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Best Conf. in D2....from another board


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There is an interesting thread going on at D2football.com discussion the best conference in D2 football. Many are saying that the top three are:

1. NCC


3. GSC

So far no UND folks have registered an opinion on this one. What do you think? I think that there are a lot of questions as to how good the NCC will be this year for several reasons. 1) Powerhouse UNC is gone. 2) NDSU and UND are coming off of poor seasons....in the case of NDSU it is a historically terrible season. 3) How much will the JUCO transfers help NDSU regain its game. 4) What adjustments has UND made to get back in the game.

I think that there are just too many wild cards out to say the NCC is top. The potential may be there to dominate, but there is also the chance of another mediocre year.

Next year with NDSU (and possibly SDSU) following UNC out of the NCC the quality further diminishes in the NCC and it really becomes a question of how tough UND and UNO are when compared to the other conferences. While I am excited about NDSU's move up......it is with very mixed emotions as I watch the changes in the NCC. :glare:

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I see UND returning to at least near the top of the NCC next year. A lot of experience returns on the offensive line, Bowenkamp is a pretty capable qb for the most part, solid receivers with a potential star in Lueck, and a very solid and deep defense with something to prove. Question marks are how much the loss of Mahmoud will hurt and whether Miller and/or Beatty can stay healthy at running back, whether Glas can kick consistently, and possibly whether anyone will emerge at nose guard to replace Blue and Brennan.

While UND's record last year was clearly sub-par, I don't believe too many people who follow the program closely feel that lack of talent was the problem. A combination of bad breaks (loss of Klosterman in particular) and apparently some complacency following the 2001 season caused some breakdowns which resulted in losses that should never have happened on paper, i.e. Mankato, Augie and arguably UNO.

With regard to the NCC as a whole, St. Cloud will almost certainly be the favorite, but a very difficult road schedule will make a repeat of last year's performance very difficult. UNO lost quite a bit from last year's team so whether they will improve their record is questionable. NDSU has apparently upgraded itself in the coaching department, at quarterback and possibly receiver, but the running game must improve itself (both in terms of backs and line), and the defense is a pretty big question mark. I doubt any of the rest of the teams will be serious contenders.

All in all, I would say that the NCC is probably not going to be as strong next year as it has been, at least on paper.

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So Brennan is not coming back for sure? And Lueck will be eligible?

I don't have any inside knowledge as to Brennan. I certainly hope he does return, but at this point, based on the fact that he didn't practice this spring, I have to assume his return is unlikely. I am also ASSUMING Lueck is eligible since he did practice this spring, and if necessary he should be able to go to summer school. Again, I don't have any inside info on this.

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I don't think the NCC will be the best conference this year with the loss of UNC and with UND and NDSU coming off down years. It's hard to call a conference likely to be won by SCSU the "best" (though it wouldn't bother me at all if SCSU proved me wrong and brought home a national championship).

I do believe that the NCC is a bit deeper than some of the 1- or 2-contender conferences, despite that those conferences are more likely to bring home a championship than the NCC. In the future, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Mankato or even SCSU drive deeper into the playoffs once they'll be more likely to qualify (loss of UNC & NDSU and playoff expansion). It's worth remembering that UNC and UND were non-factors on the national scene until NDSU got out of the way in the 90s.

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As many of you know, the Herald's Kevin Fee writes a Sid Hartman type column periodically where he gives information regarding recruiting, injuries, what is going on at other NCC schools or with DII, etc.

I have often sent him an e-mail with questions regarding such things as injury reports, what high school seniors are apt to be DII level athletes, who is staying in Grand Forks over the summer to work on their games, etc.

He seems to like to hear from me with these types of questions as it gives him ideas/content for his articles. I have not had the time to send him a note lately. One of you may want to do so. Why don't we communicate here as to who will do so as he probably wouldn't want to hear similar questions from 8 guys.

Questions that I am curious about (in no particular order of importance):

-- Is Brennan expected to be back in school this fall?

-- Who will be walking on with the Sioux football team?

-- Which women BB players are staying in GF this summer playing together and working on their games? (We know that all of the holdovers and many of the recruits on the men's team are in GF for the summer).

-- Is Coach Roebuck's recruiting complete or is he still trying to bring in another recruit this fall? Will he have any walkons?

-- Has UND given up on trying to find a 11th opponent for the upcoming season?

-- What is the latest on the addition to REA for BB and VB? (I think there will be an announcement soon.)

-- Are there any North Dakota or NW Minnesota high school seniors-to-be capable of playing DII basketball (male or female)? This question would be better asked about the start of the BB season.

-- What is the health status of UND football players Beatty and Miller along with anyone else who were injured last year or in spring ball?

-- Is Lueck expected to be eligible this fall?

-- At this point, have any UND FB players, who were expected back this fall, decided not to return?

-- The UND womens track team has signed some very talented athletes for next season. Have the men signed anyone?

-- Are any discussions going on internally within UND regarding moving to DI?

- Any discussions about who else the NCC may be interested in inviting to join once NDSU and SDSU disappear?

For those of us interested in these sports, you can see that the list of questions can be almost endless. And, for those of us that really care about all UND sports (not just hockey), the more "ink" these sports get the more interest there will be among current and future UND fans. Therefore, anything we can do to help create interest is a good thing!!

Kevin's e-mail address is: kfee@gfherald.com

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It is hard to rationalize the NCC being the best football conference in D2 right now. The NCC's lone play-off team got there by using at least one ineligible player, and the second best team ,scsu, lost out on a play-off spot to a team from the NSIC. Traditional contenders, UNO, NDSU and North Dakota had woeful seasons. It's too tough for me to consider this the best D2 football conference. Scsu should be able to phone it in this upcoming season. UNO will self destruct; NDSU will score but wont stop the opponent from scoring. UND, just the opposite, good defense but can't score. I look to MSU-M to be a surprise.

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If UND isn't able to put up good numbers on offense this year I think the biggest problem would be because of injuries. That was the main problem last year, If bowncamp and a few runningbacks can stay healthy, they will have a very succesfull season, I would look for freshman runningback Brandon Strouth to turn a few heads, he did very well in the spring game. Also on def. I would look for Digger Anderson to put up some Decent numbers. If most of the starters stay healthy I wouldn't be to suprised if there was another national championship won this year.

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UND92,96, My comments were very generalized "snap shots" of some NCC teams and how it relates to the strength of the NCC compared to the rest of D2. Notice that myself and the Board administrater mentions Mankato as being in the power mix of the conference. Not a rousing endorsement of the NCC. As for North Dakota's offense. Last years team made so many critical mistakes that will have to be corrected in order for this team to put up even adequate numbers. It is not so much how many points are scored in UND's offensive system, it is how effectively they control time of possession and field position. It is a matter of converting on opportunities given to the offense by the defense and special teams. It is a matter of being productive early in the game and not playing from behind. I belive the talent is there(somewhere). Right now, it's a matter of who is going to do it, if anybody will.

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I actually think Mankato may be worse than last year, or perhaps about the same as they were. They lose quarterback Shea who was a pretty decent player, the juco wide receiver Fonoimoana who had a huge game against the Sioux last year isn't returning (I don't know why), and they lost Tippens who was by far their best d-lineman, among other losses. They do return a pretty decent running back and most of the o-line, however. Perhaps most significantly, they haven't recruited particularly well the past few years. They will rely heavily on juco transfers, which has not traditionally been a recipe for success in the NCC. I would look for them to finish no higher than about 5th or 6th in the NCC, behind SCSU, UND, NDSU, UNO and perhaps SDSU.

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Mankato and that hoppy-skippy-bouncy-jump defense?

The team should have a "fire" play (dive over the best run blocker?) called in the huddle as an alternate every time. When Bowenkamp sees that whole Mankato D line jump up and shift left-right-up-down-in-out-whatever call the "fire" and hit those guys when they are standing up and not ready for it. You'll push through them for at least four yards and blast a few of them onto the seats of their pants. :glare:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I know that considerable gains were made this winter and spring. How are things going this summer. Who is standing out in the weight room, are we having any scrimmages or 7 on 7, who isnt down here for the summer. When is the official start of football practice and when do the players have to report?

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