MVFC At-A-Glance, Week 6

mvfc

1. North Dakota State (5-0 overall, 2-0 MVFC): Without a doubt, the Bison were the team to beat coming into the regular season and they are now.  That’s not even necessarily in the Valley either, we’re talking nationally.  They face a meat grinder schedule, their next four opponents are all currently ranked.  But does anybody expect them to NOT go at least 3-1 in that stretch?  If you do, an appointment will be made for you with Dr. Ima Quack this coming Thursday.  Next, vs. South Dakota State.

2. South Dakota State (3-2, 2-0):  The Jackrabbits were probably second or third in the preseason pecking order for most people and they have only had one somewhat disppointing result(home vs. Cal Poly).  They made up for that with a home slaughter against Western Illinois.  They too have plenty of ranked teams left on the schedule, but they also have three very winnable games against struggling or lower tiered teams.  Barring a total implosion, this team should be in the playoffs.  Next, @ North Dakota State.

3. Youngstown State (4-1 , 2-0): I’ve been as big of a protester to how the Penguins have gone about their non-conference schedule as anybody, as they have played two Northeast Conference teams along with the seemingly mandatory FBS game.  Still, they sit at 4-1 and 2-0 in conference play.  The fact they will not face Western Illinois is a major positive.  This is a team that’s had chronic downfalls in November the past two years.  If they can avoid that, here’s your third MVFC playoff team.  Next, vs. Northern Iowa.

4. Western Illinois (4-1, 1-1): The Leathernecks are one of ten FCS teams and one of four MVFC team with a win over the FBS.  Add a very impressive win over a ranked Eastern Illinois, you’re looking at a team nobody is going to want to play – now or in the playoffs.  The one loss, at South Dakota State, was close.  If a victory could have been pulled out in the final minutes, people would be talking about this team as a national title contender.  Don’t let one loss fool you.  Next, @ Missouri State.

5. South Dakota (2-3, 1-1): The win over Northern Iowa could be seen as an upset, but maybe not.  The Coyotes came up short at Youngstown State, but it wasn’t because of lack of heart.  There’s a shot this team could win three of its next four.  If that happens, they’ve going to be going into the final weeks squarely on the playoff bubble.  At which point, they’ll be wishing that game earlier at North Dakota didn’t get away from them.  Next,@ Indiana State.

6. Northern Iowa (2-3, 1-1): Honestly, if it weren’t for Illinois State, Northern Iowa would be looked at as the most disappointing team in the MVFC.  That aside, there is still optimism.  This team will end the season as having one of the five or six toughest in all of FCS.  Another point, this team has had an opportunity to win all three games they’ve lost.  If the switch ever gets flicked, watch out!  Next, @ Youngstown State.

7. Missouri State (3-2, 1-1): The Bears have three wins already this year.  Now that seems trivial, but in Springfield, that was nearly a three seasons accomplishment.  Doesn’t look like a playoff team by any stretch, especially since one of those victories is against a non-Division I school.  Still, maybe this program is finally starting to turn the corner towards relevancy again.  Next, vs. Western illinois.

8. Indiana State (3-3, 1-2): The Sycamores opened conference play with what was a shocking victory at home against Illinois State.  It looked a lot more impressive than it does now, as Illinois State continues to flounder.  There is a very outside chance of a playoff berth, which seemed most unlikely before the season began.  How often do you lose your starting quarterback to academics and still start the season 3-3?  Probably not very many.  Next, vs. South Dakota.

9. Southern Illinois (2-3, 0-2): The Salukis are 0-2 in conference play, but tose were both to teams who figured to be playoff bound.  Considering how close they played at home against South Dakota State, future travelers should be very wary. The postseason is probably a lost cause without an unforseen turn of fortune, but there’s enough talent on this team to make things a lot more interesting for the others who figure to be contenders.  Next, @ Illinois State.

10. Illinois State (2-4, 0-3): Can the Redirds really be in the 10-hole?  I suppose this could be seen, in retrospect.  A solid, but relatively pedestrian victory over Valparaiso, then a last second 9-7 win over FBS Northwestern.  Let’s face it, despite what the Wildcats did to Iowa, Northwestern is nobody to get excited about.  And it took a last second field goal to beat them.  This looks like a team that needs a bye, but they don’t get one, there only open date is the week before the playoffs.  They are in serious danger of just ending the season a week early as a result.  Next, vs. Southern Illinois.