MVFC Power Rankings, After Week 8

Another week in the books. What did we learn from the results this week? Not much. All the outcomes went way of how they should have. The two games involving teams close to each other in the ranking went way of the one at home. The big news comes from off the field. This coming week ESPN’s College Game Day will be moving into Brookings, South Dakota for the match-up between North Dakota State and South Dakota State. Of course, the show will be its normal entity and focus around the nation, especially the FBS. But it’s nice to see the FCS gets some shine also.

1. North Dakota State(3-0 in MVFC, 7-0 overall), previously #1. Whether it was Northern Iowa letdown or South Dakota State foreshadowing, the Bison only beat Missouri State, 22-0. Still, it’s their world. If they wanted to concentrate on staying healthy and pitching a shutout, who are we to say anything? They go to the road in a Top 3 national ranking Game of the Year to this point. Can’t wait! Next week: @ South Dakota State.

2. South Dakota State(3-0, 6-1), previously #2. The stars have aligned and it’s Dakota Marker Week. The Bunnies jumped all over the trees last week. Figure they wanted to get that one in hand as soon as possible. If anybody is going to get the Bison in the regular season, this will be the week. Next: vs. North Dakota State.

3. Illinois State(2-1, 5-2), previously #3. Again, the score wasn’t eye-popping. It seems like this is the new model for the Redbirds. Business-like. Get in there, grind it out and win by a couple of scores. One may have expected more against Western Illinois, but it’s still a notch in the win column. Those waiting for the Redbird collapse may be disappointed this year. Next: vs. Indiana State.

4. Northern Iowa(2-1, 4-3), previously #4.The Panthers appear to be getting into a bad habit of poor defense early on. Granted, the adjustments made in game and halftime are still there, but you can only play from behind so often. South Dakota put the pressure on right out of the gate. Most concerning is that these guys have yet to win on the road – and their next two are away from the dome. Next: @ Missouri State.

5. South Dakota(2-1, 3-4), previously #5. A golden opportunity to pull off a signature road win slipped by in the second half in Cedar Falls. The poor start to the season now has the Coyotes squarely on playoff life support. A win this week is paramount just to having a chance later on. The following two games should be wins, but they have to win this “coin flipper”. Then an upset victory in one of the last two weeks would still be needed for consideration. Next: vs. Southern Illinois.

6. Southern Illinois(1-2, 3-4), previously #8. Southern Illinois put a shellacking on the Penguins. As mentioned above, this game is of utmost importance to the Salukis also. The next three games are all winnable. Combine that with the fact they’re sitting on a win over FBS Massachusetts and a win over Tennessee-Martin, who’s leading the Ohio Valley Conference. 7-5 is probably enough to get them in the playoffs. Now they just need to win to get there. Next: @ South Dakota.

7. Indiana State(1-2, 3-4), previously #6. The Sycamores never really had a chance with SDSU. The Jackrabbits were ready to get in and get outta town with a win. This team was touted as a playoff contender in the preseason, but now they’re in a spot where losing more than one of their last five games is going to leave them out again. Remember though, they won their final five last year. Need to find the magic. Next: @ Illinois State.

8. Youngstown State(0-3, 4-3), previously #7. Youngstown State has pretty much blown their soft 4-0 non-conference record disintegrate into nothing more than cupcake crumbs. A loss this week will put head coach Pelini on high alert for any pink sheets of paper. Even winning four of their last five, the payoffs seem unlikely. Next: vs. Western Illinois.

9. Missouri State(1-2, 1-5), previously #9. Ironically, I mentioned last week that losing by less than five touchdowns should have been a goal against North Dakota State. Little did I know that prophecy was going to come true. It doesn’t get much easier this week as a Northern Iowa team who desperately needs a road win comes to town. The Bears have a long history of playing tougher at home, so you figure the Panthers will get their best shot. Next: vs. Northern Iowa.

10. Western Illinois(0-3, 0-7), previously #10. Seven down, five to go. Almost looks like a countdown to finishing the season at this point. This week the Leathernecks play the only other school without a conference win. They do have two home games left that are probably equally advantageous to win, but those teams will be fighting hard to keep playoff dreams alive. This might be it for a victory. Next: @ Youngstown State.