Longtime in-state football rivals North Dakota State and North Dakota will meet for the first time as Division I opponents next season. As Valley News Live Sports Director Jamal Spencer first reported Thursday, NDSU completed its 2015 schedule by adding a September 19 game with UND to be played at Gate City Bank Field in Fargo.
The two-game contract calls for UND to return to Fargo on September 7, 2019. Per the terms of the agreement, NDSU will provide UND cash guarantees of $125,000 for the first game and $140,000 for the second game, plus 500 tickets and the option for UND to bring its band and cheer team.
The most recent two-game proposal was outlined by former NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor and current UND athletic director Brian Faison.
"Gene worked hard to find a solution that would be agreeable to both schools," said NDSU interim athletic director Prakash Mathew. "I am happy that Gene's offer has come to fruition."
The teams have not met since 2003 in Grand Forks as members of NCAA Division II and the North Central Conference.NDSU began Division I football in 2004 as a founding member of the Great West Football Conference before moving in 2008 to the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
UND began in 2008 as a member of the Great West and joined the Big Sky Conference in 2012. UND has a 62-45-3 advantage in the all-time series with NDSU dating back to 1894, including a 35-30 edge since the Nickel Trophy was inaugurated in 1938. The trophy is a 75-pound replica of a previously minted U.S. coin that measures in 2 inches thick and 22 inches in diameter.
Sources at UND tell Valley News Live the Nickel Trophy will be retired as a historic representation of the series. So far, a new trophy has not been discussed between the two schools but we do know that the Nickel Trophy is no longer in play.
NDSU is coming off their third consecutive FCS National Championship. They begin the 2014 season on August 30 at Iowa State under new head coach Chris Klieman. The Bison went 15-0 last season and are currently boasting a school and FCS-record 24 game winning streak.
UND is back in the Big Sky conference with new head coach Bubba Schweigert. North Dakota went 3-8 last season.