MVFC Power Rankings, After Week 6

First, those who were looking for this last week, there wasn’t one. Eight of the ten teams had the week off and neither Northern Iowa’s loss, nor Youngstown State’s win last week moved the needle enough to make a change. But now we have straight Valley play the rest of the way, this will be here through Thanksgiving.

1. North Dakota State(1-0 in MVFC, 5-0 overall), previously #1. If you happened to catch any of the Bison stampede over Illinois State, you had to be impressed. After the road win at Delaware and home home over UC-Davis, it was clear the Bison were back for sure. Question now, can anybody get them. Next week: vs Northern Iowa.

2. South Dakota State(1-0, 4-1), previously #2. Fell behind early to Southern Illinois. Was actually trailing at halftime. But SIU is capable of rising to the occasion in big moments. But SDSU took care of business in the second half and won comfortably. Next: @ Youngstown State.

3. Northern Iowa(1-0, 3-2), previously #4. UNI pretty much out-muscled Youngstown State en route to winning their conference opener. The first half looked much better than the second, though the defense was pretty stellar throughout, save for one long 75-yard pass. The conference measuring stick game comes this week. We’ll find out everything we need to know then. Next: @ North Dakota State.

4. Illinois State(0-1, 3-2), previously #3. Most would have thought being at home against NDSU, the Redbirds would have put up more resistance. It might be the case that they are still as good as originally thought, but the Bison are that much better. Tricky, downstate travel this week. SIU is not to be under-estimated. Next: @ Southern Illinois.

5. Youngstown State(0-1, 4-1), previously #5. The Penguins could not quite take over their game at Northern Iowa. The question coming into conference play was whether they tested themselves enough in non-conference. Always seems the question, honestly. But they look solid. Might end up the conference barometer – beat everyone below them, lose to everyone above. Next: vs. South Dakota State.

6. Southern Illinois(0-1, 2-3), previously #6. Southern Illinois, as mentioned before, came out of the gate strong against South Dakota State. Still falling short hurts nationally, but is not a season killer. In MVFC circles, it was seen as the likely result. However, for the Salukis to take the next step, they have to win at least a couple of these type games. And taking a third loss already, might be too early with seven conference games remaining. Next: vs. Illinois State.

7. South Dakota(1-0, 2-3), previously #8. The Coyotes defense was found against Northern Colorado. And like was mentioned two weeks ago, that only carries so much weight. NoCo isn’t very good. But shutting out Indiana State, who was a nationally ranked darling to start the 2019 campaign, drew some attention. If the Coyotes have figured it out, look out. This is a dangerous squad. Next: @ Missouri State.

8. Indiana State(0-1, 2-3), previously #7. Maybe it’s a horrific new trend – starting conference play by getting shut out. 2018 saw them lost at home to Northern Iowa 33-0. This last Saturday, losing in South Dakota, 38-0. Whatever the case, the season isn’t over and they have time to fix things, but they better get it done quickly. A home date with a winless opponent is a good place to start. Next: vs. Western Illinois.

9. Missouri State(1-0, 1-3), previously #9. The Bears got their first win of the season, but needed triple overtime to get it done. But, they did get it done. Now they get a home game to try to get to 2-0, against an opponent who may or may not have completely found themselves yet. Next: vs. South Dakota.

10. Western Illinois(0-1, 0-5), previously #10. It’s sad to say, but the season is on the verge of being over, as far as playoffs are concerned. Right now, with what they face remaining, they could theoretically win out and qualify, but that’s a monster hill to climb for a team yet to win. The Leathernecks really needed to win this last weekend. 0-12 is not an impossibility now. Next: @ Indiana State.