Half the league this week will play against the western most FCS league in the Big Sky in the Big Sky – MVFC challenge. On paper, the MVFC looks to have the advantage but will those numbers really hold true? After this week we will have a better picture on how this league fairs nationally by these results.
Below are my opening rankings for the MVFC following the first week of action. We will likely see some big movements after this week.
1. North Dakota State (1-0 overall, 0-0 MVFC)
Last week: Beat Mississippi Valley State 72-7 at home
This Week: at Eastern Washington
The first week was not much of a test for the Bison against the SWAC’s Delta Devils. We will find out much more on this team with a road contest at the Big Sky’s Eagles this week.
2. South Dakota State (1-0, 0-0)
Last week: Beat Duquesne 51-13 at home
This Week: at Montana State
Similar to NDSU, SDSU had an easy win in its opener. And similarly, SDSU gets a road test at a Big Sky squad to really see how good this team really will be.
3. Youngstown State (0-1, 0-0)
Last week: Lost at FBS Pittsburgh 28-21 (OT)
This Week: vs. Robert Morris
The Penguins came back from a 21-0 deficit to tie the game late to force the overtime at the ACC’s Panthers. YSU gets a breather with RMU this week.
4. Northern Iowa (0-1, 0-0)
Last week: Lost at FBS Iowa State 42-24
This Week: vs. Cal Poly
The Big 12’s Cyclones took advantage of several of the Panthers’ miscues. Can those be eliminated against a desperate Big Sky Mustang squad in UNI’s home opener?
5. Illinois State (1-0, 0-0)
Last week: Beat Butler 45-0 at home
This Week: Bye
The Redbirds got an easy win over the Pioneer League’s Bulldogs in the home opener. Now, they get a bye to get ready for the Week 3 in-state battle with Eastern Illinois.
6. Western Illinois (1-0, 0-0)
Last week: Beat Tennessee Tech on road 41-14
This Week: at Northern Arizona
The Leathernecks won its first test at the OVC’s Golden Eagles. Yet another road test awaits WIU this week in what should be a much tighter contest with the Big Sky’s Lumberjacks.
7. South Dakota – 1-0
Last week: Beat Drake on the road 77-7
This Week: at FBS Bowling Green
The Coyotes looked impressive in its first road contest at the Pioneer League’s other Bulldogs. USD could be ripe for an FBS upset win against the MAC’s Falcons this week if it plays even close to the way they did against Drake.
8. Southern Illinois (0-0, 0-0)
Last week: Bye
This Week: vs. Mississippi Valley State
The Salukis got an early bye to begin the season so we don’t know too much about this team yet. SIU, however, did get to watch MVFC mate beat up the SWAC’s Delta Devils last week. Can SIU produce a similar result in its opener?
9. Missouri State (0-1, 0-0)
Last week: Lost at FBS Missouri 72-43
This Week: at North Dakota
The Bears looked impressive at least on the offensive side in the opener at in-state foe in the SEC’s Tigers. The defense seems to be the big question. MSU gets a tough road test at the Big Sky favorite Fighting Hawks this week. We should know more after this week how good the Bears really might be.
10. Indiana State (0-1. 0-0)
Last week: Lost to Eastern Illinois 22-20 at home
This Week: at FBS Tennessee
The Sycamores had a close game against the OVC’s Panthers. This week, it most likely won’t be that close against the SEC’s Volunteers.