Late Friday night, North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jenson offered up yet another reason why Georgia Southern’s move to the Football Bowl Subdivision is the right move.
First, a little bit of background.
Jenson led the Bison to back-to-back Football Championship Subdivision national championships in 2011 and 2012, so he knows for a stone-cold fact that NDSU has been the national champion at least twice.
In that span, NDSU faced Georgia Southern — the absolute gold standard of FCS powerhouses with the most playoff wins (44), most playoff games appeared in (56) and most national titles (6) — twice, each time in the semifinals, and won both times.
In fact, NDSU is 3-0 all time against the gold standard of the FCS.
North Dakota State, whether Jenson knows this or not, also won five Division II national titles.
But, after NDSU’s 24-21 win over the defending Big XII champion, unranked and Collin-Kleinless Kansas State, Jenson said, on national television, that the win was the biggest in NDSU’s history.
When the cameras panned to NDSU fans in the stands during the fourth quarter — a quarter in which NDSU dominated KSU, by the way — nobody even looked all that surprised by the Jenson-led goings on.
Were they happy? Sure, and rightfully so, but they weren’t surprised, and neither was anybody in Statesboro, or fans of Minnesota, Kansas or Oregon State for that matter, when Jenson backed into the end zone with the football for the game-winning touchdown. After all, the Bison (Bizen?) win more games against FBS competition then they lose.
NDSU was just the better team on Friday.
But, to Jenson at least, that was the “biggest win in our program history.”
Bigger than his first national title. Bigger than his second. Bigger than his pair of wins over Georgia Southern. And bigger than anything NDSU had ever done on the field prior to last weekend.
Now, admittedly, that’s subjective. Maybe coach Craig Bohl, the other players and the fans of NDSU value any one of their national championships, or all of them, more than a regular-season, non-conference win over a rebuilding KSU squad.
But not Jenson, and like so many other things, the line between perception and reality is very, very thin and very, very blurred when it comes to college football. Just ask the computers that award two teams a shot at a BCS national title every year.
With Georgia Southern’s impending — some would say steamrolling — approach to the Football Bowl Subdivision taking place this season, that is something to keep in mind.
Georgia Southern will still have a shot at conference titles. They’ll have a shot at a bowl game every year starting in 2015.
And perhaps, most importantly, the Eagles will have two, three, even four shots a year at getting a win that is equal to or bigger than NDSU’s win over Kansas State.
To a lot of people, that’s not worth sacrificing the FCS playoffs.
But to at least one college football quarterback, who knows a thing or two about winning conference titles, playoff games and national championships in the FCS, it sounds like a pretty good idea.
Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.