Its a great win. But there really isn't such a thing as a watershed win. The only thing that is watershed, is an era.
Over a 27 to 30 game season, a lot can happen. Wisconsin had a down day.
North Dakota State is growing somewhat, but not on the level of many other universities in the nation. That really doesn't get at the way athletic markets are defined. Certainly NDSU being a Land Grant University helps. But it doesn't tell the whole story of North Dakota, as there is an equal university to the north in the same state, UND. Both are a part of a Tech boondoggle corridor that Senator Byron Dorgon got for the state.
College sports markets are defined by many factors, and not one factor means that they excel in a market. Market means advertizing dollars (related to buying power, which is related to population and disposable income), corporate sponsorship of both the university and a potential conference, it means a recruiting base, it means the number of people that show up in the stands, it also means what the other competition within the market is, and the competition of all these factors with that competition. An intangible related to this is the reasonable proximity (within a 2 hour commutable drive) to a major market or even a midmajor market, if there is not either a major or a midmajor market located within the state.
About the only one of these factors that NDSU excels in is maybe the attendance (especially football).
All the others NDSU is likely to be less competitive in when compared to conference candidates.
NDSU as an instition has 1/4 the size of enrollment of any Big 10 school, and about 1/2 to 1/3rd of any Big 12 school. NDSU is a Land Grant university, but its basically on the bottom rung of schools among all land grants and flagships. This is related to a reall small base of population. ND is the 48th largest state. Vermont, the 49th largest state, offers UVM, which is better than a number of larger state's flagships and land grants. They also are part private and have no Vermont State University, nor no Rutland State, Bennington State, nor Burlington State. Soon Vermont will be the 48th largest state and North Dakota will move down to the 49th largest state. However, a better comparable is the University of Wyoming. Wyoming is the 50th largest state. It has only one public university, the University of Wyoming. There is no Wyoming State, Casper State, Cody State, Evanston State, Torrington State, Gillette State. They did it right for such a very small state, and as a result, the University of Wyoming has a much better standing. They are in a better standing than NDSU, as they are able to spread very limited state tax dollars further in such a small state. NDSU is more on the level in comparison to many regional state universities and metro universities. Miami University of Ohio, Ball State, Bowling Green, Western Michigan, Wayne State, University of Illinois-Chicago, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, University of Cincinnati, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Northern Illinois, Illinois State, East Carolina, Southern Mississippi, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Southern Illinois all have better academic reputations than North Dakota State, and those are not land grants nor flagships of any kind. Acadmically, NDSU is comparable to the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
Last edited by metropolitan on Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.