The University of South Dakota football team is going through a multitude of changes in 2012.
For one, they’ve hired a new coach, USD alum Joe Glenn.
However, possibly an even bigger change is the boost in competition brought about through the switch to the Missouri Valley Conference. The switch from the Great West Conference to the MVC will be a process and one that will most likely take some getting used to.
The 10-team conference consists of Illinois State, reigning FCS champions North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Western Illinois, Youngstown State, Indiana State, Southern Illinois, Missouri State and most notably in-state foe South Dakota State.
The switch to the Missouri Valley Conference will definitely be useful as a recruiting tool. Recruits now can look at the upcoming schedule and see better competition and added exposure.
The university’s budget should also expand, as revenue will be more abundant with all the advertising going into the SDSU game as well as playing in Sioux Falls for the NDSU game.
The team has already seen some dividends of this with the new and much nicer looking turf in the DakotaDome.
The team surely will go through some bumps early on, as many of these teams are far superior to the opponents the Coyotes were facing in the Great West. North Dakota State has become a staple of success in FCS play, while the Jackrabbits aren’t far behind.
USD does not open up it’s conference schedule until September 29 when it faces off with Illinois State, who is 2-0, a fitting opponent to acclimate the Coyotes it the MVC.
However, Glenn’s experience, shown is his 108 career wins; will surely help guide the Yotes.
Fans and alumni should be hopeful that USD will become a key cog in this conference. But for now everyone should just cherish the new opportunity they have been presented with. No matter how tough the times may be, there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel.