MVFC Power Rankings, After Week 12

Hot Beef Take

One week remains and the playoffs will be here. The top half of the Missouri Valley has positioned itself nicely. Four bids are a lock and a fifth seems very likely. Preparations for a strong finish are needed by the five hopefuls.

1. North Dakota State(7-0 in MVFC, 11-0 overall), previously #1. Having beaten everyone on the schedule, the Bison are now the only team in FCS to be undefeated. Guess who’s going to be #1 seed in the playoffs? Next week: @ Southern Illinois.

2. South Dakota State(5-2, 8-3), previously #4. The Jackrabbits rectified their home loss to Illinois State by embarrassing Northern Iowa. Barring a loss to end the season, the Bunnies are squarely back on the seed line for the playoffs. Next: @ South Dakota.

3. Illinois State(5-2, 8-3), previously #3. Hard to figure how a team who can go to Brookings and beat South Dakota State can barely beat Missouri State at home. The Redbirds aren’t a high scoring bunch. Sound defensively and efficient enough to win. Can’t argue with 8-3, right? Next: @ Youngstown State.

4. Northern Iowa(5-2, 7-4), previously #2. The Panthers were thoroughly destroyed by South Dakota State. They knew going in the Jackrabbits were going to be upset having lost at home the week prior. Unlucky timing and a rash of injuries equals a bad combination. Still, the loss probably cost the Panthers a chance at a national seed. Next: vs. Western Illinois.

5. Southern Illinois(5-2, 7-4), previously #5. Five straight wins gong into their home finale. Have they done enough to garner an at-large as a 7-5 team? I think so. This week is probably a loss, but an upset win might vault them near the top ten. Next: vs. North Dakota State.

6. South Dakota(3-4, 4-7), previously #6. The trip up to Fargo was unsuccessful – SHOCKER! Not! It gets only marginally easier this week, to end the 2019 campaign. Next: vs. South Dakota State.

7. Indiana State(2-5, 4-7), previously #7. The Sycamores had their game with Youngstown State in control, pretty much all game. It did get a little close at the end, but they never lost the lead. Overall, it’s bee a disappointing year, riddled with injuries. Next: @ Missouri State.

8. Youngstown State(1-6, 5-6), previously #8. The season was lost, long before Saturday. But the sixth loss of the season made it official. Even with that said, a season ending win would likely knock their opponent from a national seed line and secure themselves a .500 record. Next: vs. Illinois  State.

9. Missouri State(1-6, 1-9), previously #9. The Bears fought valiantly, but couldn’t quite get over the hump against Illinois State. With one game to go, they look forward to next year again, wondering if that will be the year they begin to stretch out and win more games. Next: vs. Indiana State.

10. Western Illinois(1-6, 1-10), previously #10. The Leathernecks played Southern Illinois pretty tight for a half. But the second half, the Salukis took control and rolled. They finish their season in Cedar Falls looking to severely hinder their hosts playoff resume.  Next: @ Northern Iowa.