MVFC Power Rankings, Week 2

Week 2 was much kinder for the MVFC than Week 1. Part of that was the fact that four of the five strongest teams in the conference were not playing FBS teams this time around. Even though some of those were close calls, it was a team from further down the ladder that actually pulled the FBS trick. We’ll get to that momentarily. Now, the rankings…

1. North Dakota State(2-0), previously #1. For those thinking it was preliminary to crown the Bison as the best team in the nation, and I WASN’T one of them, it looks like they are. After crushing Butler, they dismantled a perceived very strong North Dakota team, 41-7. Another thing people criticized the Bison for was not playing a game with an FBS opponent. Still, their schedule has three of four non-cons who looked to be playoff potentials. They passed hurdle one already. They go on the road for hurdle two, this week. Next week: @ Delaware.

2. South Dakota State(1-1), previously #2. Welcome to FCS, Long Island. The Jackrabbits hosted the Sharks in their first FCS game last week, detoothing the predators, 38-3. The Jackrabbits must be more from the Bugs Bunny-line. This week looked like an interesting game before the regular season, especially with preseason outlooks and what they did at the end of last season. That was before they lost to Truman State last week, mustering a measly 7 points. This will probably be a walk through now. Next: @ Drake.

3. Illinois State(1-1), previously #3. Illinois State had no issues with the Pioneer League’s Morehead State. And as expected as that was to happen, it had to be a little reassuring in Redbird Land after the fight and loss to Northern Illinois. This week they jump back into in-state action with a short drive over to Charleston. Upon arrival, they’re going to find a team who’s been in utter disarray. The perfect time for an upset to happen. Illinois State needs to be on their best behavior and take care of business early and often. Next: @ Eastern Illinois.

4. Northern Iowa(1-1), previously #5. The first half of the game this weekend against Southern Utah, was a thorough and mighty butt-kickin’. The Panthers jumped on early and rode the Thunderbirds into the ground, only letting off the gas some when leading 34-0. Surely, they would have liked to have kept the shutout, but some major bonehead penalties cost the Panthers 30 yards and two automatic first downs, leading to the first score. After that, there was no reason to keep the clamps as firmly secured. This week, the Panthers will stay home and watch television, seeing what their next opponent can do against FBS Utah. Next: vs. Idaho State(on September 21).

5. Youngstown State(2-0), previously #7. The Penguins had this week off, not really, they played Howard. I know, that’s not nice, but the Howard Bison, definitely not to be confused with the NDSU Bison, have given up 133 points in two games. So, you can almost see it like a bye week. Youngstown State will stay at home and dip into the slightly stronger Northeast Conference for their next game. And if you’re going to, the best opponent you can get is on the docket. But the Dukes are fresh off a 44-3 trouncing on a lower-class opponent, so who knows?. Next: vs. Duquesne.

6. Southern Illinois(1-1), previously #8. The Salukis were on the early season FBS upset radar. After that defensive debacle with Southeast Missouri State, I was having some reservations about making it one of my selections. However, SIU got their act together, went to Amheasrt, Massachusetts and took down the FBS Minutemen, 45-20. Now, let’s not get overly excited, UMass is a bad program and I’ve made mention that a return to the FCS would probably do them well. But for now, let’s relish in the fact that the MVFC got another one, which seem like seven years in a row now, and if that’s an exaggeration, it’s not by much. Their next game is an early season playoff eliminator likely. Next: vs. Tennessee-Martin.

7. Indiana State(0-2), previously #4. The Sycamores are in a position they wouldn’t have expected in a million years…okay, maybe only a thousand. But losing your home opener to a Pioneer League team is a really bad look and will be a mammoth blemish on the playoff resume, even if they’re able to fix it during conference play. Much like SIU, this coming game, also against an Ohio Valley Conference team, will have playoff implications down the road. The loser will be behind the 8-ball. Indiana State would probably be hanging on the edge of the pocket. Next: vs. Eastern Kentucky.

8. South Dakota(0-2), previously #6. Nobody is going to fault the Coyotes for what happened to them at FBS Oklahoma. Chances are that would have happened to ANYONE in the Valley. The Sooners are that loaded. South Dakota knew that game was for the cash and to not come out of it too beat up. But they really have to get down to business and win these last two non-conference games. And they should both be winnable. This week, they host a Southland opponent who got scorched by a bad FBS Texas-El Paso and beat up on a lower-class opponent. A loss either week will sew up their already slim playoffs chances. Next: vs. Houston Baptist.

9. Missouri State(0-1), previously #9. The Bears had this last week off, really. No jokes this time around. Hopefully they figured out some of their problems from that Northern Arizona loss. This is an average FBS opponent, at best, but probably still more than MSU figures to handle. Unless they can draw on their inner-SIUesque mojo. Next: @ Tulane(FBS).

10. Western Illinois(0-2), previously #10. Western Illinois was jumped like a bad game of checkers at Colorado State. Those things can happen against FBS schools. Still, the Leathernecks have shown very little in two games. They get to come home this week, but the opponent gets only marginally easier, as they get a Big Sky team who’s hovering near the Top 15 in the polls. This might be a really long season. Next: vs. Montana State.