A Midwestern Rivalry: Gophers Vs. The NDSU

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It is like David versus Goliath, little school against big school.

When the North Dakota State University (NDSU) Bison took the field against the Golphers back in 2007, they did what many believed not possible: beat the University of Minnesota. That victory set the stage for a great rivalry.

NDSU fans and alumni invaded the Twin Cities Saturday, for what many call a homecoming game for both teams.

“It’s a homecoming for a lot of reasons, because a lot of our NDSU players are now from Minnesota. This network of really great football players … it’s just a really big draw now for students to go to Fargo for school,” said NDSU alumna Clara Osowkski.

NDSU is all about recruiting, they’re looking for the brightest students Minnesota has to offer.

“Some of our very best students come from Minnesota, come from the Twin Cities area, so this is a high profile game for us,” said Dr. Dean Bresciani, the president of NDSU.

Bresciani said playing the Golphers gives them a chance to let their light shine, show all that the state of North Dakota has to offer.

“It’s a regional rivalry, but it’s not just a regional rivalry on the athletic field, but for students for our part of the country. NDSU and North Dakota are obviously on a phenomenal run,” Bresciani said.

Not only does North Dakota have the lowest unemployment rate in the country, it’s economy is booming, which is something for a college student to consider.

NDSU alumni know their dollars have an impact on the economy in the Twin Cities, they also hope their school spirit has an impact on where many Minnesotans decide to further their education.

NDSU officials say more than 15,000 fans made the trek from Fargo to the Twin Cities to support the Bison.

More from Reg Chapman
  • Noah

    Did anyone else notice how only NDSU people were interviewed for this story? No one a part of the University of Minnesota considers this a homecoming game. It’s not surprising that a number of NDSU’s quality students come from Minnesota. The simple fact that there are 6x as many people in Minnesota as North Dakota. It’s that same logic that explains why there are a number of students originally from Texas that attend school in Oklahoma. They have to go somewhere.

    I’m really disappointed that WCCO finds this newsworthy. If you really believe it is, at least talk to people from both sides.

  • Lin

    This was an embarrassing lost for the U of M. They should look into dropping to a lesser division or disbanding the football program. First they lose to a New Mexico State program that won five games in three years now they lose to North Dakota State a FCS program. The U of M football program is the black eye of Big 10 football programs.

    • Joe A.

      As an old grad, I’m glad to see that the Gophers have not changed thei football program since 1967. Another year, another coach from nowhere, another team with unskilled players. The best players from Minnesota in tonight’s game played for the other team. Yes, what a remarkable system Coach Kill has brought to Minnesota. Just like Wacker, Mason, I can’t remember them all. Maybe we should move to a different conference, But nobody would take us. Perhaps some day we’ll hire a coach, like Tubby, that comes from a winning backround in a major conference. I should live so long.

      • Dan

        Tubby has not done anything special.

  • James

    It’s not that gophers are that bad, but Bison are just that good.

    • Dan

      No it is that the Gophers are that bad, they probably will not win another game this year.

  • Me

    “Not only does North Dakota have the lowest unemployment rate in the country, it’s economy is booming, which is something for a college student to consider.”… Real genius there aren’t ya?! North Dakota has 9.7 inhabitants per square mile, and is almost the least populated stare in the entire country. Of course they are going to have the lowest unemployment… Nobody lives there!!! Economy booming? Well, considering most of there economy is farming, until humans stop eating, of course its going to be a booming economy! Thanks for the report there Reg, You have a wonderful grasp of the obvious.

    • Britta

      Yet I still pay less to go to school in ND. Even with MN reciprocity to the school, I pay roughly $2000 less just for tuition. That doesn’t even count living costs are less. I like the fact I can get an equal education for less money. At least ND can keep the state running…that is all I can say about the economic status of the state.

  • Ferris Lind

    Mn sports = Fail

  • LH

    Until the idiot Maturi is fired and they get someone in his position that actually knows what to do to get the U sports back to Div 1 level, nothing will change. He has single-handedly been the reason for the collapse of every sports program at the U. The U needs to get rid of every coach in every sport as well as the AD, Then they need to get an AD that has a brainand who can sign some top level coaches to fill the positions.

  • jon

    Noth dakota isn’t all farms “me”. There is alot of industry there including an oil boom llike no one has seen in ove one hundred years. The gophers have had problems for decades, it’s not gonna change overnight. when i was a kid, we could watch games on tv, and listen to the gophers on the radio when we wer out plowing the fields or milking the cows. That doesn’t exist for people outside the twin cities anymore. Minnesota is a big state, with alot of big farm boys who play football, Every one of them west of montecello have grown up without the gophers, and alot of them grew up listening to the souix and bison play on fargo radio stations. Why wouldn’t they want to play for the bison? It’s not because they dont love their home state, it’s because the U doesn’t give a rip about anything west of lake minnetonka.

    • Britta


  • Bison Mom

    I’m a Mom of two NDSU alums. It’s a great school and hey, it’s in Fargo. The football program is huge for the school and the community. They don’t have hockey so they can really support the football program. Don’t scoff at losing to a “lesser” school. Coach Bohl knows what he’s doing.

  • Another Bison Mom

    With alumni from both NDSU and UofM in the family, we can’t lose with this rivalry. Both are great schools. The real benefit for the UofM, regardless of the game score, is that the stadium is filled to capacity every time these two schools meet on the football field. Ticket sales, concessions, plus hotel and local restuarant economic benefits can’t be overlooked. I’d like to see these two teams play every year in the Twin Cities. Thanks for the media coverage!

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