Potato Bowl Then And Now

This season’s Potato Bowl will take place against Idaho State. It was in 1966 that North Dakota and Idaho State met in the first-ever Potato Bowl. So, what has changed?

Saturday’s contest against Idaho State will be the 53rd installment of the annual Potato Bowl. Coincidentally, the match-up between the Fighting Hawks and Bengals is nothing new in the game’s lore. The two teams played in the inaugural Potato Bowl game in 1966 at Memorial Stadium in Grand Forks. The outcome of that game saw North Dakota mash Idaho State 41-0. Since then, the Fighting Hawks have only dropped 10 total Potato Bowl match-ups, with their overall record being 40-12.

Now, the two teams that started it all will rekindle their former Potato Bowl glory on UND’s Homecoming. We thought it might be interesting to take you back in time to 1966, when times were simpler, and compare it today.


Price Of Gasoline: 32 cents
Vice President: Hubert H. Humphrey
North Dakota’s United States Senators: Quentin N. Burdick and Milton Young

University of North Dakota President: George Starcher
Average Price For A New Home: $23,300
Life Expectancy: 70.4 Years
United States Population: 196,560,338
The Year’s Number One Single: “Strangers In The Night” by Frank Sinatra
Oscar Winner For Best Picture: The Sound Of Music
The New York Times Bestseller: Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Reigning Super Bowl Champion: None (The first Super Bowl was played in January of 1967)
Reigning College Football National Champion: Notre Dame and Michigan State (Played to a 10-10 tie)
Reigning Heisman Trophy Winner: Steve Spurrier
Age Of North Dakota Head Coach Bubba Schweigert At Potato Bowl Kickoff: Four


Price Of Gasoline: $2.80
Vice President: Mike Pence

North Dakota’s United States Senators: John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp
University of North Dakota President: Mark Kennedy
Average Price For A New Home: $363,300
Life Expectancy: 69.1 Years
United States Population: 327,276,951
The Year’s Number One Single (To Date): “God’s Plan” by Drake
Oscar Winner For Best Picture: The Shape Of Water
The New York Times Bestseller: Leverage In Death by J.D. Robb
Reigning Super Bowl Champion: Philadelphia Eagles
Reigning College Football National Champion (FBS): Alabama
Reigning Heisman Trophy Winner: Baker Mayfield
Age Of North Dakota Head Coach Bubba Schweigert At Potato Bowl Kickoff: 56

*All 2018 listings are current as of September 19, 2018

For more information on Potato Bowl festivities and Homecoming visit or

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Written by Nolan Schmidt

Nolan is the Editor of Fighting Hawks Magazine. He is originally from Bismarck, ND and is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead. Outside of work, Nolan loves to write fiction short stories, among other things.

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