The fate of Nicholls as the ultimate oppressed is almost immutable.
There is no guarantee that the current 28-point difference in the Colonel's second round match against No. 1 North Dakota will be maintained by kick-off. But it would have that the black plague tears the state of Peace Garden so that Nicholls fills this gap of accuracy before Saturday. There is also the real chance that it will grow.
According to 5Dimes Sportsbook, Nicholls is the biggest underdog in the second round of the FCS playoffs and the second in all division I football this week, surpassing the 28.5 points gap awarded to the FBS No. 3 Clemson on No. 22 Virginia in the ACC Championship.
For reference, the rival of the Southland Conference, southeastern Louisiana, is only an outsider 11 points to the No. 6 Montana FCS this week. The second biggest gap is James Madison, No. 2, 23 points off Monmouth. Even Nicholls' trip to Power 5 Kansas State during the opening game of the regular season did not pit the gap so far at +22. And when the Colonels beat Kansas in the first game of 2018, they were only outsiders to 9 points. When they traveled to East Washington for the second round of the 2018 playoffs, they sat around a gap of 20 points.
Now, sports betting is not a perfect measure to determine just how good one team is than another. Lines often fluctuate before the match depending on which back wins the most. But as anyone who has spent a night in a Vegas casino can tell you, they tend to know what they are talking about.
Broad dissemination should not surprise those who have been interested in FCS in recent years.
Nicholls may be in his third consecutive playoff run and second consecutive second-round run, but the Colonels are still relatively new on the national scene. Barely six years ago, the program ran from age 0 to 12 and had rarely, if ever, been really relevant outside the conference. Even this year, Nicholls has qualified for the playoffs by earning Southland's automatic qualifier this past weekend.
At the same time, the state of North Dakota is one of the most dominant dynasties in college football since Rutgers played for the first time at Princeton in 1869. Since Bison has won seven of the last eight FCS championships to limit them to a university football can sell them short.
That's enough for David to drop his sling and go to the hills.
Again, no team has ever won a championship playing away against the gap. So the question remains: is Nicholls really 28 points less than the state of North Dakota?
The intestinal reaction is yes. NDSU is a power station in the most literal sense of the term. The Bison were the big favorite to win all this at the start of the season and they will be so if and when they arrive in Frisco, Texas on January 11th for the title game. To beat the NDSU would give the impression that beating Kansas in overtime was like beating Loyola New Orleans football program.
But if Nicholls ever intended to cause a cataclysmic disaster, that would be the time to do it.
The colonels may be playing one of the best balls in their history with five straight wins since losing two in the middle of the season. They are healthy, they have found a rhythm and, above all, they are motivated.
Whenever Nicholls loses (or wins everything) this season, he bids farewell forever to the top performing high school class in the history of the school. Two of the best carriers in the quarterback uniform Chase Fourcade and defensive lineman Sully Laiche will never give the ball back to Bayou as footballers, with nearly two dozen others.
North Dakota has had its moment of glory and will probably be in the near future. But it may be the end of an era in Thibodaux.
So I do not know what to do with a difference of 28 points. But I know the Nicholls will not fall asleep without fighting.
You can contact editor Mike Gegenheimer at 857-2212 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ Mike_Gegs.