Comparing Towson and North Dakota St.

Who would win in a fight: a tiger or a bison?

It sounds like a silly question, but one that no doubt will be the topic of barroom banter come Saturday when the Tigers of Towson University challenge the Bison of North Dakota State for the FCS Championship.

The Tigers' success in recent years has launched the university into the national spotlight, where just last month sports broadcast announcers routinely mispronounced the school's name (Towzen, Towsend, Towson State).

And according to Sun Tzu, 6 th century Chinese general and author of The Art of War, "It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles…"

With that in mind, let's get to know our FCS finalist as we compare Towson to North Dakota State.

North Dakota State at a glance:

  • Location: Fargo, ND
  • Founded: 1890
  • Enrollment: 14,443
  • Colors: Yellow and green
  • Returning lettermen: 50
  • Lettermen lost: 15
  • Starters returning: 21
  • Starters lost: 4

Towson University at a glance:

  • Location: Towson, Md.
  • Founded: 1866
  • Enrollment: 21,464
  • Colors: Gold, white and black
  • Returning lettermen: 41

From this we can gleam that at least the Bison could fair better in the snow, which cripples Maryland under threat of 2 inches. Fortunately, the teams square off in Frisco, Texas. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

The players:

Towson University's Department of Athletics compared the Tigers and the Bison on the field and the road that lead each team to the championship. North Dakota were tipped slightly with advantages to quarterback, wide receivers, defensive line and its secondary.

Enter running back junior Terrance West, who leads the FCS with 2,410 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns, and placed third in the Walter Payton award voting.

The bet:

While only the players can tell the story on the field, comparing the teams off the field is more fun.

Excitement surrounding the game has spurred a friendly wager between Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple. Should Towson win, Dalrymple will send a case of North Dakota-made Dreamfields low-carb pasta to Annapolis. If North Dakota wins, O'Malley will send Faidley's crab cakes to Bismarck, ND.

Sounds like a win-win for Dalrymple: another championship and crab cakes. If you want quality pasta, head over to Baltimore's Trinacria.

Perhaps they should reconsider the bet for bison burger instead.

Famous alumni:

Each university has produced its fair share of notable or famous alumni.

The Tigers take the lion's share of famous alums in the entertainment industry: actors Charles S. Dutton, Dwight Schultz (of The A-Team), and John Glover, as well as TV stars Mike Rowe, Howard Rollins, comedienne Amy Schumer and model/actress/former pro wrestler Stacy Keibler.

North Dakota State however has produced more professional athletes, particular NFL players. Current: Craig Dahl, Joe Mays, Nick Schommer and Isaac Snell.

Also, both former WWF champion Bob Backlund and the current chairman of Walgreens David Bernauer are Bisons.

Towson meanwhile boasts Super Bowl-winning Jermon Bushrod as its lone current NFL representative.

The mascots:

So who would win a fight between a Bison or a Tiger? On paper, North Dakota maintains the slight advantage. In nature however… ( video).

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