Missouri Valley Football Conference Power Rankings, Week 11

Hot Beef Take

Well, we’ve come to the final week of the regular season.  I know, it sucks, right? Well, about half the conference should still be playing after this week. This week we’ll look more towards what everybody has to be looking forward to, namely in regards to the playoffs.

  1. North Dakota State (9-1 overall / 6-1 MVFC), previously #1. So who lost a game two weeks ago? Don’t ask South Dakota about it as they felt full wrath of an angry stampede. The Bison are securely in the playoffs and on the seed line. A win this week should clinch them the #2 overall seed and home field to the National Championship, if they make it that far. Up next: at Illinois State.
  2. South Dakota State (8-2 / 5-2), previously #2. The Jackrabbits took down the Bison two weeks ago, then survived overtime to beat Illinois State. That result might have been the final nail in the coffin for the Redbirds and at the same time, reset their placement on the seed line. However, they have to finish it up this week and that means beating in-state South Dakota. Do that, and these guys will be a #5 or #6 nationally.  Up next: at South Dakota.
  3. Northern Iowa (6-4 / 5-2), previously #3. Panthers overcame multiple injuries, including their starting quarterback, to dismiss Missouri State. The outcome was not lopsided or overly impressive, but the win is the most important thing. As like many times in the past, the defense is carrying the team and just hoping the offense does enough. Barring an absolute meltdown this week, the Panthers will be headed to the playoffs. As far as home or away goes, they’ll be close to that line, which means it may come down to where their “home bid” sits. Up next: vs. Indiana State.
  4. Western Illinois (7-3 / 4-3), previously #5. Talk about deflating the moment. The Leathernecks traveled to Terre Haute and completely annihilated the Sycamores senior day festivities, 45-0!  45-0?!  Was it that necessary?  In WIU’s case, probably.  There is an outside chance they could sneak onto the seed line, if they finish 8-3.  They’re probably going to need some help elsewhere though.  Oddly enough, the fact that teams “bid” on home playoff games in the first round, WIU could be a top ten team going on the road. It’s a poor system. Up next: vs. Southern Illinois.
  5. South Dakota (7-3 / 4-3), previously #4. Is this really happening? A month ago, this team looked like a national title contender. Then the star quarterback gets dinged up and the wheels start falling off the runaway train. That being said, a loss this week and the Coyotes will be in serious playoff limbo. How? They have an FBS win. Sure, but one of their seven wins would be against non-scholarship Drake and they will have finished the season losing four out of five. Momentum would not be on their side. Strangely enough, if they win this week and finish 8-3, they’re right back in the conversation for one of the final seeds. ♫♪ It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ♪♫ Up next: vs. South Dakota State.
  6. Illinois State (6-4 / 4-3), previously #6. What could have been. How did we lose to Southern Illinois? 42-7 even!? This just might end up the season’s gigantic question mark. If the Redbirds had won that game, their playoff questions may have already been answered. As it stands, they are about the most securely affixed team to the FCS playoff fence. If they lose this week, they get to eat Thanksgiving dinner and watch football. If they win, they have to watch their intake and prepare to play football. And it won’t be easy. Up next: vs. North Dakota State.
  7. Youngstown State (5-5 / 3-4), previously #7. The schedule loosened up and now the Penguins are back on track. It’s still probably a little too late, as they have two Northeast Conference wins on the resume. Although, one of those is against their champion, Central Connecticut State and they also have a win over South Dakota State. They winning probably means more to Northern Iowa, South Dakota and Illinois State(if they were to win), as a victory against a 6-5 team would help those team’s resume perception. Up next: vs. Missouri State.
  8. Missouri State (3-7 / 2-5), previously #8. The Bears gave their all against Northern Iowa, but in the end the result ended the same as it had six times earlier this year. Still, it can definitely be seen, this team is turning the corner. Next year will probably bear more fruit. Maybe not a playoff berth yet, but they will catch someone off guard. Up next: at Youngstown State.
  9. Southern Illinois (4-6 / 2-5), previously #9. The recent slide continued at the hands of Youngstown State. Much like Missouri State, you can see this team has made improvements and is headed in the right direction. They get a chance to damage a neighbor’s playoff resume, though it’s unlikely an upset would knock them out. Up next: at Western Illinois.
  10. Indiana State (0-10 / 0-7), previously #10. The Sycamores quit on themselves, their fans, in the eyes of whatever God they worship. A totally miserable and pathetic performance. Even with that, they are afforded one more shot at getting their only victory of the season and what a monumentally horrible time would it be to the Panthers and their playoff hopes. Up next: at Northern Iowa.