It's not often that you get matchups of #1 vs. #2 teams in College Football. It's rare enough that Saturday's game is in fact just the second ever regular season matchup of top two teams in FCS history.

Not only is a great rivalry with a ton of history, but the implications of the regular season matchup cannot be matched.

While the winner will assuredly either retain or take the top spot in the rankings moving forward, the loser will surely have another shot in the postseason.

SDSU and NDSU have met 214 times in their history, and the 215th matchup should be must-see-TV.

Both teams are 5-1 with a perfect record against FCS competition. The two programs have dominated the Missouri Valley Football Conference, with at least one of the two claiming every title since 2011.

Here's a snippet on the overall series record and how things went down last year in Brookings:

Last year, South Dakota State scored on three long touchdown drives in the first half and held off second-ranked North Dakota State for a 27-19 victory to retain the Dakota Marker.  Notably, NDSU leads the all-time series, 63-44-5, including a 10-8 advantage in Dakota Marker games.  South Dakota State has won four of the last six Dakota Marker matchups. 

It's a 2:30 kickoff on Saturday from the Fargo Dome, you won't want to miss it!


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Know Your South Dakota College and University Mascots

The college football experience is an ultimate high for football fans and it takes several other teams to make that happen week after week during the season.
Just think about what goes into gameday? First and foremost, the players and coaching staff who put in hours and hours of practice and training to play in front of their fans. Then there's field prep, game officials, live broadcasts, concessions, and on-the-field entertainment. Yep, entertainment.

Second to the game, who do you watch? The cheerleaders? The band at halftime? What about the mascot? That's a job not many people can do.
I asked Sioux Falls native and former Cagey mascot for the Sioux Falls Canaries and Little Red & Herbie for the Nebraska Huskers Nate Welch about being a mascot:

  • What does it take to be a mascot?
  • "Losing a bet or filling an opportunity!" Welch says, "An internal energized desire to love life. After meeting great performers who are introverts out of costume, they become the center of attention when they take the stage. And also feeding off the performance of others."
  • Why does the mascot never talk?
  • "Know your role and shut your mouth. You are there to entertain. Tell the story with your actions and not your voice."
  • Advice to someone putting on that costume for the first time?
  • "Remember you are now in a costume. Have fun. Otherwise, you're just a dork in tights. If the fur ain't flying you ain't trying."

Nate Welch has moved on from his days as a mascot to Executive Director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Company in Vermillion, South Dakota.

So, can you name the mascots at our South Dakota Colleges and Universities? Check out the gallery below:

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