MVFC At-A-Glance, Week 10

1. North Dakota State (8-1 overall, 5-1 MVFC): The Bison made quick work of Youngstown State this last week.  It was a total obliteration, but that’s not how NDSU does things.  Predictably, they jumped on top then used the possession game to grind out a win.  Barring a setback the next two weeks, they are going to enter the playoffs as at least a top 4 seed.  Honestly, anything short of a 2-seed will be robbery.  Next, vs. Indiana State.


2. South Dakota State (6-3, 5-1): Was SDSU upset about being upset by Illinois State?  As an outsider that’s a subjective opinion.  Now ask Missouri State what they think.  Pretty sure the Bears would answer affirmatively.  The ‘rabbits jumped on MSU and didn’t let up.  The playoffs are within a victory of locking up a bid.  But victory in the Valley is never a certainty.  And “little brother” comes calling this week.  Next, vs. South Dakota.


3. Youngstown State (6-3, 4-2): So the Penguins lose to the Bison…welcome to the club known as the MVFC(sans SDSU).  You gotta figure this team is still just getting over their wounds from the Northern Iowa game where both quarterbacks went down.  And North Dakota State is a horrible team to try and get healthy against.  Luckily, the schedule gods have given them the two “softest” teams in the conference to finish up, if there is such a thing.  Next, vs. Southern Illinois.


4. Western Illinois (6-3, 3-3): The Leathernecks were unable to withstand what has suddenly become the “Redbird Revolution”.  This team is still firmly entrenched as a likely playoff participant, but even given their tremendous resume, they cannot lose out and end up 6-5.  The Committee isn’t going to take a team coming in with a three-game losing streak and losing four of five, regardless of where they come from.  Next, vs. Northern Iowa.


5. Northern Iowa (4-5, 3-3): The masters of playing the close game didnothing of the sort this last weekend.  Even with a third string quarterback, they opened up the playbook and had some fun.  The defense did their part, like they usually do, and looked even more the part because the offense kept them fresh.  The playoffs are still in reach, at least in the conversation, if they win out.  But, wow, whatta couple of opponents to end with.  Next, @ Western Illinois.


6. Illinois State (5-5, 3-4): The Redbirds have got it rolling, all of a sudden.  Apparently, they wanna be in the 6-5 conversation too and it looks likely they will.  They’ve laid the template for Northern Iowa, as they’ve beaten the two teams the Panthers have to to get to 6-5, the last two weeks themselves.  Boy, that was a horrible run-on sentence.  Question is, will their 6-5 be enough?  Next, vs. Missouri State.


7. South Dakota (4-5, 3-3): The Coyotes are the team that nobody can figure out.  Winning two of their last three would have got them to 6-5 and very compelling for a last spot or two.  So, with the two best teams to finish up their schedule…they drop a road game to previously winless Southern Illinois.  Ouch!  Backs are squarely against the wall now.  Do they come out fighting now or tuck tail and run?  Next, @ South Dakota State.


8. Indiana State (4-6, 2-5): After the thorough beating the Sycamores took at the hands of UNI, they deserve to drop.  Alas, one of the teams below them got beat just as bad as they did and the other just picked up their first conference victory.  Welcome to the bottom of the ladder.  There’s still hope in Terre Haute towards next year.  As for this week, they’re in Fargo…nothing good is happening there.  Next, @ North Dakota State.


9. Missouri State (4-5, 2-4): The Bears were handled like bicycle on the Tour de France by SDSU.  This program has also made a gigantic leap forward from where they were last year.  There’s a definate direction for this team.  It might take a couple more years, but it’s coming.  Asfor this week, they are the last chance to squash the “Revolution”.  Next, @ Illinois State.


10. Southern Illinois (3-6, 1-5): Just when they were all but written off, here they come and get that elusive first victory of the conference season.  It’s been a difficult grind, for sure, and their last two opponents are in the midst of serious playoff pushes.  That makes finishing out the season even tougher.  Next, @ Youngstown State.