FARGO — On your marks. Get set. Go. Well, hopefully.
The NCAA Division I Council on Wednesday approved a starting date for the weekend of April 24 for the Division I FCS playoffs, meaning the title game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, will be held May 15.
Every FCS conference postponed its league games to the spring, including the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The league is sticking with the plan, despite the Big Ten Conference reversing course and beginning play in late October instead of moving all games to the spring.
"We will not be pursuing a fall conference season," the Missouri Valley said in a statement. "We remain fully committed to aligning our conference season with the FCS Championship, which as you know, was postponed and moved to the spring."
The Valley will play eight games and if the same scheduling scenario as the fall holds true, North Dakota State would open up at Northern Iowa on Feb. 27.
The league home opener would be the following week against Illinois State. NDSU is playing Central Arkansas on Oct. 3 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome, a game that will count toward the FCS playoff selections. The field is being reduced from 24 teams to 16 to accommodate a four-week postseason.
NDSU is the three-time defending FCS champion and has won eight of the past nine titles. Depending on the outcome on Oct. 3, the Bison are expected to open the season as the No. 1-ranked team in the FCS.