dudzik (2011-2015)
- Wins By a Quarterback: 47‡ - Brock Jensen (2010-2014)
‡Denotes FCS Record
- Jeff Bentrim
- Tyrone Braxton
- Paul Cornick
- Craig Dahl
- Mike Dragosavich
- Lamar Gordon
- Phil Hansen
- Kole Heckendorf
- Ramon Humber
- Joe Mays
- Steve Nelson
- Stacy Robinson
- Tyler Roehl
- Nick Schommer
- Travis White
- Brock Jensen
- Scott Schutt
- Billy Turner
- Ryan Smith
- Sam Ojuri
- Marcus Williams
- Bryan Shepherd
- John Crockett
- Kyle Emanuel
- "North Dakota State Bison". GoBison.com.
- Pete Volk. "The rise of FCS football: Like so many other things, it's about recruiting". SBNation.com. Vox Media.
- "NDSU Quick Facts". GoBison.com.
- Haley, Craig. "In the FCS Huddle: FCS champ North Dakota State goes back-to-back". Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- Jeff Kolpack. "Montana, NDSU boast two of best teams in FCS history". INFORUM.
- "Ranking the Greatest Stadiums in College Football, Final 2011 Edition". Bleacher Report. 2011-12-05. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- "Fcs Preview | Indiana Sports Page Football". iHigh.com. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- "I Can't Hear You" (PDF). Media.nola.com. Retrieved 2013-10-19.
- "NDSU fans reach 115 decibels at playoff game - NDSU News (NDSU)". ndsu.edu.
- "Brock Jensen - 2013 Football". North Dakota State. Retrieved 12 May 2014.