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Eastern Washington, North Dakota State schedule series

( - The last two programs to capture an FCS national championship will be playing against each other.

If it's not in the playoffs in the next few years, then three-time reigning national champion North Dakota State and 2010 FCS champion Eastern Washington will meet in a home-and-home series in 2016 and 2017, the two schools simultaneously announced Friday.

The first meeting will be played at the Fargodome in North Dakota on Sept. 10, 2016. The second matchup will be held at Eastern Washington on Sept. 16, 2017.

The two programs have combined to win the last four FCS championships, with Eastern Washington winning in 2010 and North Dakota State capturing the last three titles in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The two teams met in the 2010 quarterfinal round of the playoffs, which the Eagles won. Since then, the Bison have been victorious in every playoff game in which they have participated.

"We are extremely excited to schedule a home and home with North Dakota State," said Eastern Washington athletic director Bill Chaves. "We have such tremendous respect for what the Bison have accomplished over the past several seasons. By playing a series like this, we hope that it can help to continue to elevate the FCS brand throughout the country."

Such a meeting of the national powers is highly anticipated this season. Earlier Friday, Eastern Washington was selected No. 1 in The Sports Network FCS Preseason Top 25, and North Dakota State was close behind at No. 2.

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