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It has been a long time since Missouri State won the Missouri Valley Football Conference championship in football. Thirty years, in fact. That all changed on Saturday though.
With controversial head coach Bobby Petrino at the helm, Missouri State (5-4, 5-1) beat Youngstown State (1-6) 21-10 to win the conference.
Bobby Petrino led Missouri State on Saturday to its first Missouri Valley Football Conference championship in 31 years.
— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) April 12, 2021
That 5-4 record might not seem like much, but we have to keep in mind the schedule. Three of those games were played back in the fall. The Bears lost 48-0 to Oklahoma, and then turned around and got beat twice by single digits to Central Arkansas.
In the spring, Petrino’s squad went 5-1. Their one loss came against No. 6 North Dakota State.
The FCS has a 16-team playoff to determine a champion, and Missouri State was No. 15 in the FCS rankings before Saturday’s game. It’s possible — likely even — that this squad moves up. However, the playoff field won’t be announced until April 18, so now the team has to wait and hope.
Either way, it’s a successful first season for Petrino.
This is a guy who was at Louisville two years ago for his second stint with the program. Prior to that, he spent a year at Western Kentucky after time as the head coach at Arkansas and the Atlanta Falcons. Not a bad resume.
Now he’s leading the Bears to their first conference title in 31 years.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.