MVFC At-A-Glance, Week 8

MVFC At-A-Glance, Week 8

1. South Dakota State (5-2 overall, 4-0 MVFC): As of this moment, there might not be a hotter team in the entire landscape of FCS, except for maybe Eastern Washington.  That being said, the Eagles couldn’t win at North Dakota State and the Jackrabbits did.  A thorough, stifling performance against Youngstown State only adds to their current lore.  This team is hot and for real.  Bad news for a Redbirds team trying to get anything going this season.  Next, @ Illinois State.

2. North Dakota State (6-1, 3-1): Now who thought the Bison would continue reeling after losing to South Dakota State?  Maybe people in Macomb, Illinois.  However, the Leathernecks were handed a first half deficit they were unable to rebound from.  The Bison took the lead then grounded out the victory – that NDSU style.  Next, @ Northern Iowa.

3. Youngstown State (5-2, 3-1): It’s hard to penalize the Penguins for losing to South Dakota State, considering what they’ve done to everybody else they’ve played.  I was probably a little hard on this team in the preseason, they got their act together.  Barring a catastrophe, this team is going to play in the second season.  Next, vs. Indiana State.

4. South Dakota (4-3, 3-1): Are the Coyotes REALLY the fourth best team in the Valley?  Probably not, but for right now, they have a case.  They’re in a second place tie in the best conference in FCS football at the midway point.  So I’ll give them a little extra love here.  They still need to knock off at least one of WIU, SDSU or NDSU to get to 6-5.  Doing that with their overall schedule will at least get them to the table on Selection Sunday.  Win two and they’re a lock.  First shot coming up.  Next, vs. Western Illinois(Nielsen Bowl).

5. Western Illinois (5-2, 2-2): Gets the minimal drop by circumstance.  No one can really fault Western Illinois for losing to the Bison, except for the fact it was at home, perhaps.  The schedule sets up decently for them as two of their final four should be wins and the other two are at least coin flips.  That alone should garner them some love in four weeks.  Next, @ South Dakota(Nielsen Bowl).

6. Northern Iowa (3-4, 2-2): Now, if this is the Panthers offense that is going to show up for the stretch run, there’s plenty to be excited about in northeast Iowa.  The defense was like a maple tree against Missouri State.  First, the syrup slowed the Bears down and made them drowsy.  Secondly, the tree fell on them and crushed all hope of victory.  The offense looked spectacular, maybe as good as it’s been in three years, at least.  Benchmark game coming up.  Next, vs. North Dakota State.

7. Indiana State (4-4, 2-3): The Sycamores beat Southern Illinois, but it didn’t look overly impressive.  They did keep control for the majority of the game, after the first quarter and left Carbondale with a win.  And that’s the most important thing.  With three games left and needing three wins to make the playoffs, this team is just building towards next year.  Unless the improbable happened.  Three wins against their remaining schedule would put them in.  Next, @ Youngstown State.

8. Illinois State (3-5, 1-4): The Redbirds really don’t deserve the #8 spot, but they also didn’t lose this week by 54 points.  54 points to a team who was struggling mightily on offense.  For whatever reason, this team cannot put a whole game together.  It’s looking more evident that Roberson and Coprich meant more to this team than even suspected the last two years.  Next, vs. South Dakota State.

9. Missouri State (3-4, 1-3): I can’t help but think of ‘Gomer Pyle’ in the movie Full Metal Jacket getting yelled at by Gunnary Sgt. Hartman, “What the $%@#!*^(heck) was that Missouri State?”  No result this season has been more dumbfounding that their game at Northern Iowa.  Sure, most people believe UNI had more talent and potential, myself included, but the trends going in showed no hint for what was in store.  Tea leaves blowtorched!  Next, vs. Southern Illinois.

10. Southern Illinois (2-5, 0-4): The Salukis are dying to get that first conference win and this week might be their best chance.  True, they go to the road, but Springfield is as close as any other place to travel in the Valley.  The question is whether they get the Bears team who’s still shellshocked from what happened this week or a Bears team who irate about what happened and will do anything to rectify it.  We’ll find out Saturday.  Next, @ Missouri State.