August 25, 2015

(STATS) - North Dakota State will usher in the college football season Saturday, making a trip to fellow national power Montana for the FCS Kickoff.

While the school's opening matchup always changes, everybody knows where NDSU has been on the final day of the season the last four years - in Frisco, Texas, where the Bison have captured a record number of consecutive national titles.

Just as NDSU hopes to again be in Texas to end the 2015 FCS campaign, Frisco hopes to continue serving as a co-host of the championship game after it is played at Toyota Stadium on Jan. 9, which marks the end of a second three-year contract with the NCAA.

The title game has been an economic success in Frisco, with NDSU's strong fan base becoming a central part of it. Frisco, which has served as co-host with the Southland Conference and the Hunt Sports Group, is negotiating with the NCAA to continue that winning relationship.

"They've done a phenomenal job," NDSU coach Chris Klieman said Tuesday. "We've been blessed to be down there four years in a row. Unbelievable welcomes, unbelievable hospitality, great people down there, everybody's friendly, they bend over backwards to help you. The game-day atmosphere has been phenomenal."

Particularly of note is the fact that the game could again become a Friday Night Lights affair in Texas.

The prevailing thought in football circles is NFL owners will vote to expand the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams in the near future. ESPN has been careful not to broadcast the FCS championship game against the NFL playoffs, but if the NFL's first round increases from four games to six, then ESPN could move up the FCS game from a Saturday afternoon to a Friday night.

The first championship game to be played in Frisco, won by Eastern Washington to cap the 2010 season, was played on a Friday night. The last four, all won by NDSU, have been held on Saturday afternoon.

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