Despite it being 2021 for months now, we can finally put 2020 to a close and get back to football as (much closer to) normal.
South Dakota State, being the runner-up for last year's championship, has a ton of young talent and should be right at the top of the conference for the foreseeable future, assuming they can keep QB's healthy. Meanwhile, perennial power North Dakota State has dropped down to the realm of merely "very good" (as opposed to absolutely dominant), at the same time as some more "unexpected" teams have been making a push to be in the top half of the conference, with Missouri State, Southern Illinois, and North Dakota all finding their way into the playoffs last season.
On the other hand, some teams that we've seen have success in the past did not do well in last year's crazy pandemic-adjusted season, with Northern Iowa and Illinois State both only coming away with 1 win last year, but will likely do at least a little better in a regular season.
And then we have South Dakota, Western Illinois, and Youngstown State. Teams that will likely struggle to find more than 1 or 2 wins this year.
MVFC football starts up in just over 3 months with Indiana State hosting neighbor and former Gateway Conference member Eastern Illinois in "Week 0" on August 28th. In the meantime, enjoy your Casey's Breakfast Pizza, get your crops in the ground, try to avoid the deer, and save big money at Menards.