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Erv Inniger, a former NDSU basketball coach who recently retired as the school’s associate athletic director of development, a job that sent him around the country raising money, called the transition a monumental task that required him to “agitate and educate” boosters. A lot of them were skeptical that NDSU could compete in Division I.

The skeptics were all over the place,” Inniger said Friday. But, he added, “I give the skeptics a lot of credit for coming back and saying they were wrong.”

Now, fans are debating about what NDSU’s biggest win has been in athletics.

Simmers, a former Bison football player and wrestler, paused when asked if the victory over Oklahoma compared to three straight FCS titles.

“You know, I had that thought on the way to work today and I never came to a conclusion,” he said. “It’s breaking new ground. It’s a place we’ve never been. It’s a first. We’ve been a football school for decades and this is an opportunity to impress the country in a different manner.”