Only 11 teams are unbeaten in all of FCS, and three of those teams are from the Missouri Valley Football Conference. Illinois State is 5-0 for the first time since 1967, meanwhile, North Dakota State (4-0) and Youngstown State (4-0) meet in the Fargodome on Oct. 6.
Four league games are on the slate for Saturday, Oct. 6, and three of the four games will be seen on regional or national TV (with two of those games on ESPN3). Two league teams do not play this week.
For a comprehensive/expanded notebook (including team-by-team notes), click on the PDF link at the right.
MVFC Top-Five Tussles
When No. 1 North Dakota State hosts No. 3 Youngstown State, it will mark just the seventh time that two top-5 MVFC teams will play one another.
O19, 1996 - #5 Missouri State at #3 UNI [UNI, 38-31]
N22, 1997 - #2 Western Illinois at #4 YSU [WIU, 24-21]
O4, 2003 - #5 W. Kentucky at #2 WIU [WIU, 33-28]
O16, 2004 - #4 W. Kentucky at #1 SIU [SIU, 38-10]
O17, 2009 - #5 S. Illinois at #2 UNI [SIU, 27-20]
O29, 2011 - #2 UNI at #3 N. Dakota St. [NDSU, 27-19]
O6, 2012 - #3 YSU at #1 N. Dakota St. [TBD]
Reaching 1,000 Rush Yards; Zenner Gets There in 5 Games
Only 12 times in the league’s 27-year history has a league RB reached 1,000 yards in seven or fewer games. On Sept. 29, Zach Zenner of South Dakota State became just the second MVFC player to reach 1,000 yards in just five games (he had 1,077 through five games). With 824 yards in five games, Shakir Bell of Indiana State needs just 176 yards in his next two games to reach the plateau for the second time in as many seasons.
Three League Teams Perfect
Last year, North Dakota State won its first nine games before losing. This year, three Valley Football teams are still perfect. The league record for consecutive wins to begin a season is 12, set by UNI in 2007.
Consecutive Victories to start a season
12, UNI, 2007 (lost to Delaware in the FCS playoffs)
10, Southern Illinois, 2003 (lost at UNI)
9, North Dakota St., 2011 (lost to Youngstown St.)
9, Western Illinois, 1988 (lost at Northern Illinois)
8, UNI, 1992 (lost at Eastern Illinois)
6, Youngstown State, 2000 (lost at Western Illinois)
6, Youngstown State, 1997 (lost at UNI)
6, Missouri State, 1989 (lost at Western Kentucky)
6, Southern Illinois, 2007 (lost at UNI)
Defending National Champs
League member North Dakota State is the defending national champion. The Bison defeated Sam Houston State, 17-6, in the FCS Title Game in Frisco, Texas, last January. It marks the third national championship for an MVFC member. Here’s what the league’s national champions have done in the year after claiming a national title.
Previous Missouri Valley Football National Champs
1997 - Youngstown State (1998 -- 6-5, t3rd MVFC)
2002 - Western Kentucky (2003 -- 9-4, t3rd MVFC)
2011 - North Dakota State (2012 -- ?)
Valley Football Records Watch
Here’s a list of active Valley Football players who are moving up in MVFC career statistical categories.
1. 4,746, Herb Donaldson, W. Illinois, 2005-08
14. 3,231, Derrick Franklin, Indiana State, 1989-91
15. 3,215, Jamaine Cook, YSU, 2009-pres.
16. 3,181, Karlton Carpenter, S. Illinois, 1995-99
17. 3,143, Shakir Bell, Indiana State, 2010-pres.
1. 9,089, Ryan Helming, UNI, 1997-00
2. 9,012, Eric Sanders, UNI, 2004-07
3. 8,587, Matt Brown, Illinois State, 2009-pres.
Career TD Passes Thrown:
1. 77, Ryan Helming, UNI, 1997-00
3. 65, Joel Sambursky, Southern Illinois, 2002-05
4. 62, Matt Brown, Illinois State, 2009-pres.
1. 249, Eddie Berlin, UNI, 1997-00
4. 196, Sam Logan, Indiana State, 2002-06
5. 192, Laurént Robinson, Illinois State, 2003-06
6. 191, Tyrone Walker, Illinois State, 2009-pres.