Once again, North Dakota State won the FCS national championship in 2015.
And once again, the college football season will begin with a North Dakota State game.
NDSU announced Tuesday the 2016 FCS Kickoff will come to the Fargodome as Charleston Southern visits the five-time defending national champions. This year's tilt is set for August 27, with a 7 p.m. ET kickoff to be televised by ESPN.
"The FCS Kickoff is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our football program and university on national television, and we are excited to be part of it for a second time," NDSU director of athletics Matt Larsen said in a statement. "We appreciate the relationship we have with ESPN for making this possible, and are excited about the six quality opponents coming to the Fargodome this year."
The 2015 college campaign began with Bob Stitt leading Montana past North Dakota State in his first game as the Grizzlies' head coach in a 38-35 thriller. The tradition began in 2014 when Eastern Washington avenged an FCS semifinals loss the year prior with a 56-35 defeat of Sam Houston State.
This year's FCS Kickoff pits the five-time champions against a rapidly rising Charleston Southern program. After going just 8-25 in the three years leading to his hiring, Jamey Chadwell has led the Bucs to a 28-10 mark in three seasons on the job, including a Big South championship and FCS playoffs appearance in 2015.
"Having the opportunity to compete in the FCS Kickoff and play on ESPN validates what our football program has been able to accomplish over the last three years," Chadwell said Tuesday. "Our goal is to be the best. We are getting the opportunity to play the standard in FCS football and will get to see how we stack up against the best."
The FCS Kickoff has quickly become an invaluable spotlight for the Football Championship Subdivision. With an exclusive window and a captive audience, it's the only time of the year FCS football has a chance to become a jug of cold water to those lost in the Sahara.
Just as South Carolina begins the FBS season and the reigning Super Bowl victor opens the NFL schedule, here's hoping ESPN sneak-peaks each football season with the FCS Kickoff in perpetuity.