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Too Much TV Audio Podcast Featuring Ultra-Commish Patty Viverito
The latest Argus Leader “Too Much TV” program with columnist Terry Vandrovec features Patty “Ultra-Commish” Viverito, commissioner of both the Missouri Valley Football Conference and Pioneer Football League. She speaks about the MVFC’s playoff positioning heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, the GPI, and the future of the Division I football playoffs - amongst other things.
Podcast Excerpt Regarding The GPI: http://www.collegesportingnews.com/stats/writer/gpi/20121108terryvandrovecGPI32.mp3
Full Podcast Audio: http://www.argusleader.com/podcasts/terryv/
2003 Bio of Patty Viverito: http://web.archive.org/web/20050819013620/http://www.i-aa.org/article.asp?articleid=51154
Conference’s strength shows in the Dakotas
It’s crunch time in the Football Championship Subdivision with just two weeks left in the regular season. Per usual the Missouri Valley Football Conference is in the thick of things.
The nine-team league appears to have locked up at least two playoff bids as North Dakota State and Illinois State both have eight NCAA Division I wins, historically the magic number for guaranteed entry into the 20-team field.
But three others remain in the hurt. Patty Viverito, the only commissioner the Valley has ever had, spoke about that and more with sports reporter Terry Vandrovec on the “Too Much TV” podcast.
Question. South Dakota State has seven D-I victories with two games to go. Do you think the Jackrarbbits are in with one more win?
Answer. Yeah. We can probably have a similar conversation about Indiana State in that they’re both sitting one win away from what I consider being in very good company and probably a lock.
Again, if you get to 8-3 out of this league that has historically always been good enough. I can’t imagine any scenario where we couldn’t get that third and even fourth team in. It gets a little tricky with Indiana State because one of those wins is against Quincy, but they’re sitting with a win at North Dakota State, which is a huge win by anybody’s definition.
Q. Last season, the Valley landed only two playoff spots despite being ranked as the best conference in the FCS. Do you do any lobbying this time of year to ensure your league gets what it seems to deserve?
A. Hope is not a strategy. You do whatever you can to position yourself so the people making the decisions have all the facts. We do our due diligence to make sure that happens. But you also can’t do this with smoke and mirrors.
You’ve got an 11-game schedule and there are wins and losses and people know how good the teams are. What really helps us is that when it comes to a completely objective criteria, we have an incredibly good case to make this year. When you look at the (Gridiron Power Index), which is a tool that the selection committee uses, we have been the top league all season long, and we’ve had as many as five teams ranked in the top 12.
I don’t think there’s anybody on that selection committee that doesn’t understand how that translates into strength and how any win in our league is a good win and is worthy of consideration.
Q. NDSU and SDSU meet on Saturday in Fargo with the winner earning at least a share of the league title. Plus, the programs are in position to earn their third and second playoff berths since joining the Valley five years ago. In hindsight, what did expanding into the Dakotas do for your conference?
A. I think expansion of our league into the Dakotas is the single most important thing we could have done strategically to strengthen our league. It’s helped us define valley football as being football throughout the Midwest. We’ve got the defending national champs – that speaks volumes to the strength of what the Dakota schools have brought to this league. Very, very important not just from the strength but the tradition that they’ve brought with all three of those teams.
We think that our strength as a league is its stability and in its commitment to strong, nationally competitive teams, but with a geographic relatively that resonates. And we think the addition of the Dakotas does that in a big way.