FCS Playoffs Projection
(STATS) – Who's in, who's out?
Eight teams have distinguished themselves for seeds and first-round byes in the 24-team FCS playoffs. But plenty of teams will be on edge leading into the ESPNU selection show on Sunday (11 a.m. ET).
After having five teams in the field each of the past two seasons, it would be bizarre for the Missouri Valley Football Conference if three other conferences – the Big Sky Conference, CAA Football and Southern Conference – have more teams. It's possible if at-large hopeful Illinois State's bubble is burst.
On an odd final full weekend of the regular season, so many teams in contention for an at-large bid lost their game, including Liberty, Maine, Montana, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, Samford and Western Illinois.
So there are a good seven teams in contention for the final spots. We'll go Maine, New Hampshire, Samford and Weber State over Illinois State, Fordham and Southeastern Louisiana.
PROJECTED BIDS BY CONFERENCE
*- automatic qualifier
Big Sky (4): Cal Poly (7-4), *Eastern Washington (10-1), North Dakota (9-2), Weber State (7-4)
Big South (1): *Charleston Southern (7-3)
CAA (5): Albany (7-4), *James Madison (10-1), New Hampshire (7-4), Richmond (8-3), Villanova (8-3)
MEAC (1): North Carolina A&T (9-2)
Missouri Valley (3): North Dakota State (10-1), *South Dakota State (8-3), Youngstown State (8-3)
NEC (1): *Saint Francis (7-4)
OVC (1): *Jacksonville State (10-1)
Patriot (1): *Lehigh (9-2)
Pioneer (1): *San Diego (9-1)
Southern (4): Chattanooga (9-2), Samford (7-4), *The Citadel (10-1), Wofford (8-3)
Southland (2): *Sam Houston State (11-0), Central Arkansas (9-2)
STATS PROJECTED PAIRINGS
Top 8 seeds have first-round byes
San Diego-Weber State winner at No. 1 seed North Dakota State
Saint Francis-Villanova winner at No. 8 seed North Dakota
Samford-Richmond winner at No. 5 seed Sam Houston State
Chattanooga-North Carolina A&T winner at No. 4 seed James Madison
Lehigh-New Hampshire winner at No. 7 seed South Dakota State
Albany-Youngstown State winner at No. 2 seed Eastern Washington
Cal Poly-Central Arkansas winner at No. 3 seed Jacksonville State
Charleston Southern-Wofford winner at No. 6 seed The Citadel