CSJ Missouri Valley Football Conference Power Rankings — Week 3

South Dakota ran for 285 yards in their 45-7 win over North Dakota on Saturday.

If there was any question what the top FCS league is in the country, last week pretty much sealed the deal that the Missouri Valley is the best league from top to bottom of all conferences. The league went 6-2 in out of conference play and one loss was Indiana State that lost to FBS transitioning Liberty and really should have won and UNI lost at Southern Utah in another game that could have really gone the way of the MVFC.

But the biggest and possibly the most suprising was the South Dakota thrashing of Big Sky preseason favorite (and soon-to-be MVFC mate) North Dakota. The Coyotes look like a team that might make some noise this year in the league.

This week, only four games will be played involving MVFC members but the first in-conference game will be played and two others involve FBS opponents.

Below are my rankings for the week with last week’s rankings in parenthesis.

1. (1) North Dakota State (2-0 overall, 0-0 MVFC)

Last week: Bye

This Week: vs. Robert Morris

The Bison just might have an easier week this week with a game than the bye week when the NEC’s Robert Morris comes to Fargo. This is the last tune-up before NDSU gets into MVFC action next week.

2. (2) South Dakota State (3-0, 0-0)

Last week: Beat Drake 51-10 at home

This Week: Bye

The Jacks had an easy home win against the Pioneer League’s Bulldogs. SDSU starts its Valley schedule traveling to Youngstown State next week.

3. (3)Youngstown State (2-1, 0-0)

Last week: Beat Central Connecticut State 59-9 at home

This Week: Bye

Like SDSU, YSU had an easy go of last week. The Penguins easily downed Central Connecticut State last week. The Penguins will prepare for a big conference home opener against SDSU during their bye week.

4. (4) South Dakota (3-0, 0-0)

Last week: Beat North Dakota 45-7 at home

This Week: Bye

USD is definitely surpassing my expectations thus far. After the win over the Fighting Hawks last week, the Coyotes are off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2006.

5. (5) Illinois State (2-0, 0-0)

Last week: Beat Eastern Illinois 44-13 on the road

This Week: at Missouri State

Illinois State will play the first Valley conference game this week against Missouri State. The Redbirds easily beat rival Eastern Illinois last week to come into this game .

6. (6) Western Illinois (2-0, 0-0)

Last week: Bye

This Week: at FBS Coastal Carolina

WIU are definitley the road warriors. The Leathernecks have won its first two road contests against FCS competition. This week, WIU gets FBS new-comer Coastal Carolina also on the road.

7. (7) Northern Iowa (1-2, 0-0)

Last week: Lost to Southern Utah 24-21 on the road

This Week: Bye

The Panthers had really the worst performance of the eight MVFC teams in action last week but still had its chances at SUU. UNI has given up 104 points through the first three games. The UNI defense can use this bye week to try to be ready for its MVFC opener at Southern Illinois next week.

8. (8) Southern Illinois (2-0, 0-0)

Last week: Beat Southeast Missouri State 35-17 on the road

This Week: at FBS Memphis

The Salukis have had two wins over to be quite honest below average FCS teams thus far. But the competition level grows greatly this week against FBS Memphis, a team that just upset ranked UCLA last week.

9. (9) Missouri State (1-2, 0-0)

Last week: Beat Murray State 28-21 at home

This Week: vs. Illinois State

Missouri State wins 28-21 last week over Murray State and adds to the MVFC out-of-conference mark against other FCS teams. The Bears will really need to up its game this week when Illinois State comes to Springfield.

10. Indiana State (0-3, 0-0)

Last week: Lost to Liberty 42-41 on the road

This Week: Bye

Liberty blocked a last-second field goal and escaped a big-time upset for Indiana State last week. With such a strong performance against a school that is transitioning to FBS usually gets a team up in power rankings for most FCS schools but not in the MVFC. The Sycamores can use its bye week to prepare for a trip to Illinois State next week.