A battle. A dogfight. A slobberknocker.
Those terms are usually reserved for when North Dakota State and Northern Iowa take the football field. The Panthers are NDSU's biggest rival, but South Dakota State is a close second. NDSU and UNI are bitter rivals. The NDSU-SDSU is a bit more of a friendly rivalry, with both teams going D1 together.
But matchups with the Jackrabbits continue to get bigger for the Bison, and Saturday's clash will no doubt be the biggest game these two programs have played against each other.
The Missouri Valley Football Conference co-champions took care of business in the second round, with No. 8 SDSU squeaking by Villanova 10-7 and No. 1 NDSU taking care of San Diego 45-7. They now meet up in the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Fargodome. The game will be on ESPN.
And what a game it'll be.
The Jackrabbits are responsible for NDSU's only loss this season, a 19-17 defeat that saw Jake Wieneke catch a 2-yard touchdown with one second to play. The rivalry has heated up a bit since. SDSU snapped an eight-game skid against the Bison and the Jacks believe they have stepped out of NDSU's shadow. NDSU plans on showing the Jacks who the top program in the MVFC and FCS still is.
This will be the third time these two teams meet in the playoffs, the first two times happening in the second round in 2012 and 2014. Had the Jacks beaten Montana last season in the first round, they would have played in the Fargodome.
No doubt, these two teams are sick of seeing each other. The Jacks were good enough to make a run for a national championship in 2014, but ran into the Bison early due to regionalization.
It's not just football either.
NDSU and SDSU have squared off in the Summit League men's basketball championship game three times since 2011, with the Jacks winning two of those to reach The Big Dance.
This rivalry seems to get ratcheted up every December and March. And it took another turn with SDSU's win on Oct. 15.
Not only did SDSU get to celebrate with the Dakota Marker on the Fargodome field, but video of linebacker Christian Rozeboom's tackle on NDSU running back Bruce Anderson created quite a stir on social media. Anderson's ankle was twisted at a gruesome angle as Rozeboom had him wrapped up at the feet. That caused Anderson to miss most of the remaining regular season games, but he came back and had a 61-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against San Diego.
Whether it was cheap or just a football play is for fans to debate. But it no doubt adds some fuel to the fire, making Saturday's game even more explosive.
Defeating the Bison two times in a row inside the Fargodome is a monumental task for the Jacks. But they have the offense to do it. The recipe to defeating the Bison this year appears to be slinging the ball all around the field.
NDSU's defense has suffered some key injuries, but its young secondary has made big strides. SDSU's defense, meanwhile, has dramatically improved compared to the beginning of the season.
Eight teams remain in the FCS playoffs, three of which come from the MVFC. Saturday's matchup is one that drew groans in Fargo and Brookings after the bracket was released. But its a matchup everyone is used to by now.
Will the Bison avenge their loss? Or do the Jacks show they're for real the top team in the conference, and maybe the country?