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DII vs. D1aa


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For years, NDSU and Bison fans have been desperately trying convince themselves that they were as good as UND. But the Fighting Sioux were dominating on the football field and winning all the athletic glory. UND had one of the greatest NCAA D1 hockey programs in the country and were routinely playing schools like Michigan, Wisconsin, Harvard, Boston College, Yale, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Michigan State and others for conference championships and NCAA national championships. UND also had a great Medical School, Law School, Engineering School and the top Aviation School in the country, so there was never any question which institution was the Flagship University in North Dakota. But somehow, the NDSU folks had to try and convince themselves that they were as good as UND.

So Chapman comes along and figures the only chance he has of closing the gap is to move Bison football to D1aa. The slick snake-oil salesman realizes the Bison crowd is willing to buy anything he is willing to sell. So he sells them on the idea that d1aa is a huge jump and that this will set the football team and NDSU on equal footing with the University of North Dakota. At that time, the Bison were looking at starting a D1 hockey program, but then Ralph Engelstad built the Sioux a $110MM arena and Smoky Joe realized the Bison would be playing in the CHA with the rest of their peer group and they would have no chance of proclaiming themselves equals to UND or being competitive with Fighting Sioux Hockey.

So, the snake-oil salesman starts telling any Bison fan willing to listen that d1aa is the pinnacle of college football. Then the Bison go into Montana and beat the Grizzlies. After that game, Smokey Joe now has a Bison following that David Koresch or Warren Jeffs would be proud of. Bison fans start believing they are so good that the Big Sky Conference will be begging them to join. Some Bison fans are even thinking that they might want to skip d1aa and move right on to D1. They are convinced that the Stream Yellow boys are the equal of Florida State, USC and Michigan. The magnitude of the control that Smokey Joe had over his flock was so great that it is beyond the understanding of most people.

Well, that all came tumbling down Saturday afternoon. Once again, something that every sane person in the country knows was again verified

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