USF, Augustana schedule first non-conference football games since 2011
Cougars to visit Pittsburg State in Kansas. Vikings will take on Chadron State in Nebraska.
SIOUX FALLS — For the first time since 2011, NSIC football teams are playing non-conference games.
When USF and Minot State became the league's 15th and 16th teams in 2012 the conference went to a full 11-game conference slate, and they stayed that way when Minnesota Crookston and St. Cloud State dropped their programs in 2019 to put the league at 14 teams. But with Upper Iowa leaving the NSIC for the Great Lakes Valley Conference the conference is going back to an odd number of teams, which will finally provide teams in the NSIC with the chance to schedule non-conference games, and they are pouncing.
Augustana announced on Monday a home-and-home series with Chadron State, a Nebraska-based school in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, while USF signed on to play at Pittsburg State (Kan.) this fall for the Gorillas' homecoming game on Oct. 28.
That'll be a huge challenge for the Cougars, who will be in their first season under new coach Jim Glogowski.
Pitt State went 12-1 last year, winning the powerful MIAA conference and going unbeaten until losing to eventual national champion Ferris State in the playoffs.
It'll be the first meeting between the teams. USF went 8-3 last year, just missing the Division II playoffs. It was the Cougars' 28th consecutive winning season.
"We're excited about the opportunity to face off against another well-respected DII opponent," said USF athletic director Pam Gohl. "Their homecoming should be an electric environment as well as a great opportunity for both our programs to see competition outside our respective conferences."
The Vikings will visit Chadron State in Week 2 this season, on Sept. 9. The Eagles will then return the favor and visit Augustana on Sept. 7 in 2024. Chadron State was 3-8 last year. They've never played the Vikings, who went 7-4 last year for their fourth straight winning season.
"We are excited for the opportunity to fill our open date with an opponent like Chadron State from the RMAC," Viking coach Jerry Olszewski said. "Coach Long has consistently continued the tradition of a successful program and will challenge our team in ways we need to grow in our 2023 journey."
Both the Vikings and Cougars are expected to announce their full 2023 schedules soon.