Editor's note: This story originally published on Jan. 5, 2019. It has been updated with NDSU's most recent national title win.
When you win this many titles in a decade, it might seem like the individual championship runs can get all jumbled together. But each NDSU national title has been unique in its own way.
This speaks for itself because the Bison were in an unfamiliar position and fans weren't sure how they stacked up against a very talented Sam Houston State squad.
The 17-6 win sent shock waves around North Dakota and the region as the Bison won a national championship in just a few years of being eligible for the FCS playoffs. [divider]
At this point in NDSU’s run, it was still uncertain if 2011 was a one-time occurrence. The Bison were ranked No. 1 for most of the year and finished the regular season 10-1. But a 17-14 home loss to Indiana State stuck out like a sore thumb and the NDSU offense was really struggling late in the year.
A 14-7 win against Wofford in the quarterfinals and a 23-20 win the next week against Georgia Southern had many questioning if the Bison could beat SHSU again. But the Bison did just that, this time in convincing fashion, 39-13. [divider]
With a huge senior class featuring several key contributors to the first two titles, the 2013 championship was NDSU’s to lose. Besides one close game against Northern Iowa, the Bison dominated every opponent.
But the 15-0 finish and 35-7 win against Towson in Frisco didn't come without adversity. In the middle of the playoff run, the NDSU locker room was blindsided with the news that Craig Bohl would be leaving for Wyoming.
A bit later, it was announced every assistant coach outside of three would also be leaving. Frisco turned into more of a celebration to send Bohl, his coaching staff and the 23 seniors out in a big way. At this point, many people outside of Fargo were under the assumption the dynasty was coming to an end. [divider]
A new head coach in Chris Klieman, a brand new assistant coaching staff and a ton of new starters highlighted by quarterback Carson Wentz were a part of a magical season for the Bison. The FCS was licking its chops to crown a new champion, but NDSU finished off a dramatic playoff run in stunning fashion.
Wentz led a game-winning drive in the playoffs against South Dakota State and the Coastal Carolina quarterfinal game was also a game that came down to the final minutes. But when Illinois State's Tre Roberson scored on a 58-yard run with 1:38 remaining to go up 27-23 in the title game, it appeared the magic was gone.
Wentz had other plans, leading a six-play, 78-yard drive and a game-winning touchdown run with 37 seconds to play. [divider]
The magic and run of good fortune seemed to come to an end again on Oct. 17, 2015. NDSU suffered a shocking home loss to South Dakota to drop to 4-2 while it was announced shortly after that Wentz would possibly miss the rest of the season with a broken bone in his wrist.
Even earning a playoff seed was a legitimate concern at that point in time for Bison fans. But in stepped a redshirt freshman named Easton Stick. He led NDSU to an 8-0 record and to Frisco, where it was announced the day before the game that Wentz will return.
The Bison shellacked Jacksonville State 37-10 and the five-peat was complete. [divider]
For the first time in Frisco, NDSU had redemption on its mind. James Madison defeated the Bison in the 2016 semifinals, were the defending national champions and were 14-0 and the No. 1 team in the FCS all year.
The game was viewed as 50/50 and played out that way. The Bison used a 17-3 start to hold on for a 17-13 win and showed their dynasty is not over. [divider]
Once the 2017 game was finished, the Bison were looked at as heavy, heavy favorites to repeat. They did just that, defeating Eastern Washington 38-24 to cap off a 15-0 season that saw them outscore playoff opponents 169-55.
But it wasn't without some fireworks. Chris Klieman was announced as Kansas State's head coach shortly after the quarterfinal win against Colgate. He remained on as head coach in a unique week leading up to the South Dakota State semifinal game in which Klieman was flying back and forth from Fargo to Manhattan.
It was also announced during the playoff run that four assistants are following Klieman after this season while defensive coordinator Matt Entz will be the next head coach at NDSU.
All of this did not impact a Bison team with 24 seniors. They rolled to an FCS record seventh national title while Easton Stick broke the subdivision's record with 49 career wins. [divider]
In the preseason, this year had a similar feel to the 2014 season with a new head coach in Matt Entz, a new-look coaching staff and a huge senior class gone. But a big difference in 2019 was both sides of the ball had four or fewer returning starters. Also, a redshirt freshman named Trey Lance was taking over instead of a fourth-year junior named Carson Wentz.
Once again, 2019 seemed like a prime year for some FCS teams to close the gap. If anything, the Bison widened it with a 16-0 record capped off by a 28-20 win against JMU. Lance won the Jerry Rice Award and the Walter Payton Award the night before.
For the second time in the decade, NDSU completed the three-peat.