On Saturday afternoon in Frisco, TX, (just North of Dallas) we will be able to watch how a National Championship should be decided. The Football Championship Subdivision (or 1-AA for you old school types) will settle their championship on the field after a 4 round, 4 week (not counting layoff since semi-finals) playoff. And for the 4th straight year, they will crown a first time National Champion in the FCS!
The Sam Houston State Bearkats and North Dakota State Bison are each making their first trip to the “FCS” National Championship game. There is some familiarity between these two teams who have met two other times and are tied with one win each against each other and won respectively on their home field. Also both teams have an undefeated record against ranked opponents this year. As it should, this is one stat that will end for one of the schools by Saturday evening. Somebody’s gonna lose.
Even though both schools are making their first appearance in the FCS championship game, North Dakota is making its 8th National Championship appearance in school history; the previous 7 came at the Division 2 level (D2). This history shows the Bison’s know what it will take to win a championship. Been there and done that!
This will be the Bearkats 5th playoff appearance and they are poised to win a National Championship in what will most likely be a home game environment for the Bearkats. They are based in Huntsville, TX, and only about a 3 hour drive from the Pizza Hut Park in Frisco. The venue is a beautiful stadium seating over 35,000 people and is the home field for the FC Dallas soccer club.
This has been a record year for Sam Houston State. During its 96 year history the team has never been 14-0 or won an outright conference title. This has been their year as both feats were accomplished this season. One of the more obscure facts about this season is the fact their starting quarterback, Brian Bell, is a true sophomore. Needless to say he has done a marvelous job to propel them to this point.
Both of these teams are very evenly matched on paper. The only big difference is Sam Houston State likes to rely on the run a little bit more than North Dakota State. This should be a very close match up of two good teams. They both made their way here the hard way – they earned it. There is no computer ranking, coaches poll, AP poll or any other poll that decides who plays in the National Championship. You get to this game by winning the single elimination tournament. The upside of this is you won’t hear any cries about someone being shortchanged on their shot at the title (I’m looking at you BCS).
In my book this is the way championships are meant to be settled. On Saturday we will all be treated to a true National Championship game by teams who earned the right to play in the game. No complicated computer system or voting system got them there.
If you haven’t watched much or any “FCS” football this year; then now is a great time to start. This game should keep you on the edge of your seat. Trust me; these guys will leave everything on the field. This is a true National Championship game and only one team will be able to stake claim to the title. No confusion with this system – win it and you are the champion.
Kodyssportscorner.com has been blessed with press credentials to the game and I will be covering it from the press box and on the field. Stay tuned…