It seems every week we’re talking about how this particular game has huge FCS playoff implications or that game has a big impact on the postseason picture. The deeper we get into the season, the truer this gets.
It’s especially the case for No. 7 South Dakota State traveling to No. 11 Illinois State. Let's be real, though, no matter what the rankings say, these are two of the best 10 teams in the FCS. But both are coming off of losses and have two Ls so far this season. The difference in playoff outlooks here between the winner and loser is drastic.
MORE FCS FOOTBALL:
FCS Home | FCS Rankings
Compare FCS Teams | Compare FCS Players
The victor has a decent chance to finish the regular season with two losses and earn a seed. The loser is likely going to be playing a first-round game and then traveling in the playoffs from then on.
SDSU was looked at as the No. 2 team in the nation just a week ago before a disappointing performance at Northern Iowa. The Jackrabbits are battling plenty of injuries and suffering another loss to hit 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the MVFC is a far drop from taking No. 1 North Dakota State down to the wire in September.
A win here gets the Jacks back on track with favorable games to finish the season.
- vs. Missouri State
- @ Southern Illinois
- vs. South Dakota
SUBSCRIBE: HERO Sports FCS Podcast
COMPARE: SDSU vs. Illinois State
The Redbirds are 5-2 overall and 2-2 in conference play. A win Saturday is crucial because next week brings a road trip to UNI. The Redbirds can range from being 7-2 with impressive back-to-back wins to 5-4 and playing for its playoff life.
Illinois State's remaining schedule after SDSU and UNI looks promising.
- @ Indiana State
- vs. Youngstown State
UNI is a big factor in the seeds race out of the MVFC as well at 3-1. But the Panthers are only 4-3 overall with a less-than-stellar nonconference performance. However, the second best team in the Valley is usually good enough to get a seed.
A two-loss SDSU or Illinois State team even has a chance at a Top 5 seed. But the difference between that and playing Thanksgiving weekend is a loss tomorrow afternoon.