Missouri Valley Conference Power Rankings, Week 5

Hot Beef Take

The first week of the Valley schedule has gone down and we’ve got some real movement in the power rankings here.  Thing that’s most important to note, when things happen and move in the Valley, they also move nationally.

  1. North Dakota State (4-0 overall / 1-0 MVFC), previously #1.  The Bison beat Missouri State and did it handily.  It was probably to a lesser degree than most fans and pundits would have guessed, but a win and health is more important at this point.  It shouldn’t be too tough this week either, even on the road.  Up next: at Indiana State.
  2. South Dakota (4-0 / 1-0), previously #3.  The Nielson Bowl goes to the team being coached by Nielson, himself.  It can’t be said subtlety enough, the Coyotes have arrived.  This team has played a rugged schedule to date and has passed with flying colors, undefeated.  This one comes at home and could be their biggest win to date.  Up next: vs. Youngstown State.
  3. Youngstown State (3-1 / 1-0), previously #5. Is anybody really surprised that the Penguins beat the Jackrabbits?  Maybe a few.  But the game was in Ohio and that defense is even tougher at home.  The running game was huge, keeping the high powered SDSU offense on the bench.  Most teams will try to copy that blueprint, but few have the talent to duplicate it.  Up next: @ South Dakota.
  4. South Dakota State (3-1 / 0-1), previously #2.  Okay, they lost their first game of the season, but it was at Youngstown State.  Will this snowball into a problem for the Jackrabbits?  Don’t count on it.  This team is still far superior talent-wise than all but maybe 6-7 teams in the entire nation.  Up next: at Youngstown State.
  5. Illinois State (4-0 / 2-0), previously #6.  Redbirds jump out to 2-0 in conference play.  Now they finally get their non-conference schedule finished.  This will be the final game of the MVFC/Big Sky Challenge…MVFC 5-2 right now.  Up next: at Northern Arizona.
  6. Western Illinois (3-0 / 0-1), previously #4. So they lost at South Dakota and it probably stung with their ex-coach coming it and doing it.  But time to dwell on the loss is not now.  They hit the road now for a game that is equally important for both teams.  Up next: at Northern Iowa.
  7. Northern Iowa (2-2 / 1-0), previously #7.  The Panthers jumped ahead early against Southern Illinois and played from the lead, which was relieving for many.  They held on and got the victory.  There seems like there’s a lot of kinks in the chain, but they’re getting stronger.  Do they have time to get it straightened out completely ? We’ll see.  The schedule gets really tough for five weeks.  Up next: vs. Western Illinois.
  8. Southern Illinois (2-2 / 0-1), previously #8.  The Salukis did everything they could to upset Northern Iowa’s playoff hopes and help their own.  Unfortunately for them, they came up just a bit short.  It seems like this might be the year of close calls, this team is improving but seem just a little behind climbing into the upper echelon.  Up next: at South Dakota State.
  9. Missouri State (1-4 / 0-2), previously #9. Hmmm? 0-2 in the MVFC and they’ve played two teams that are combined 8-0 overall.  Someone with the Bears made the schedule makers mad in the offseason.  The Bears will take this week off and prepare for a roadie at Western Illinois in a couple weeks.  Up next: bye.
  10. Indiana State (0-4 / 0-1), previously #10.  Hard to fault the Sycamores for the loss to Illinois State.  Now it’s fun time as the schedule just keeps throwing grinder after grinder at them.  Up next: vs. North Dakota State.