Missouri Valley Football Non-Conference Schedule Analysis


Missouri Valley Football Conference
FCS Non-Conference Schedule Analysis
Arguably, again, the top conference in FCS, there’s no doubt the best team of the last decade resides here. And just like the Colonial, the MVFC doesn’t have a game scheduled against any teams from a lower classification. The one difference between here and the CAA and especially the Big Sky, not as many games are played against the FBS. That’s not to say they duck them, but the conference, as a whole, really tries to focus on games against other FCS conferences. Year in and year out, this is typically one of the higher winners in percentage. Some of their teams schedule in their part of the country, but many of them participate in the MVFC/Big Sky Challenge. Next year the conference adds North Dakota to the mix, bringing all the Dakota schools together in one home again.
Illinois State: @ Northern Illinois (FBS), vs. Morehead State, @ Eastern Illinois, vs. Northern Arizona.
  • Looks like an Illinois State schedule. A centrally located FBS team, EIU and a team from the Big Sky. Morehead State might be a little soft, but considering the rest of the schedule and the fact they really wanted a second home game, it works.
Indiana State: @ Kansas (FBS), vs. Dayton, vs. Eastern Kentucky, vs. Eastern Illinois.
  • This is an advantageous schedule for the Sycamores. Three home games is vitally important for this program as it pushes back towards playoff-level again. They just missed last year. FBS Kansas was beaten by FCS Nicholls in 2018, so there’s hope there also.
Missouri State: @ Northern Arizona, @ Tulane (FBS), vs. Kennesaw State.
  • The only team in the MVFC to have an eleven game slate. Tulane isn’t totally overbearing, but is probably still a bit more than the Bears are ready for. But that’s why they play them. A return trip to NAU. Fortunate home game with Kennesaw State after a mass graduation class.
North Dakota State: vs. Butler, vs. North Dakota, @ Delaware, vs. UC-Davis.
  • The defending champions aren’t taking it easy on themselves in 2019. Road games to CAA territory are never easy. The Butler game is a neutral site game in Minneapolis. UND will be very ready to show the Bison what’s coming to the conference next year. Then there’s UC-D, who might be a top ten team in their own right.
Northern Iowa: @ Iowa State (FBS), vs. Southern Utah, vs. Idaho State, @ Weber State.
  • Hubba-hubba. UNI, as always, is scheduling right from the who’s who directory. Iowa State is an up and coming FBS program. Even with the recent success the Panthers have had in the series, the element of surprise is known and gone. The other three games all involve the Big Sky Conference, including a road game at co-champion Weber State.
South Dakota: vs. Montana, @ Oklahoma (FBS), vs. Houston Baptist, @ Northern Colorado.
  • Right off the bat, that Oklahoma game will probably be the biggest opponent the Coyotes have faced ever. Two Big Sky teams split home and road as bookends. It’s much better to get Montana at home, but they’ll still be rough and tough.
South Dakota State: @ Minnesota (FBS), vs. Long Island, @ Drake, vs. Southern Utah.
  • The trip to Minneapolis to play Minnesota should be interesting. Welcome to the FCS Long Island, we’re the Jackrabbits. The road game to Drake is interesting. In 2018, SDSU had a game at Iowa State cancelled. ISU got a waiver to play non-scholarship Drake. Now, they return to central Iowa to play the team who replaced them in December.
Southern Illinois: @ Southeast Missouri State, @ Massachusetts (FBS), vs. Tennessee-Martin, @ Arkansas State (FBS).
  • Here’s an example of playing non-conference opponents in your own backyard. SEMO and UTM are Ohio Valley neighbors. Even FBS Arkansas State is pretty close. The trip to UMass is a connection only they would know. But two FBS games are going to make this a toughie.
Western Illinois: @ North Alabama, @ Colorado State (FBS), vs. Montana State, vs. Tennessee Tech.
  • A split schedule. North Alabama is a newer program to FCS and WIU is giving them a name opponent from a name conference. Montana State at home will be part of the MVFC/Big Sky Challenge. TTU is a regional OVC team. Colorado State? Seems a little out there, but the Rams have scheduled elsewhere in the MVFC recently.
Youngstown State: vs. Samford, vs. Howard, vs. Duquesne, vs. Robert Morris.
  • Youngstown State always appears to schedule weak out of conference. But the Samford neutral site game is as much of a road game as one could have without it being called such. The two NEC games at home are supplied by the state of Pennsylvania, right next door.
Missouri Valley Numbers
10 vs. Big Sky
2 vs. Big South
1 vs. CAA
1 vs. MEAC
3 vs. Northeast
6 vs. OVC
4 vs. Pioneer
1 vs. Southern
1 vs. Southland
1 vs. FCS Independent
9 vs. FBS
0 vs. Lower Division (Div-II, Div-III, NAIA, NCCAA)