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The Missouri Valley Conference is the new Big 12. At least, that is what it feels like for Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson when watching tape of North Dakota State.

The Bison may be a FCS member, but they remind Richardson more of a team he’ll face during conference play in November.

The Cyclones don’t open the season with a gimme game against a team from a lower division. Instead, ISU gets the Alabama of the FCS and know nothing will come easy against North Dakota State on Saturday (11 a.m., FS1).

“I look at them as a D-I opponent,” Richardson said. “They are a great school. They know how to win.”

Yes, the Bison do. They’ve won the last three FCS national titles going 43-2.

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