The Mo Valley Playoff Race

The Mo Valley Playoff Race

With two weeks ago, time to get down to the nitty-gritty of the Missouri Valley Football Conference and the playoff scenarios. For the Bison, it’s pretty simple: win the next two weeks and they should get a No. 2 overall seed and home field advantage. That’s assuming No. 1 James Madison wins out. So here is a nutshell of what faces the leaders and how the Valley will get five teams into the playoffs:

NDSU (5-1 Valley, 8-1 overall)

  • Vs. USD; at Illinois State: NDSU can wrap up a share of the title with a split and can win it outright with a sweep. Lose two and at 8-3 with three straight losses, a first round bye (one of the top eight seeds) all of a sudden becomes iffy. Prognosis: With the top defense in the Valley, Bison win both and reach playoffs.

South Dakota (4-2, 7-2)

  • at NDSU; vs. SDSU: A couple of off-field distractions did the Coyotes no favor last week, but USD still has the second-ranked offense in the FCS averaging 41 points and 524 yards per game. Prognosis: Split next two weeks, first round playoff bye.

South Dakota State (4-2, 7-2)

  • vs. Illinois State; at USD: Jacks are on a roll, especially offensively. They should handle the Jeckyll & Hyde Redbirds this weekend but waiting in Vermillion will be USD, which is due to break through in this series. Coyotes have never beaten SDSU in the D1 era. Prognosis: Split, host first round game.

Illinos State (4-2, 6-3)

  • at SDSU; vs. NDSU: Trying to figure out the Redbirds … good luck. I’ve never seen a team so up and down in one season. Take the last five weeks: Got crushed at Northern Arizona and SIU, beat USD and Youngstown handily and last week led 14-0 at home to Western only to lose 31-14. Prognosis: Lose two and out of the playoffs. Too unpredictable.

Northern Iowa (4-2, 5-4)

  • at Missouri State; vs. Indiana State: The easiest road possible the last two weeks in the Valley and Panthers will end season winning five of their last six. Prognosis: Win twice and will travel for first round playoff game.

Western Illinois (3-3, 6-3)

  • at Indiana State; vs. Southern Illinois. Leathernecks have the second-easiest road behind UNI with games at winless Sycamores and at home against Southern Illinois. SIU is on the downslide losing 42-0 at South Dakota and 36-28 at home to Missouri State. Prognosis: Win both and will host first round playoff game.

Youngstown State (2-4, 4-5)

  • at SIU; vs. Missouri State. The Penguins have one quality win against SDSU and a quality loss in OT defeat at Pitt and, true, a 6-5 team has reached the playoffs in recent years. But too many teams ahead of YSU this year. Prognosis: Win both and out of the playoffs.
View Comments (6)



    November 8, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    Two games to go and 5 teams have a shot at the conference title – either outright or a tie. Who knows, maybe there’s a way that 6 schools end up with three losses and there’s a 6 way logjam tie for the conference title. But thinking about that makes my brain hurt.

  2. BisonJeff(FgoMhdJeff)

    November 8, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Jacks are playing well, I think they roll both Illinois State and the Coyotes. I have faith in the Bison but all the injuries really have me worried. I think they might lose to USD. I hope you’re right Jeff! Go Bison!

    • Dom's Agent

      November 9, 2017 at 7:33 am

      Jack’s always seem to drop the ball and lose a game they should win. I think they’ll lose one of the next two.

  3. bisonbill

    November 8, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    nothing here is very predicable………… is as what we knew way back in September.
    Keep your fingers crossed for your fav. team, and for JMU to stumble.

  4. OldGuy

    November 8, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    If the Bison do win out I don’t see them rising to a #2 seed, #3 tops. But if Jax St is #2 I like the Bison odds of getting to the championship.

    • Patrick T.

      November 9, 2017 at 8:36 am

      The Playoff Committee really doesn’t pay much attention to either polls. A couple years ago, SHSU finished 2nd in both polls and ended up as the #5 seed for the playoffs. If NDSU wins out, their resume will be better than SHSU, Central Arkansas, and JSU.

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