Missouri Valley Football Conference Power Rankings, Week 1

Hot Beef Take

The Missouri Valley Football Conference might have been the one conference that had nothing extraordinary happen during the season’s first week.  Everybody who was expected to win did, as did those who lost.  There were a few who nearly bucked the trend, but in the end normalcy prevailed.  Here’s this week’s rankings…

  1. North Dakota State (1-0), previously #1.  If you’re North Dakota State and are going to stoop so slow as to play Mississippi Valley State in your season opener, you better win by at least eight touchdowns.  Delivered.  In fact, the Bison whooped the Delta Devils by 65, 72-7!  Don’t expect a similar result this week when they hit the road.  The Eagles were beaten up by FBS Texas Tech and they have a lot more pride left.  Up next: at Eastern Washington.
  2. South Dakota State (1-0), previously #2.  The thought was that the Jackrabbits might need to muster up some serious offense to put a generally high-touted offensive Duquesne team away.  Some forgot to tell the Jacks’ defense as they stifled the NEC’s top team.  The preseason thought was they might have to do the same thing in game 2, but the Bobcats were shutout in their opener.  Up next: at Montana State.
  3. Youngstown State (0-1), previously #3.  The Penguins did nothing to help themselves in the first half at Pittsburgh, falling behind 21-0.  Alas the second half comes and they scored 21 of their own, unanswered to force the game into overtime.  A bad decision on a pass into the end zone ended the threat though.  Figure on a decisive victory this week.  Up next: vs. Robert Morris.
  4. Western Illinois (1-0), previously #5.  The Leathernecks went into the Tennessee Valley, actually the Ohio Valley Conference, and destroyed Tennessee Tech.  That is just the beginning of WIU’s road warrior mentality this non-conference season.  This week they travel to the mountains of Arizona, where the Lumberjacks may be the biggest home/road split team this side of the Colorado Rockies baseball team.  Up next: at Northern Arizona.
  5. Northern Iowa (0-1), previously #4.  First drive of the season, the Panthers looked like they might be on their way to a National Championship.  Then some poor choices on passes and the tide was completely swayed before the end of the first quarter.  Still some good things come from the game.  The defense allowed 28 points to a FBS team with some wicked offensive weapons and lots of scholarship depth elsewhere.  The Mustangs come calling to the UNI-Dome this week, having already lost two games, a third possibly ending legitimate playoff hopes before they even get to conference play.  Both teams should be highly motivated.  Up next: vs. Cal Poly.
  6. Illinois State (1-0), previously #6.  The Redbirds put a crunching on Butler, 45-0!  Not very cordial hosts.  But they’re not going to lose any sleep on it, in fact, they’ll probably sleep more.  Why?  Because they have this next week off.  Up next: a bye, then at Eastern Illinois..
  7. South Dakota (1-0), previously #7.  If Illinois State or North Dakota State were poor hosts, the South Dakota gets the nation’s title of horrible Week 1 visitors.  The Coyotes travel to Des Moines and give the Pioneer’s Drake a rare home game against a major FCS conference opponent and a Grade A, first class mudhole-stompin’, 77-7!  Now, if they can do that again this week, playing in an FBS stadium, they’ll be ranked, maybe in the top 10.  Up next: at Bowling Green.
  8. Indiana State (0-1), previously #9.  Typically, a team doesn’t move up when they lose, but for all intents and purposes, the Sycamores had Eastern Illinois dead to rites.  However, the Blue Panthers get the last laugh and score a winning touchdown with three seconds to go and head back to Illinois a victor.  Extremely tough luck as Indiana State hits the road twice before MVFC play.  The first, this week, in Knoxville against a top 25 ranked FBS opponent.  Harsh!  Up next: at Tennessee.
  9. Southern Illinois (0-0), previously #8.  The Salukis took the first week off, but now they get a home game against the aforementioned Delta Devils.  Nobody is going to mistake SIU for NDSU, but having seen the near perfect game plan, the Salukis need to win this game by at least 50 or it’s going to be deemed a failure.  Up first: vs. Mississippi Valley State.
  10. Missouri State (0-1), previously #10.  When a team scores 43 points, that team wins probably 98% of the time.  The Bears joined the 2% club this last week and surrendered a maddening 72 points to FBS Missouri!  One on hand, you have to consider they might have their offense figured out, but that defense might be fun for everyone else to play too.  It might speaks volumes worse for Missouri.  The Bears hit the road again to the great north to play future MVFC member, the Fighting Hawks.  Up next: at North Dakota.