Week 1 Missouri Valley FCS Football Game Breakdowns

Week 1 Missouri Valley Football Conference Breakdowns

The Missouri Valley Football Conference features five games against FBS opponents this week. Last year the Missouri Valley was 2-9 in FBS games; the best in the FCS. Many folks out there in the sports scene describe FBS/FCS matchups as the “Super Bowl” for the FCS teams. That’s not entirely true. Yes, they’re big games for FCS squads and they provide great opportunity to measure up and find their strengths. These games also provide FCS squads with a hefty six-figure paycheck from FBS schools; these payments are crucial in funding D-1 programs for these smaller schools. Every FCS team’s “Super Bowl” is the FCS Championship game—that should never be confused with a regular season FBS matchup. That said, this week in the Missouri Valley don’t be surprised to see one or two FBS upsets. The Western Illinois and Southern Illinois games should have a good start to 2012. Both teams have a great opportunity to start fresh and get off on the right foot this year after bad 2011 performances. If those two lose their games, it might be a long season for the Leathernecks and the Salukis.


Western Illinois vs. Butler, Thursday, 7:00

As stated before, this game will give Western Illinois the opportunity to start off 1-0. Butler participates in the Pioneer League of FCS. The Pioneer League is a non-scholarship conference—essentially on par with D-III football teams. Western Illinois should waste no time putting Butler away. Look for the Leathernecks to have a comfortable lead at half-time.

Projected Score: Western Illinois 45, Butler 10


Southern Illinois @ Eastern Illinois, Thursday 7:30

These two teams met last season at the end of the year. Southern Illinois won that game 45-28. I expect Southern Illinois to come out victorious, however, it might be a little closer than last years game. Eastern Illinois returns all but six players and will likely have a more experienced team, albeit less talented, than Southern Illinois.

Projected Score: Southern Illinois 38, Eastern Illinois 24


#19 Illinois State vs. Dayton, Saturday, 2:00

This game could get ugly quick for Dayton. Dayton went 6-5 last season and was a good team from the Pioneer League. However, Illinois State will be a very experienced squad with the potential to make a playoff appearance. This game will likely exploit the difference between scholarship and non-scholarship football. Look for Illinois State quarterback Matt Brown to have a hay-day.

Projected Score: Illinois State 35, Dayton 14


South Dakota @ Montana, Saturday, 3:30

South Dakota is entering a new era in their football program in 2012. They start that new era off with a tough road game against Montana. The Coyotes have yet to prove they are a football team that will compete consistently. The Coyotes youth will show in this matchup and the Griz should have the game sealed by the third quarter.

Projected Score: Montana 31, South Dakota 17


#9 Northern Iowa @ Wisconsin, Saturday, 3:30

Northern Iowa starts off their extremely tough schedule with its’ toughest opponent—the Wisconsin Badgers. Northern Iowa is a talented team, however, Wisconsin should have no trouble scoring on the Panthers.

Projected Score: Wisconsin 45, Northern Iowa 17


#11 Youngstown State @ Pittsburgh, Saturday, 6:00

Pittsburgh is not the best FBS team out there, however, they are not the worst FBS squad either. Last season Pittsburgh went 6-7 and has all but two starters on offense back. If Youngstown State is going to pull off the upset, they will need to outscore Pittsburgh in a shootout.

Projected Score: Pittsburgh 30, Youngstown State 24


South Dakota State @ Kansas, Saturday, 7:00

There is an interesting matchup this week in Lawrence, KS. South Dakota State is looking for their first FBS win since joining D-I in 2004. The Jackrabbits look like they could easily compete and pull an upset against a weak Kansas team. However, according to Jackrabbit beat-writer, Terry Vandrovec from the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader, star quarterback Austin Sumner is listed as questionable coming into week one with an injury to his throwing hand. If Sumner sits out, the Jackrabbits will have trouble scoring and Kansas will come away with the win.

Projected Score: Kansas 24, South Dakota State 10


#2 North Dakota State vs. Robert Morris, Saturday, 7:00

North Dakota State and Robert Morris met in the playoffs two years ago. Since that last meeting, North Dakota State went back to the playoffs last year and won the championship game; Robert Morris ended their 2011 season 2-9. The Bison should have no issues putting the Colonials away.

Projected Score: North Dakota State 38, Robert Morris 17


Missouri State @ Kansas State, Saturday, 7:10

This game is possibly one of the most uneven games in the Missouri Valley this week. Kansas State is a ranked FBS opponent and should run past the Bears with ease. Missouri State gets their paycheck and Kansas States gets a win.

Projected Score: Kansas State 56, Missouri State 10


#24 Indiana State @ Indiana, Saturday, 8:00

This game is my upset pick of the week. Indiana State comes in strong with a talented running back, Shakir Bell. The Hoosiers have not been good in years and will likely have trouble keeping Indiana State out of the end zone. If the Sycamores are allowed to run free and can make defensive stops, they will come out of Bloomington with a win.

Projected Score: Indiana State 24, Indiana 21


See All FCS Games of the Week Breakdowns