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A lot riding on rivalry game for SDSU
For the University of South Dakota, it’s a chance to salvage its season. For South Dakota State, it’s a chance to reach the Division I Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
There’s more on the line than just state pride when the two renew their series for the first time in nine years. The last regular-season game for both teams will be played at SDSU’s Kaufman-Alumni Stadium.
At 7-3, the Jackrabbits need to reach eight wins to most likely earn a postseason spot, which is goal No. 1 for this game, said SDSU head coach John Stiegelmeier.
“We have a lot of stuff going on,” he said, before referencing Saturday’s
20-17 loss at North Dakota State. “It was a disappointing loss last week that had huge implications. It’s a rivalry that 98 percent of the fans just want to see the game played. But this is a chance to be in the playoffs and play more football, so that’s been an emphasis.”
USD is 0-7 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and 1-9 overall. The Coyotes have lost eight straight.
“It’s very important both sides represent the game well, play clean and don’t let it get out of hand,” said USD head coach Joe Glenn. “It would be the same for North Dakota and North Dakota State. It’s a game that should be (played) and it’s right.”
Glenn said he plans on bringing a couple former players back to talk to his team on the importance of the game. It will be the first matchup as Division I schools.
“The price of poker has gone up since the North Central Conference days and the South Dakota State program is on a national level,” Glenn said. “We’re trying to get to that level.”
Elsewhere around the Valley:
E Indiana State travels to Youngstown State in a survival game, with the winner holding hope for an at-large FCS playoff berth. Asked how confident he would be that a win gets him in the playoffs, ISU head coach Trent Miles didn’t hesitate.
“Extremely confident,” he said. “We have one of the top teams in the GPI and are the only team to beat North Dakota State.”
A win would improve ISU to 8-3, but one is a non-counter against a Division II school. The Sycamores are currently ranked seventh in the Gridiron Power Index.
The Missouri Valley office pointed out 49 of the 50 teams rated in the top 10 of the GPI on Selection Sunday in the last five years earned a playoff bid, with one exception. That was No. 6 NDSU in 2007, which was ineligible because of the Division I transition.
Youngstown is No. 21 in the GPI, but a win would make it 7-4 with a win over FBS Pittsburgh.
The GPI is generally considered as a guideline for playoff selection and is not required criteria for the FCS playoff committee.
By: Jeff Kolpack, INFORUM