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NCC pre-season polls


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UNO being picked as high as it was makes no sense to me.  I also think the Bison may very well surprise people in the NCC as long as we are not plagued by injuries.  With Tony Stauss at QB and holes filled by JUCO transfers, the Bison could be the dark horse of the conference.

I expect that NDSU's offense should be fine, although the line seems to have some depth problems. However, the defense still has a lot of question marks. Traditionally, adding several jucos, particularly to a team coming off a struggling season, has not been a recipe for success in NCC football. Perhaps Bohl can make it work, but the odds probably aren't in his favor to turn it around in one year.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Although SCSU was the pretty obvious choice to win the NCC based upon last year's record and the fact that a large majority of their starters return, they have a really brutal schedule. An almost unbelievable five of their first six games are on the road, including at traditionally good programs Western Washington, Pitt St. and UND. They also play at Omaha and SDSU, and have a total of seven regular season road games. If they can equal or improve upon their 2002 record of 9-2, they will have really earned it.

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What are some predictions for the record this year?

I think 8-2 is realistic, although I wouldn't be surprised with anything from 6-4 to 10-0. I don't think that there's anybody on the schedule that the Sioux can't beat if they play well, but as we saw last year, they can just as easily lose to virtually anybody.

I think the offense will be fine, at least if Bowenkamp can keep the turnovers to a minimum. The line is very solid, the receiving corps is quite deep with Ahlers, Lueck, Stattelman, Johnson, Weber, Grossman and Alkins, and the backs will be okay with Miller, Beatty, Strouth, Roland and Wisthoff.

Defensively, I'm confident that the front seven will be very solid, and the Sioux should have as good a pair of safeties as anybody in the league with Stratton and Gagner. The play of the corners will be key. Watch for freshman Greenwood and Hoffschneider to push Manke and Franklin for playing time. Hoffschneider's credentials speak for themselves (all-Colorado in 2001), and Greenwood can really hit.

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