Saturday, April 14, 2007

Take Your Pick: NDSU Athletics vs. UND Athletics


The Sports Flow has decided to add some local flavor to the blog. Here in North Dakota, the best rivalry in all of sports is NDSU (North Dakota State University) Bison vs. UND (University of North Dakota) Fighting Sioux.

Both schools hate each other with a passion! You could say it's like Duke-UNC (bball), Michigan-Ohio St. (football), or the Yankees-Red Sox... in a North Dakota sense.

But some of it has died down since NDSU's recent move to Division 1. And for the 2008-2009 season UND will begin their transition to Division 1 athletics.

The two schools will renew their rivalry as both will take each other on for the 2008 baseball season. Which could be the first step to the schools playing each other in all sports soon.

But we're not here to just simply talk about the old rivalry. We want to take a deeper look into both school's athletic departments. We'll take an inside look at two different opinions and we'll let you decide for yourself.

Who do you take? NDSU Athletics or UND Athletics?
Let the debating begin...

Ming01's take:
I may be biased towards NDSU. But I have to take NDSU athletics over UND. UND has some great programs, such as men's hockey, women's basketball, and football is decent. But NDSU has quite a few quality programs and really have adapted to Division 1 well.

Let's start off with NDSU Football. NDSU's football program alone speaks for itself. Personally, if you take the top 2 programs for each. UND Hockey vs NDSU Football. Football has the advantage.

First off, it generates more revenue yearly. NDSU football has it's advantages playing some well known teams in D-1AA and last season just started playing some D-1A teams (Minnesota and Ball St.). They had Minnesota on the ropes in their house (the Metrodome) and dominated the Gophers in every aspect of the game (except FG kicking). The Bison made it look like they were the Big Ten team playing an inferior D-1AA team. And come next year, I expect the same, with the Bison coming out on top.

They've had great success over the last few seasons topping some damn good teams and finished the D-1AA rankings ranked 5th.

Lastly, if you take away NDSU's football program, then you have no athletic department. You can't say the same for hockey.


NDSU's Mens Basketball program has come a long way in the last 4/5 years or so. And I mean a long ways. They own the state of Wisconsin. In 2005-2006 they upset 14th ranked Wisconsin 62-55 and this past season upset 8th ranked Marquette 64-60 at Marquette's home tournament. The one they were suppose to dominate. Holding Dominic James to 3 of 11 FG shooting and 8 points.

In the 2005-2006 season the Bison finished with a 16-12 record and this past season finished at 20-8. Next season they will enter the Mid-Continent Conference and won't be eligible for the NCAA Tournament until the 2008-2009 season; where they will have a legitimate chance of making the big dance with Ben Woodside, Mike Nelson, Luke Moorman, Brett Winklemann, and their whole bench returning. But next year they have a shot at making the NIT again. I thought they really should have this year, but at the end they had some disappointing losses.

The Bison Men's Basketball team has been impressive in their transition to Division 1 Basketball. They are now entering a conference and should continue to improve. From here on out, I expect this team to compete in the Mid-Con and fight for a NCAA Tournament bid year in and year out.

In my opinion, overall, UND can't top that. There's no comparison, really. NDSU takes it. Joe and I felt like we needed to do a post on NDSU/UND. Plus, we wanted to do something that could generate some great discussion. And lately, I've been in some intense arguments between the two schools with some of my peers.

NDSU is on the rise and have found their place in D-1 athletics. Other than Hockey, UND still needs to adapt when they get to the D-1 level. Just because NDSU has, doesn't mean they will. No one said it's easy. It's a tough transition, and the Bison have payed their dues. There's only one perfect phrase to describe Bison athletics right now, that is... 'Bring on the competition.'

So first and foremost I just want to put out there that Stefan is planning on going to NDSU next year and I am attending UND...readers beware this rivalry may take The Sports Flow by storm and this post may be incredibly biased....With that said here is my take...focusing on both school's main programs.
  • UND Hockey: is like nothing that NDSU has. Ralph Engelstad Arena in the nicest, most luxurious hockey facility(ies) in NCAA Hockey....maybe in all of Hockey (NHL included). They play at the D1A level...there is nothing higher. In my opinion there is just nothing that NDSU has that can compare, and if you've been to a game you know what I'm talking about. They play on the big stage (played on ESPN2 just a week ago) and are nearly a staple in postseason play and the upper tier of national rankings.
  • NDSU Football: Sure ok, it's D1AA and grosses more revenue than the hockey team but if you are going to play that card then look...UND is having a bit of an exploratory year in D1AA next year and will be fullblown in '08. So with the whole revenue thing look, in 4-5 years UND will be where NDSU is right now and you can go ahead and add that revenue to what the hockey team does for the university too, so let's just go ahead and about make that a nonfactor.
  • UND Football: is a relatively top-flight D2 program. They're consistently highly ranked and had a pretty decent recruiting class this last year. Last season they beat the NIU (Northern Iowa University) Panthers 35-31 in Iowa when the Panthers were the #3 ranked D1-AA team. So really, although the transition won't be easy I don't think it will be terribly hard. So, they've proved they can beat the higher competition and just because they are D2 doesn't mean they can be overlooked. NDSU, yes has a better football program, but UND doesn't lag as far behind as people think. Give them a 3-4 maybe 5 years and we'll have some great rivalry games going on each fall.
  • NDSU Men's Bball: Is where NDSU gets their main advantage. Sure, they lost Tim Miles, but that might not hurt them too much. I've heard great things about some of the assistants he had over there. With basically all your key players back I think NDSU will have a real shot at making the NIT too....they were about 1 big win away this year.
  • UND Women's Bball: is probably way too overlooked. They are another top-flight D2 program that should make a nice transition to D1 in coming years. They lost in the Elite 8 this year and are preseasonally ranked #5 for next season. It is worth noting that a lot of people don't even realize that they were 34-1 in the '05-'06.
THE FINAL TAKE
Look, I think that both of these programs collectively are very good and both on the rise. It is almost too close to call and that is why it makes such a good "Take Your Pick", however both out of pride and honesty opinions I'm taking UND.


NDSU's advantage in football is not as large as most think, and whatever advantage they have over UND in Men's Bball the UND Women's team negates, which makes hockey the catalyst here. I think the UND's Hockey program wins this for them (in my mind anyways). It's close and everyone is entitled to their opinion but the bottomline is that NDSU has nothing that compares to UND Hockey....period. You can draw parallels of the program to that of what basketball is to Kentucky or Duke. Top players (i.e. Duncan, Oshie, Chorney, Toews, the list could go on), top facilities (the Ralph is amazing), unbeatable environment (if you haven't been you're missing out), and competition at the highest level of play are just something that NDSU can't offer right now.


It's a tough take and everyone is entitled to their own opinion...so what is your take? Who do you want and why?

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good post but if you read message boards, you will know that the rivalry is getting jacked up to another level, not fading. When they play again, it will be Duke-NC in a non North Dakota way.

By the way, right before NDSU went D1, their basketball and football programs were on the same level as UND's are now. I say give UND 5 years to get on the same plane and then you can compare.

Anonymous said...

und hockey is no where near ndsu football... no one outside of grand forks, nd even cares about college hockey. football/basketball is what matters. about 15% of the country will tell you who won the national championship for hockey. and prolly about 50% will tell you who won in football and basketball. most college hockey teams are d11 or d111 in other sports. while all d-1aa football teams are d-1a in every other sport. it just doesnt compare.

Eyes Wide Open said...

UND has 1 Division I facility, the REA. Hyslop would have been better than the 3000 seat Betty for DI basketball. NDSU football averages over 6000 more fans than UND, at best UND could fit 3000 more fans in the Alerus.

grittysquirrels said...

anonymous 1- i dont know if you read the post but you basically said word-for-word what I said in my take

anonymous2- I kind of see where you are coming from but i disagree completely...look at what the D1 hockey program brings to the athletics at UND...I guess I'm partial, and a fan of hockey, but I just don't see how the hockey program can be like negligible and the football program for ndsu so jacked up?

eyes wide open- what's your point?

Eyes Wide Open said...

Point is, UND Football and Basketball don't have the facilities to bring in the money and attendance that the same NDSU programs do.

stephen a said...

I'd say more people care about d1 hockey than d2 or d 1aa football. ndsu doesnt have a 100 million dollar facility either. they have the bsa which is a warehouse and the fargodome which is a run down piece of crap.

grittysquirrels said...

No kidding...I can't believe I actually wholeheartedly agree with fetch on something!

To eyes wide open:
If you want to talk about facilities then you're favoring UND bigtime because there may not be another facility in the US like the REA.

Also, people who don't like hockey consistently fail to realize that you really can't top D1 performance. They recruit the best players, play the best opponents, and consistently do both very well.

Take something like USC football- plays the highest competition and is consistently highly ranked...that is what UND is to hockey. NDSU can't hold a candle to that.

ming01 said...

you can't compare usc football to und hockey anybody with a brain can figure that out. football is football and hockey is hockey. d-1 hockey and d-1aa football get the same exposure, both playoffs are played on espn 2 and both get same exposure from the media.

annonymous 2 is right do you think anybody outside of 5 states can name the d-1 hockey champion? i bet a handful of more ppl can tell you who won the d-1aa championship.

d-1aa teams get to handout about 25 scholarships every year, where as the top college hockey teams gets what 4 or 5 a year?

most d-1aa football programs make more revenue than their own and other d-1 hockey schools and that's what really matters in the end.

Bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bryan said...

I could build the greatest water polo stadium in the country at UNC and it wouldn't make UNC water polo better than NDSU football.

People care more about football, and that's basically the end of the argument. Ask sponsors if they want to advertise on D-1aa football games or D-1 hockey games, and I think you'll find this argument would be over pretty quickly.

Go Lumberjacks

Anonymous said...

grittysquirrels, how does REA give UND football and basketball better facilities? UND does have a better hockey arena than most. NDSU can bring 19000 people to a football game, does UND have a facility that holds that many? NDSU's primariy basketball arena holds 6000+, UND's 3000+. IMO they don't compare. Please don't turn a football/basketball facility conversation into a hockey conversation.

twins15 said...

I would probably give NDSU the edge right now simply because they were smarter about it and made the jump to D1 sooner. In a few years, I could see UND ahead of them.

Before the move to D1, NDSU and UND football were about on the same par. Now, NDSU has the advantage because they moved up, an advantage that will be negated soon as long as Lennon is still in charge. NDSU has had great success, but it's not like UND's football program is in bad shape.

In men's basketball the obvious edge is to NDSU, but let's see how they do now that Tim Miles is gone. I like Brian Jones as a coach for UND and I think their program will begin to get significantly better in the next few years (though maybe not as quick of a rise as NDSU).

And we all know about hockey.

So right now I would say NDSU has the edge simply because they are D1 and UND is not... I suspect that in a couple years when UND is at the point that NDSU is at now, things should be very even, or possibly UND the advantage thanks to the hockey program. Of course, I could be biased too... we shall see.

stephen a said...

I'm not sure of the answer, but I'd just like to know how many professional athletes came out of NDSU

Adam said...

I agree with Twins15. UND should not have been discussing the jump for 3 or 4 years, they should have done it right away or waited for awhile. The 3 or 4 year wait for the dicision kills the recruiting class, because they might not be able to play for the ship in their junior and senior years. On the other hand NDSU just made the jump right away not hurting thier recruiting as bad a UND.

Anonymous said...

62000+ to watch a Bison Football game at the Metrodome. Largest crowd to watch a North Dakota team in any sport.

Leah said...

I honestly don't like commenting on the UND/NDSU rivalry, but I feel the need to speak out on this... First off I just want to say that I grew up in Fargo as a Bison fan, I go to UND, and I'm just gunna put it out there that I'm a huge fan of both school's athletic programs! And I know some people on all the teams at both schools....

My take on NDSU: Just a few years ago, they were at the same level as UND was. Since they knew they were going D1 in everything, they jumped on the recruiting and got themselves some good key players. I think their football and men's basketball program is unbelievable, and other sports are definitely growing. Their facilities are not horrible, but not superb either. New bball arena is probably in question if they wanna get bigger crowds, Fargodome isn't too bad, the Newman for baseball's pretty nice though!

My take on UND: With their move to D1 in all sports, I think they could get just as much attention as NDSU does, just give it a few years. They are also jumping on their recruiting and have some pretty good players coming in. The hockey program is by far the best and most popular program. Keep it the same and nothing can go wrong! The football program is awesome, we've been close to the championship game for the last couple years. Great players and coaches are helping to make the team a success, and it can only get better! The Sioux football team also has the Nickel trophy from winning the last Sioux/Bison game! We may not have the best men's bball program, but that can only go uphill, and the women's bball program is amazing and lots of fun to watch too! The swimming and diving teams have been D2 national champs for like the last 5 years, phenomenal! I say the rest of the teams only have room to improve. The facilities here are pretty good if I do say so myself. The Ralph and the Betty speak for themselves, hella amazing!!! The Alerus has room to grow for D1 crowds, the Hyslop is a pretty confusing place, could get a nicer baseball field for the school though...

I must say, though, that the reason I like the Bison so much are the crowds at games! I love how fans support their team at all sporting events, not just one or two like at UND where it's pretty much just hockey and some at football... I love being at Bison games and seeing the fans go nuts no matter how good or bad they're doing! Because even at Sioux hockey games, it's more of a social scene than people cheering and going crazy.

All in all, the athletic programs at both schools are very good. Give it another few years for both schools to adjust to D1 programs before comparing so much though, because right now it just seems kinda unfair...

GO FIGHTING SIOUX!!!

stephen a said...

It doesn't really matter who has the last nickel trophy, seeing is that was last played like 5 years ago or whatever. and duh ndsu has a better baseball field cause it's also home to a pro team. and im suprised no one has mentioned that ndsu has more d2 football titles than anyone else.

grittysquirrels said...

fetch what point are you trying to make? Are you taking UND or NDSU because you're just basically drifting back and forth...

stephen a said...

im presenting sides for both arguments. i can see why people would take either program. personally i think you need an entire athletic program, including all the minor sports, to see who's better. so i think id take und, cause, as stefan put it, if you take away the football team you take away the athletic program

ming01 said...

which is another reason why i take football over hockey individually. but i will take ndsu's minor sports over und's anyday.

grittysquirrels said...

Wait ming that kind of crosses what you said in the post and what fetch has presented...I'm not sure i follow.

"Lastly, if you take away NDSU's football program, then you have no athletic department. You can't say the same for hockey."

That basically fully supports fetch's idea there and makes a pretty strong case for UND, especially since their football is soon to go D1 onto NDSU's level.

ming01 said...

no it doesn't, it shows just how important a football program is to colleges. this is how it would be at many colleges. the football program is the most important program anywhere. i dont care which college you go to. that's just the way it is. which is why i take ndsu football over und hockey. it's just more important. and show's why you don't have a real grasp for this topic.

grittysquirrels said...

ming i do have a real grasp for this topic, our differences are in opinion not whether one grasps the topic or not.

To me, to say that "if you take away NDSU's football program, then you have no athletic department. You can't say the same for hockey." Then that is just saying more for UND's minor sports and all around program, which is what I thought we were comparing. To me it seems to speak of all-around strength for the UND athletic dept....

just because our opinions are different or we view things differently doesn't mean that i don't grasp the topic...because then half of the people on here apparently don't grasp the topic of the post.

ming01 said...

it's not hard to see. It doesn't mean I think UND's other sports are better. It just goes to show how strong football programs are, especially NDSU's. Which is why I take NDSU football over UND Hockey. And NDSU over UND. It's just more important. I know, it seems hard to understand... but NDSU Football is just at another level.

You must not have a grasp for this topic, if you can't understand what I meant by that statement. That statement alone, proves why NDSU Football is above UND Hockey. Not taking anything away from them, but still. It's just hard to compare, which is why I kind of regret doing this topic, it seems pretty foolish now that I look at all of it. NDSU Athletics is just at another level right now than UND Athletics.

twins15 said...

"NDSU Athletics is just at another level right now than UND Athletics."

No, not really. I said earlier I went with NDSU, but only because they had the foresight to go D1 sooner. You act like NDSU has some large, nationally recognized football program. That's hardly the case. They're a good D1-AA team... that's certainly very nice, but it's not like we're talking about Ohio St. here.

And it's not like UND is that far behind in football, other than the fact that they didn't make the move the same time as NDSU. They're one of the premier D2 football programs in college football, just like NDSU was 2 years ago. Once UND makes the jump they will (judging by their past performance including going on the road to beat a traditionally very good D1-AA in Northern Iowa) become one of the premier D1-AA teams... just like NDSU.

Adjusting for the slight advantage for the Bison there as far as success, the next comparison is UND hockey vs. NDSU basketball. Again, Bison basketball has made great strides, but Sioux hockey is far superior.

So again, I'll take NDSU, but let's not get carried away and say they're far superior.

grittysquirrels said...

God Damn jon...you have a beautiful sports mind. It will be fun to redo a take your pick on this topic in 2-4 years from now, and see what things are like.

ming01 said...

i wasn't acting like they were ohio st., yes NDSU athletics is at another level than UND's. Well obviously other than hockey (because their d-1), I didn't see a UND taking down a #8 Marquette, #14 Wisconsin, taking Texas Tech down to the wire, and almost topping Bob Huggins's KSU Wildcats, Ball St. in football(D-1A), dominating the Minnesota Gopher who just happen to be a Big 10 team (Big 10 was overrated though). And the women's bball team taking down Minnesota. Instead, I saw UND take down Winona St., Minnesota-Crookston, and some other high school teams. And worst of all, them losing to U-Mary, Minnesota-Moorhead, & Concordia-St. Paul. Yeah I guess NDSU isn't at another level right now!

twins15 said...

Right, and I didn't see NDSU being one of the top 4 teams in all of the NCAA in any of their sports. There's no disputing that NDSU has had good success, and they are ahead of UND, but that is primarily because they made the jump to D1. That is the biggest separator, becuase not long ago they were on an even field.

The NDSU women's team beat Minnesota, which is nice, and they also lost to teams like Bemidji St., Moorhead, and didn't fare well against anyone else of consequence.

You can cherry pick NDSU's wins or some of UND's worst losses in various sports and use that as an example that NDSU is on another level... but that's just cherry picking. On the whole, UND is right where NDSU was at 3 years ago (further probably, because they do have an elite D1 hockey program). Is it a given that UND will make similar strides as NDSU did in the first few years of their move? Of course not. Which is why I said NDSU has a better overall program... but it's quite possible given UND's history and NDSU's history that UND will be neck-and-neck with them very soon.

grittysquirrels said...

Ming, your straw-man argument is no match for jon's ultra superior sports mind....I agree completely with twins15.

ming01 said...

good point jon... and it was a valid argument grittsysquirrels

whatareyousmokin? said...

twins15, NDSU would have been ranked in the top 3 of the FCS. A vast majority of the pollsters didn't rank them higher than 5th because they were simply ineligible for any championship games this year. Had they been, you sure as hell bet we would have been in the top 3. Sure hockey is big at UND, but in the rest of the country do you really think that people care? Sorry bub, College Football is the numero uno and NDSU has that covered. UND has decades to catch up.

whatareyousmokin? said...

Those arguing about facilities, perhaps you need to read the Carr Report that UND just received on how poorly maintained their facilities are... The only thing that is ready for DI is the REA, and that thing already needs work... oh the shambles... The other big thing is, NDSU right now doesn't have the NCAA breathing down their throat AND isn't dishing out hundreds of thousands of dollars for a fight they aren't going to win. NDSU wins again, just for sheer common sense.

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Bison's No.1 fan said...

You have to count in the fan base. In football UND strugle's to get the bulding half full when NDSU sells out. NDSU was ranked 2nd in d-1aa in attendance. And a reported 20,000 ndsu fans went to the Metrodome for an away game UND hardly gets that many people all year. NDSU wins hands down! NDSU has such divoted fans who come 2 everygame no matter what. UND can't compete.
Go Bison

Anonymous said...

I ran across a link to this site and was intrigued by the NDSU-UND debate. First of all, I think comparing NDSU and UND is like comparing apples and oranges. It seems like this has turned into a hockey-vs-football debate. As much as I love hockey, its just not a popular sport except in a select few states. I know someone earlier said the Bison are at another level right now, and I have to agree. They have been gaining momentum and getting NDSU's name out there, especially the football and basketball teams. The last 3 home football games have been sold out with an AMAZING energy - go to a game and you can clearly tell this higher level of play. And to those who said NDSU and UND were equal four years ago, why then did UND refuse to play NDSU right after they moved to D1? That is why we no longer play each other - UND chickened out and NDSU found new competition

Anonymous said...

ok honestly NDSU's football program on the same tokken played NIU and i was at the game it was a blow out in ndsu's favor that ray charles could have seen, and if und wants to compete in football they better find a way to start taking recruits from ohio and florida because thats what it would take for them to catch up to ndsu if ndsu keeps on getting the high level of talent that they have had over the last four years, oh and und better try to get used to playing in the dome cause it is by far the louadest area even if the building doesnt have people all the way to the nosebleeds. UND hockey dont get me wrong the best is what the play in for a area and its a major factor to there success but at the same time they take all the good players in the area. and as for basketbell Jeff Boshee played for KU and was a valleycity native i say that even if he play at either college now they'd have good shots at the big dance but und has an almost nonexsistant men's program and ndsu needs to keep up the recruiting if they want to keep winning like thy have and make the big dance. the others here are right UND has this crap they moved up now what, were NDSU has there BRING on all comers

Krueg3r said...

Honestly UNDS football attendance sucks at best. there Football program this year 08 has been slightly flawed against D2 teams that arent even in the top 25 of D2. Football v Football UND year 1 D1aa NDSU year 1 D1aa they are the same. And i would say that this situation could possibly even be reveresed completely if the jumps were made in oppisite order of how it happened. But at this point NDSU does have national face time, they are going to get more national face time in a battle of the titans at UNI, they most certainly should make the playoffs and have sent alot (more than 4 players to the NFL in the last 2 years. granted only 2 have landed semipermanent playtime roles.) I would say that UND has already lost the recruitment battle and it will take atleast 5 years to climb some what out of NDSU's shadow. Now if this year 08 NDSU can get to the FCS(D1aa) semi championship or win/lose the championship. It will most certainly extend the recruitment shadow over UND alot further (in football sense). Honestly UND needs to make the top 10 for anyone who is deciding between a dakota school to choose UND over NDSU. NDSU will be recruiting top caliber D1AA players while UND will be recruiting Top caliber D2 players for atleast the next 5 years. (Very tired while i typed this, the idea is there if you can decipher it :P) ( in a nutshell UND recruiting is going to be quite stale and lackluster for more than the entire transition.)

Anonymous said...

Well its been over 2 yrs. since last post and und still haven't accomplished what NDSU had done and with their struggles I have to say they probably will never. NDSU get the nod without a doubt.

Anonymous said...

Wow in the 2 years since this was posted NDSU basketball made the Big Dance in Basketball and made national headlines that UND Hockey could only dream of. The womens softball team went to the sweet 16. Volleyball won the Summitt and made the national tournament. What Laura Hermanson did in track may trump them all. BTW since the last post NDSU fooball has defeated Kansas, Minnesota, Ball State, and Central Michigan. UND has won only 2 games vs. D1-aa competition and have never beaten one with a winning record. They lost to an NAIA team. Their biggest accomplishment is losing to Northern Illinois by 7.

Anonymous said...

I don't see how you can say that UND football will be where NDSU football is in 4-5 years. UND doesn't have a large enough facility to allow enough fans in to be as big as NDSU, and they still don't sell out their games. I'm not sure how many people the Alerus Center holds, but from what I've heard it's around 12,000 for football games? (correct me if I'm wrong.) UND still doesn't sell out that small of a stadium. The last time NDSU played University of Minnesota in football, we brough 20,000-30,000 fans to Minnesota for the game. UND will not get that. They just don't have the following that NDSU football does.

Anonymous said...

You are all stupid and have no idea what your talking about.