Week 4 MVFC Power Rankings

Hot Beef Take

Not a lot to talk about in the power rankings as there were only three teams in action. That is unless you were privy to the conversations going on behind the scenes. In which case, your ears are probably ringing. But we’re not going to beat that horse any deader than it already is. But MVFC play starts this coming week, for the next eight weeks. So now things get heavy.

1. North Dakota State (3-0), previously #1. So a Colonial team, one with some clout and higher aspirations came to Fargo this last weekend. And the Bison sent the Blue Hens back to Delaware with a bunch of knots on their heads. 38-10 is thorough but it doesn’t sound overly tragic for the visitors, until you see that it was 38-0 after three quarters. So now we get a treat from the schedule gods. Leading off the Valley season with what could be the one game that determines its champion. The Jackrabbits come calling this week. #1 and #3 nationally. Up next: vs. South Dakota State.

2. South Dakota State (2-0), previously #2. The Jacks sat around and watched NDSU dismantle Delaware, more than likely. It’s nice to rest and scout for two weeks against your biggest opponent. So now we’ll see if it helped. Next: @ North Dakota State.

3. Illinois State (3-0), previously #3. The Redbirds went to the Rocky Mountain State and took down FBS Colorado State. And they did it with room to spare. There’s no denying they’re a national title contender now. But that also helps put a target on their backs. First they go to Springfield and face a team who’s probably feeling as good about themselves as they have in more than half a decade. Next: @ Missouri State.

4. Western Illinois (1-2), previously #4. The Leathernecks had this last weekend off. At 1-2, it’s imperative that they get off to a good start in Valley play. And they face a team who needs it just as bad as they do. Next: vs. Youngstown State.

5. South Dakota (1-2), previously #5. The Coyotes had the week off and the week’s rest had to come with both jubilation and trepidation. The offense has to be licking their chops getting prepared for a defense that’s allowing over 43 points per game. But the next room over, the Coyote defense has to be sweating bullets figuring out how they contain an offense averaging the same 43 points per game. If ever a game looked like a shootout. Up next: @ Southern Illinois.

6. Missouri State (2-1), previously #6. Missouri State seemed to catch Northern Arizona at the right time two weeks ago, as this week NAU stuck it on Southern Utah. No apologies though. And this momentum they had going into the last week’s bye, they hope didn’t evaporate. They do get to play at home and it would be a huge statement game if they can pull another upset. Next: vs. Illinois State.

7. Indiana State (2-1), previously #7. Indiana State had the week off and had to be mildly concerned that the Panthers put together an all-around effort, even if their opponent was over-matched. Big factor in this game is that it’s Thursday night. They get almost two weeks of rest, the visitors get only four days plus traveling. Next: vs. Northern Iowa.

8. Northern Iowa (1-2), previously #10. If that was the real Northern Iowa who played against Hampton, then everything in the Cedar Valley is going to be alright. If it was the product of facing a poor MEAC/Big South/FCS Independent, then they still have work to do. The offense was a little less offensive than it was in the first halves of their first two games, but the defense is where they really stepped it up. Turning the other team over and over and over again, gives the offense shorter fields to play with but also a confidence knowing they don’t HAVE to score every time. We’ll know more after Thursday’s game. Next: @ Indiana State.

9. Southern Illinois (1-2), previously #8. Southern Illinois appears headed into another, crazy high-scoring game this weekend. South Dakota has the look and firepower of someone willing to get into that kind of fray. So expect to see fireworks in Carbondale on Saturday. Up next: vs. South Dakota..

10. Youngstown State (1-2), previously #9. It’s hard to get excited about a team that is coming off a win, two weeks ago, against Valparaiso. Talent-wise, these guys are probably no more deserving of being #10 than Northern Iowa was last week. Still, this is a results-based science. And the fact they were idle, while UNI was shutting out a comparable opponent cost the Penguins. It was mentioned earlier, but these guys need to get out of the gate strong if they have any playoff thoughts at all. Up next: @ Western Illinois.