Missouri Valley Football Conference Power Rankings, Week 7

Hot Beef Take

Top two?  Stationary.  Bottom two?  Stationary.  Middle six?  Shakin’ like Macarena Night at the Sports Guy’s house!

For only three weeks of competition, the thermostat is cranked all the way up.  You wouldn’t figure on that changing as the weather gets colder either.  There will be additional heating when more and more pressure is added.  Smells like an explosive recipe.

  1. North Dakota State (6-0 overall / 3-0 MVFC), previously #1.  North Dakota State continues to do what they’ve done for the last six or seven years plus; accept all challenges and turn most of them away with tails between their legs.  It took a gallant effort, to go to Ohio and beat the Penguins, and they did.  They get to come home after a couple weeks on the road.  Home cookin’…just what the hungry Bison need.  Up next: vs. Western Illinois.
  2. South Dakota (6-0 / 3-0), previously #2.  Almost made the Coyotes a co-#1, they’ve played that good.  At some point you’d figure at least a minor letdown or overlook.  These guys have been relentless though.  Ask Indiana State.  Seven touchdown whoopin’s don’t feel good.  Now they go to Normal to play a team who just embarrassed themselves last week.  Upset alert?!  Up next: at Illinois State.
  3. Western Illinois (5-1 / 2-1), previously #5.  The Leathernecks looked like a team who was about to sabotage all the hard work they’d put into their run earlier in the season.  Some credit has to Missouri State for jumping up early.  This seems like the way Western Illinois does things.  They fall behind early, then rage back with full power.  Now, can the 2017 Road Warriors pull off another roadie in Fargo?  Up next: at North Dakota State.
  4. Youngstown State (3-3 / 1-2), previously #4.  The Penguins figured to be a handful for the MVFC’s royalty, especially at home and they didn’t disappoint.  However, it was YSU who ended in disappointment when the Bison left town with the ‘W’.  This week, they go on the road to play the biggest game on the schedule in the entire country.  Two teams at 3-3, from one of the two best conferences, both with playoff dreams.  One will get their fourth win, the other their fourth loss.  Up next: at Northern Iowa.
  5. Northern Iowa (3-3 / 2-1), previously #7.  After what was a crushing come from ahead loss to Western Illinois, the Panthers’ back were squarely against the wall when going to SDSU last week.  They roared out of the corner liked a caged beast and soundly manhandled the Jacks.  If any team knows about the pressure cooker, it’s this team and the aforementioned description tells the story.  Defending home turf now is not just a cliché, it has to be life.  Otherwise, the playoff dreams are death.  Up next: vs. Youngstown State.
  6. South Dakota State (4-2 / 1-2), previously #3.  Considering they were at home, the loss to Northern Iowa hurts badly.  There’s only one game left on the schedule that’s a layup and it’s this week.  The last four are all toss-up games, at best.  Hard to believe this team could be in playoff jeopardy, but if the stretch run suffers, so will their chances.  Up next: at Missouri State.
  7. Southern Illinois (3-3 / 1-2), previously #8.  Question.  How many people outside of Carbondale thought the Salukis would beat Illinois State?  A handful maybe.  Another question.  How many thought they would beat them by a 42-7 score?  Hello?  A lot of crickets out there!  Southern Illinois put a huge damper on their in-state brethren.  In the same token, they made it possible with another upset, they could be in the playoff conversation on Selection Sunday.  Now they have to take care of ‘should win’-business.  Up next: at Indiana State.
  8. Illinois State (4-2 / 2-1), previously #6.  “Okay, who brought the dog?”  Yes, that’s a line from the movie Ghostbusters, from way back in the day.  And the answer is Southern Illinois, starring in their new movie Gangbusters.  The Redbirds were taken behind the woodshed and beaten like a child who didn’t mow the lawn and got caught smoking cigarettes.  Sadly for them, the schedule coming up is ridiculously hard and their once certain playoff hopes, might have just gone up in ashes.  But, they do have the time and opportunity to fix things.  Up next: vs. South Dakota.
  9. Missouri State (1-5 / 0-3), previously #9. You could almost tell Missouri State had the previous week off, the way they jumped all over Western Illinois.  In the end, the slightly less talented roster wilted and the game ended up going the other way.  Every now and then, the Bears show up and make things difficult.  The upset is always a potential, they seem to give everything they have.  Up next: vs. South Dakota State.
  10. Indiana State (0-6 / 0-3), previously #10.  The Sycamores got slapped around by South Dakota.  At this point, the season is officially lost, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to try and make things difficult for everyone left.  This week would be perfect for derailing a team who just got back on track.  Up next: vs. Southern Illinois.