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Newcomer NDSU is MVFC's Preseason Pick
ST. LOUIS — It didn’t take long for one of the two new teams in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, to become the hunted.
North Dakota State was picked by coaches, media and sports information directors to finish first in the nine-team league. The poll was released Tuesday prior to the conference’s annual media day.
Western Illinois was picked fourth in the league formerly known as the Gateway Conference. Illinois State was picked eighth.
There are no hard feelings with the Bison being ranked No. 1 right away.
“They are a damn good football team,” Illinois State quarterback Kevin Brockway said. “I don’t think it rubs anybody the wrong way.”
Northern Iowa was selected second and Youngstown State third.
Southern Illinois and South Dakota State, which also joined the Valley from the Great West Conference, were picked fifth and sixth.
“In my opinion the only difference between second and sixth is a couple of plays,” Youngstown State defensive lineman Mychal Savage said. “A lot of the games are so close that is all it takes to win a game.”
EXPANSION: The Valley has expanded and the NCAA FCS Playoffs will. The postseason field will jump from 16 teams to 20 in 2010 with the ultimate goal being a 24-team field.
Even with a small field, getting four league teams into this year’s playoffs is a possibility with the MVFC’s strength.
“We’ve gotten four teams in before,” ISU coach Denver Johnson said. “I think we can get four teams in this year and it wouldn’t be inconceivable to get five.”
Newcomer NDSU is preseason pick
By Kevin Capie, The Peoria Journal Star (IL)