The hype for the 2017 football season is now in full swing as the Missouri Valley released its all-conference and preseason polls the last two mornings. The poll will make the rounds and draw some ire from fans, especially in Vermillion I expect. The top two is exactly what was expected, perhaps a bit closer than I imagined, with NDSU getting two more first place votes than South Dakota State. Youngstown was picked a surprising third in the league, surprising to me considering how much they lost. Northern Iowa comes in at four, with Illinois State at five.
Western Illinois, South Dakota, Southern Illinois, Missouri State and Indiana State round out the league poll, the Coyotes are a stunning seventh, I believe USD is a playoff team this season, I had them ranked fourth.
- Youngstown State
- Northern Iowa
- Illinois State
- Western Illinois
- South Dakota
- Southern Illinois
- Missouri State
- Indiana State
Kolpack wrote a good piece on the preseason team in yesterday’s Forum, which you can read here. The amount of SDSU offensive players against NDSU defensive players is intriguing and makes the game in Brookings in early November even more interesting.
Also of note, was commissioner Patty Viverito’s state of the league address this morning. She spoke about the addition of UND, and how the committee did a better job of addressing regionalization in the 2016 playoffs. Viverito did bring up expansion, when saying that 11 schools is “not an ideal number.” She said that 12 teams is “intriguing, but there’s not a school we’re looking at right now. 12 teams and two divisions would be attractive to us, but there’s no school we are looking at it.”
That’s been the age old debate for a while for people that follow this blog, you can go back and read the column about the Summit League options for expansion. I would think whoever the Summit League targets as its 10th member would need to play football, we know how much Tom Douple and Viverito worked hand in hand in adding UND to the league, could we see it happen again?