Missouri Valley Football Conference Power Rankings, Week 2

Hot Beef Take

The second full weekend of the season turned out to be another very successful one for the MVFC.  Nine of the ten played, Illinois State was the lone team with a bye, and seven of them won.  There were two very predictable annihilations against Southwestern and Northeast Conference teams and two games against the FBS, which were split.  Then there was the opening weekend of the Missouri Valley/Big Sky Challenge.  Five match-ups, all but one on the Big Sky’s turf, and the Valley continued to show their FCS dominance by winning four of the five games.  Through two weeks, the MVFC has played thirteen games against fellow FCS opponents, 11-2.  Last season, the Colonial and Southern Conferences both had equal rights to claim the throne of FCS hierarchy, but it looks like the kings are taking back their crown.  Let’s look at this week’s rankings…

  1. North Dakota State (2-0), previously #1.  Made a comment about stooping down to play lowly Mississippi Valley State, but they did destroy them very handily.  So this week, they travel to Eastern Washington to play on The Inferno…a similar result.  The score wasn’t as lopsided as EWU is far beyond MVSU talent-wise, but the Bison look pretty freaking determined to be back on top of the FCS.  Up next: bye, then hosting Robert Morris.
  2. South Dakota State (2-0), previously #2.  For a team who was shutout in their opener, Montana State gave everything they had to SDSU.  They still came up short and the Jackrabbits had to resort to shenanigans, a trick play where their kicker ran 31 yards for a touchdown, to win the game.  Looking ahead, this next game could be an exciting one for the scoreboard operator.  Up next: vs. Drake.
  3. Youngstown State (1-1), previously #3.  A week after losing in overtime to Pittsburgh, the Penguins returned home against an overmatched opponent from the Northeast Conference.  Anything less than a dominating performance would be a shocker.  Everything was well grounded as there was no electrocution here, as the shutout Robert Morris, 30-0.  They play another NEC team this week.  Up next: vs. Central Connecticut State.
  4. Western Illinois (2-0), previously #4.  Ladies and gentleman, the Road Warriors!  One could chuckle and say this isn’t a Mad Max remake or even the dominating pro wrestling tag team from the 80s and 90s.  However, the onslaught they’ve released on two road opponents cannot be overlooked.  The Leathernecks have got it together right now.  And they’re going to need it one more time as they travel to FBS Coastal Carolina, who their administration sold this originally schedule home game back to.  At least they get a break after this one.  Up next: at Coastal Carolina.
  5. Northern Iowa (1-1), previously #5.  There’s a lot that can be taken from this last win against Cal Poly.  The offense looked mostly good, the defense looked mostly confused.  A large part of that is the general trickiness of a triple option team who’s proficient enough passing to really hurt you when they get it timed right.  No better indication of this than only nine completions for over 230 yards!  Get ready, because the trip to Cedar City looks daunting.  The Thunderbirds put up 633 yards in a 5-1-14 route of Stephen F. Austin this past weekend!  Up next: at Southern Utah.
  6. South Dakota (2-0) , previously #7.  When the Coyotes destroyed Drake by 70 points, it only caught the attention because of the gaudy, crooked numbers.  Everyone expected the win.  But after this week, the flags are up and people are paying real attention.  Even if Bowling Green is a Mid-American school, they’re still FBS and beating a team with 22 more scholarships is something to behold.  Especially the way it was done, jumping out to a 21-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.  Now they get to host a future MVFC member, but this week, it’s a Big Sky opponent.  Up next: vs. North Dakota
  7. Illinois State (1-0), previously #6.  The Redbirds now hit the grind button, as they’ve already had their bye and have to play the next ten consecutive weekends.  Surely, they wouldn’t mind more(playoffs).  They did nothing, literally, to cost their slip here in the Power Rankings, but the team behind them beat someone from the FBS.  Minor details.  Hopefully they can keep the momentum from their initial white-washing into this week’s game against the Ohio Valley Conference.  Up next: at Eastern Illinois.
  8. Southern Illinois (1-0), previously #9.  What was it that was said last week?  After seeing the perfect blueprint in how to destroy Mississippi Valley State, a victory by less than 50 would be seen as a failure.  Failure avoided as the Salukis won 55-3.  And it probably could have been worse since that was also the score at the end of three quarters. Hopefully this has them ready as they hop the Mississippi River to play an Ohio Valley opponent?  Hmmm?  Geography?  Not applicable to the world of athletics apparently.  Up next: at Southeast Missouri State.
  9. Indiana State (0-2), previously #8.  Nightmare scenario for the Sycamores; a last second loss at home in the opener, a thorough thrashing at the hands of an FBS opponent, another road game to Virginia to play a Big South team, who’s really an independent but transitioning to FBS…what?  On top of all that, the Flames are red hot right now and considered one of the best team’s in the FCS, which they only compete in by schedule and conference affiliation.  Up next: at Liberty.
  10. Missouri State (0-2), previously #10.  The Bears offense who scored 43 points in the opener, suddenly went on the endangered species list this week, getting shutout by North Dakota, 34-0.  Okay, talent-wise, North Dakota probably a year or two ahead of where Missouri State hopes to get to, so that wasn’t a huge anomaly.  The home game this week should be much more manageable and a legitimate chance for them to win a non-conference game.  For the MVFC, this is important, as it’s against a third OVC team for the weekend.  Represent!  Up next: vs. Murray State.