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Published May 16, 2012, 10:25 PM

Moving on up - Are the Bison ready for FBS football?

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The Bison-Sioux football rivalry ended because NDSU made the move up to Division 1 in 2004. Now NDSU may need to make another move to keep up with the rest of the FCS world, where 7 of the last 10 champions have either made or thought about moving to 1-A football.

By: Dom Izzo, WDAY

The Bison-Sioux football rivalry ended because NDSU made the move up to Division 1 in 2004. Now NDSU may need to make another move to keep up with the rest of the FCS world, where 7 of the last 10 champions have either made or thought about moving to 1-A football.

Dean Bresciani – NDSU President: “Because of what's happening in D-1, you have to pay attention to that, you have to look at competition, performance, access, visibility, don’t want you to think we talk about it every day, next step is a big step, if we take it all.”

That next step is to join the Big Boys of college football, with the likes of Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin, an idea that even two years ago would have sounded crazy, seems more sane by the day. That's because at least 10 members in FCS have either announced they're moving up to 1-A or thinking about the move in the last calendar year. Now with NDSU on top of the FCS mountain, a decision may need to made soon about its football destiny...

Gene Taylor – NDSU Athletic Director: “My concern is FCS changes a great deal, App State, Georgia Southerns, Delawares begin to leave and now it's a similar situation to what we faced in Division 2, that concerns me, we make move, we can't let these schools leave us again, if you start to see the traditional powers leaves can't be left behind.”

Dean Bresciani: “It's more an opportunity we're missing, more than one we're stuck with.”

The biggest attraction of moving up to Division 1-A is the lure of playing in a bowl game and receiving national media attention, but Bresciani, who has seen what the top bowl games can do for a program, says there's a big downside to moving up.

Dean Bresciani: “Bowl games are obviously exciting because of exposure, the dirty little secret is with the exception of 2-3 bowls, most cost teams money to be in them, great exposure even if it's a minor bowl, but the smaller the bowl is, the less the financial rewards balancing the exposure.”

Dom: “Not into predictions will NDSU still be at this level in 5 years?”

Dean Bresciani: “I'd be hesitant. There are so many dynamics, not involving that came into play, what are other teams doing, how competitive other teams being, financially viable, right now all the indicators are against teams moving up to the FBS level.”

NDSU's football budget was $3 million this past season. A move up to FBS would require a minimum of $5 million annually on top of that, a fact Bresciani called a show stopper.

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