« NDSU Bison

Ranked

by Dan Gunderson

Whenever I see a North Dakota State University fan hold up a sign that says, “Bring On ‘Bama!”, I cringe. The difference between the top team in the Football Championship Subdivision and the top team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, Alabama University, is vast.

Think Pacific Ocean vast. With that being said, there are some similarities between these two teams. Both have one won back-to-back national championships and both have lost a conference game on their way to the title.

Both teams play a similar style of football that relies on ball control, clock management and solid defense. Both teams feature quarterbacks that have done nothing special accept except win games since they were sophomores.

Also, both teams play in the premier conference in their division, with Alabama playing in the Southeastern Conference and NDSU in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

With NDSU having a big game this weekend coming up against 15th ranked Youngstown State University, I took some time to look and see how both Alabama and NDSU have fared against ranked opponents in the last two plus seasons.

The Bison have played 16 games in the last two years against ranked opponents, winning all 16 games, while the Crimson Tide have played 14, going 12-2 in those games.

The Bison have won by an average score of 27-11 in ranked games while Alabama has won by an average score of 34-15. The Tide are 8-2 in road and neutral games featuring a ranked opponent while NDSU is 6-0 in road and neutral games.

Finally, both teams have lost only two games in the last two plus seasons and both of those losses game came at home against a conference team. Granted, the quality of ranked opponents that Alabama is taking on is much greater than the quality of ranked opponent NDSU is playing.

Even so, it is worth noting how good both these teams are when the stage is at its biggest and brightest.

You can follow Daniel "Pinto" Gunderson on Twitter at @pintoKFGO or friend him on Facebook. You can hear him on his weekly podcast show on kfgo.com, 740thefan.com or on iTunes called “The Pinto and White Shadow Show.” Pinto is a radio producer within the Midwest Communications-Fargo company.