Missouri Valley Football Conference Power Rankings, Week 6

It’s amazing what two weeks of conference play can do for the overall clarity, as far as projections and observations go.  Surely, not EVERY question is answered, there’s still about half the regular season or 75% of conference play to go, but the fog is lifting.  In the Missouri Valley Football Conference, it’s pretty safe to say who the contenders are and who the pretenders are also.  There’s really only one team in between and that distinction is already leaning one direction.  Let’s get into the rankings and talk about it…

  1. North Dakota State (5-0 overall / 2-0 MVFC), previously #1.  The Bison absolutely destroyed Indiana State. That was the kind of result most people were probably waiting for when they played Missouri State. A win’s a win. Teams that say that are usually teams who struggle, not the case here. The schedule starts getting interesting now.  Up next: at Youngstown State.
  2. South Dakota (5-0 / 2-0), previously #2.  Hmmm? The schedule just keeps putting big bowling pins in front of the Coyotes and they keep knocking them down. A late field goal this last Saturday kept them perfect at home over Youngstown State. A little bit of a breather this week as Indiana State comes to the Vermillion Dome. Up next: vs. Indiana State.
  3. South Dakota State (4-1 / 1-1), previously #4. The Jackrabbits put a hurting on Southern Illinois. Knew there was no reason to doubt this team, despite their first loss. They’ll be hosting the one team who absolutely HAS to find a couple of road wins to even sniff the playoffs now. But there’s little doubt again, these guys will be ready.  Up next: vs. Northern Iowa.
  4. Youngstown State (3-2 / 1-1), previously #3. The Penguins became the first of the major contenders to take a second loss, first in conference. In the general scheme of things, this shouldn’t be an issue unless they lose all their games against all the other contenders. This week is an opportunity for a huge statement victory, to add to their previous one over SDSU.  Up next: vs. North Dakota State.
  5. Western Illinois (4-1 / 1-1), previously #6. Talk about cutting your teeth winning tough road games. The Leathernecks struggled early against Northern Iowa. Then came on like gangbusters only to lose control again. Then coming up big in the final moments to secure another important road victory. They get a little reprieve from the schedule this week, but these are the kinds of games they’ve tended to overlook in the past. Up next: vs. Missouri State.
  6. Illinois State (4-1 / 2-0), previously #5.  Illinois State took the week off from conference play to finish up the MVFC/Big Sky Challenge. Oops! Northern Arizona wasn’t having any more of the MVFC bullying act and put a whoopin’ on the Redbirds. Now they come back to the grind for the duration of the year.  Up next: at Southern Illinois.
  7. Northern Iowa (2-3 / 1-1), previously #7.  The Panthers are the one team in the MVFC that still seems in question to the contender/pretender debate. Though, we have to be honest, it’s leaning towards the pretender side. There’s a ton of work to be done now and there’s no time to waste. And these next four games are world class brutal.  Up next: at South Dakota State.
  8. Southern Illinois (2-3 / 0-2), previously #8.  The Salukis got their heads and other parts of their anatomy handed to them at SDSU. Hey! That happens to even the best of them sometimes. Nobody is going to mistake SIU as one of the best. They get to come home but play an in-state rival who was embarrassed themselves last week. Up next: vs. Illinois State.
  9. Missouri State (1-4 / 0-2), previously #9. Hopefully the Bears enjoyed the week off. ore importantly, they should have used their time to load up one really great game plan for this week. We’ll see.  Up next: at Western Illinois.
  10. Indiana State (0-5 / 0-2), previously #10.  The Sycamores received no compassion at home from North Dakota State.  It’s hard to imagine they’ll get any this week in Vermillion.  Up next: at South Dakota.