Q & A with the sports editor Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

Ariy-El Boynton

Q: Now that we are a couple weeks out from the fifth match-up for the “rock,” did any one team, either the Bison or the Jacks, hold an upper hand in the last five years?

A: The “rock” that you speak of is the Dakota Marker, which was showed off by Jacks’ players at Fargo on Nov. 22. SDSU beat the North Dakota State Bison, 25-24, via a gutsy performance from record-setting quarterback Ryan Berry.

Now to answer your question, I think if anything, NDSU has had a slight advantage over SDSU in the last five years.

But the Jackrabbits have bridged the gap and will have held the Marker for three years total after this year, while the “rock” has been in Fargo for two years.

I really believe that SDSU’s victory was good for the rivalry, and that’s not just because I covered the Jacks on the gridiron. Between the years of 2005 and 2006, SDSU’s trophy case was empty of the traveling trophy. For more than 700 days, the Jacks’ coaches and players would peep at the various shiny objects, but one was over 150 miles away.

In 2007, SDSU wanted the Dakota Marker back, and the record crowd of 16,345 fans on Nov. 17 proved that.

Compare that to the last game at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium in 2008. That game only had a little over 3,000 fans show up to see the Jacks play Illinois State on Nov. 8.

Before this year’s Dakota Marker game at the Fargodome, no team had ever won the “rock” on the road. Now SDSU has won on the road and has bragging rights for over 350 days.

As the saying goes in the NBA, a playoff series doesn’t start until a road team wins a game.

Maybe a road victory and a void of two years without the traveling trophy for NDSU will increase this rivalry.

Perhaps 2008 will be the last time anybody refers to this rivalry as a “friendly” or a “not-really-a-rivalry-but-a-rivalry” game.

I saw the NDSU players walking off the turf and at the post-game press conference. You could tell winning the Marker was something they wanted to do in front of their fans.

Other things I noticed about this rivalry:

1. No Jackrabbit player on the 2008 roster hails from North Dakota, while the Bison have five players from South Dakota.

2. The Fargodome may be crowned as the site where the most unnecessary sounds in the world exist. The public address announcer was annoying, the cannon was horrid, a speaker was right in your ear in the press box and the fans made noise at unneeded times.

3. Not having the game at the end of the season, such as next year’s match-up, takes a little bit away from the match-up. Next year, SDSU will only have one post-Hobo Day hangover game, as the NDSU/SDSU game comes on Oct. 17, the week before Hobo Day.

4. When and if the universities of South Dakota and North Dakota come back on the schedule for SDSU and NDSU, there could be a mythical creation of the “Dakota Champion” for the team that performs the best against the three other schools during the season. That would be a total of two freaking trophies!

Editors note: Keep the questions coming! The Collegian sports department will answer questions every week.