North Dakota State’s pursuit of a remarkable fifth consecutive Football Championship Subdivision national title got the Game of Thrones treatment. Here’s the official NDSU athletic department’s positively Joker Phillips-quality Photoshop:
— NDSU Athletics (@NDSUathletics) May 21, 2015
Photoshop quality aside, there’s no doubt the Bison sit on football’s proverbial Iron Throne. I touched on North Dakota State’s dominance from a historical perspective previously, contrasting the Bison with the most successful teams from other sports and levels.
Four straight championships puts North Dakota State in very exclusive company; a fifth straight would define the Bison as arguably one of the two or three best organizations in all of American sports, ever.
The Game of Thrones analogy is unintentionally apt, however, in that North Dakota State’s reign should get its stiffest challenge since it began in 2011, with competitors emerging from all sides to descend on the throne.
Among them is Montana, previously one of the standard bearers of the FCS before North Dakota State rose to power and the Bison’s first opponent of 2015. Montana hosts North Dakota State in the Week 0 opener on Aug. 29.
This is the second season ESPN is kicking off the college football season a week early with an FCS showcase, and the Worldwide Leader chose an outstanding matchup for the season premier. Montana is likely to be ranked in the Top 15 of the initial FCS polls, with North Dakota State almost assuredly checking in at No. 1.
North Dakota State is going straight into hostile territory for this one: Montana almost 24,000 fans at home last season, far-and-away best in the FCS. With its track record and location in the North, I suppose Montana is the Jon Snow of FCS for Game of Thrones purposes.
I don’t know; that’s belabored, even by my own standards. Whatever. The point is, North Dakota State’s defense of an unprecedented reign should unfold dramatically in the campaign to come, and there’s no source text working effectively as a spoiler.