South Dakota State v Iowa
Getty Images

This year's South Dakota Showdown will be many things: A top-10 clash of teams that are a combined 13-1. A battle for first place in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. And, of course, a rivalry. 

Reigning champion South Dakota State has been holding steady at No. 1 all season long. There have been tests along the way against Montana State and Southern Illinois, but the Jackrabbits enter Week 9 unblemished and dominant on defense. South Dakota also enters this matchup with a smothering defense. The Coyotes pulled off a huge upset earlier in the season against North Dakota State and were in control throughout. 

Jackrabbits first-year coach Jimmy Rogers took over the program from legendary coach John Stiegelmeier and hasn't missed a beat. Coyotes coach Bob Neilson is in his eighth year at the helm and coming off of a 3-8 season in 2022. 

This is the 118th meeting between the two programs with the Jackrabbits coming away winners in 15 of the last 18 meetings and holding a 56-54-7 edge in the all-time record book. However, the Coyotes have won two out of the last three meetings and enter with arguably their best team since 2017.