Final Missouri Valley Football Conference Power Rankings

The season is not completed yet, but there’s only one team remaining in the playoffs. Obviously, that final remaining team will take the top spot within the conference abd may end up being the FCS National Champion. But everyone else is done and can not improve or hurt themselves any more, so let’s get this out of the way. 2019 is all but in the books…

1. North Dakota State(8-0 in MVFC, 14-0 overall), previously #1. The Bison are the lone team from the MVFC still alive in the FCS Playoffs. They host a semifinal game and, if successful, will be playing in Frisco, Texas for the National Championship. Pole to pole #1 team in the conference and likely to start there again in 2020. Next week: vs. Montana State.

2. Northern Iowa(6-2, 10-5), previously #4. The Panthers really felt slighted, not receiving a national seed in the playoffs. In the cruelest form of irony, the team who got the bid they thought they deserved, the Panthers had to travel to. Well, the Panthers beat San Diego in the First Round and won that Second Round game at South Dakota State. The quarterfinal trip to James Madison was a “house money” game. They were beaten up and expected to lose, but showed a lot of heart and played the Dukes as tough as any FCS team had all year. Next: @ Iowa(FBS), Week 1-2020.

3. Illinois State(5-3, 10-5), previously #3. The Redbirds were about as beaten up as UNI was coming into the playoffs. One huge difference? Running back James Robinson. A man wo almost literally put the team on his back and delivered two wins before coming up six points short to North Dakota State in the quarterfinals. Next: @ Illinois(FBS), Week 1-2020.

4. South Dakota State(5-3, 8-5), previously #2. Somehow, the Jackrabbits were given the #7 national seed in the playoffs. We’ve beaten this horse to death, so we’ll refrain here. Not only that, but they were already punished by Northern Iowa in the Second Round, so there’s no sense piling on. Still, a very good season for a team who also lost their starting quarterback. Next: vs. Butler, Week 1-2020.

5. Southern Illinois(5-3, 7-5), previously #5. Let’s be truthful here, the Salukis were robbed of the playoffs by the Selection Committee. Especially when you consider that one of the team’s in question, Furman, lost their First Round game, 42-7. Would Southern Illinois have beaten Austin Peay? Maybe, maybe not. But they were red hot and had just played NDSU to a 14 point game. They would have shown better than the Paladins. Next: @ Tennessee-Martin, Week 1-2020.

6. South Dakota(4-4, 5-7), previously #6. The season finale victory over South Dakota State gave South Dakota sole possession of sixth place in the final conference standings. It may have saved the bacon for their coach also. The Coyotes remain a team just on the cusp. They made the playoffs before, but haven’t really jumped into the conference’s upper echelon. Next: @ Iowa State(FBS), Week 1-2020.

7. Indiana State(3-5, 5-7), previously #7. The Sycamores ended their 2019 campaign beating Missouri State. Overall, a disappointing season marred with injuries in multiple key positions. Can they bounce back next year? Next: @ Eastern Illinois, Week 1-2020.

8. Youngstown State(2-6, 6-6), previously #8. The cream puff non-conference schedule gave the Penguins the victory boost from a bad MVFC ledger to reach .500. They didn’t seem as prepared for the MVFC slate. Next year’s non-conference looks a lot better comparatively speaking. Next: @ Akron(FBS), Week 1-2020.

9. Missouri State(1-7, 1-10), previously #9. The Bears lost their finale to Indiana State. It seemed like Missouri State was making some headway towards competing but now they’re going backwards. Next: @ Oklahoma(FBS), Week 1-2020.

10. Western Illinois(1-7, 1-11), previously #10. The Leathernecks were decimated by graduation from the previous two years. This season was long and difficult. The hope is this year will serve as motivation for a better result in 2020. Next: vs. North Alabama, Week 1-2020.