MVFC Power Rankings, Week 1

Hot Beef Take

Te Missouri Valley Conference was, more or less, like the rest of the FCS nation this past weekend. Some results were expected, a few were not. Overall, the conference stands at 2-3 against the other FCS leagues. That might not sound too bad, but this is a conference that’s typically in the 75%+ winning percentage. One in particular was, arguably, the most shocking loss of the weekend in the entire country. Let’s see where everybody stands right now one game in.

1. North Dakota State (1-0), previously #1. Just as suspected, the Bison come stampeding out of the gate and absolutely destroyed Cal Poly, 49-3. Honestly, it was worse than the score indicated. A crazy stat seen from this game shows just how good they are. Their proficiency was so sound, that they didn’t even win the time of possession battle against the Mustangs. And they still won by 46?! These guys have it together. Next: bye.

2. South Dakota State (0-0), previously #2. Sometimes you win.  Sometimes you lose. Sometimes the the weather says, “Go home. You just wasted a trip to Ames.” This was the scenario on Saturday. Might have been a good thing for the Jackrabbits, as the Cyclones stormed (sorry for the pun) out to a fast 7-0. The skies really opened up then and the powers that be decided to get everyone out of the stadium rather than have 55,000 lightning rods. Good idea. Short of getting together and playing a game with Drake on September 22, they’ll have a ten-game schedule now. There season will begin this week now. Next: vs. Montana State.

3. South Dakota (0-1), previously #4. The Coyotes went to Manhattan, Kansas and put the fear into the Wildcats. Some would say they should have won the game even. Still, it was an impressive showing for a team who was supposedly dead in the water after the graduation of QB Streveler. Now they come back down to FCS play and a two-bagger with the Big Sky Conference. And both games are winnable, but not gimmes. Next: vs. Northern Colorado.

4. Illinois State (1-0), previously #5. The Redbirds get a bump here, but it’s not because of a big win – even though they won 46-0. It’s not because they beat a good opponent – they didn’t St. Xavier, IL was a sub-Division I opponent. It’s more of an indictment of the team that fell behind them. Now that Illinois State is going to play a real team, we’ll see how they perform.  Next: vs. Eastern Illinois.

5. Northern Iowa (0-1), previously #3. It’s hard to not overreact. Been seeing that in a lot of writing the last few days on various websites and it’s true. But if you watched the first half of whatever it was the Panthers were doing in Montana, it’s even harder to not overreact. They looked grossly overwhelmed, outmatched and unprepared. On top of that, another performance like that, there will be a real quarterback controversy and fear that the sky is falling. The second half of the game looked more like what was expected. So who are the real Panthers? Next: bye.

6. Western Illinois (0-1), previously #7. The Leathernecks blew a golden opportunity for a resume building road win. They controlled almost the entire game then let Montana State off the hook at the end. This seems to be an occasional problem for the boys in Macomb. Still, can’t totally fault them as they were playing in a hostile environment against a quality team. Even though they have a road game with an in-state FBS program, they’re still capable of keeping it close, maybe even winning. Next: @ Illinois (FBS).

7. Southern Illinois (1-0), previously #8. Everybody expects Murray State to be a bad team this year. However, there weren’t too many who expected the Salukis to go down to Tennessee and pummel the Racers, 49-10. That was the exact kind of start they needed to build some confidence and get 2018 headed in the right direction. Now, if they can pull the upset this week, the nation will be put on notice, not just the MVFC. Next: @ Mississippi (FBS).

8. Youngstown State (0-1), previously #6.  Considered an even further drop but resisted. The Penguins want to act like the big kid on the block and this is 100% apparent when you see them schedule Northeast Conference and Pioneer League teams twice in pre-conference games. Well, Butler wasn’t letting the bully run the yard this year and YSU suffered the most embarrassing loss for the entire conference. If you combine the fact that they have another Pioneer team on the schedule after this week’s jump into FBS – short of a 6-2 conference campaign, their playoff chances might already be done. Next: @ West Virginia (FBS).

9. Missouri State (0-1), previously #9. The Bears took a punch to the chin from Oklahoma State and everybody knew it was coming. There’s not a lot of positive you can take away from a 41 point drubbing, but they didn’t give up and did put 17 points of offense up against a higher-level team. They’re small victories here, folks. This week should be more manageable as they host a lower class team from in-state. Next: vs. Lincoln, MO (sub-Division I).

10. Indiana State (1-0), previously #10. The Sycamores made the most of their sub-DI opponent and ended their 14 game losing streak, 49-0. Unfortunately, they travel to an FBS foe this week, who was thoroughly beaten on national television this last weekend. Excepting an unkind visit and result. Next: @ Louisville (FBS).