This year, we are picking a consensus bracket based on staff picks, Sagarin Ratings, and the FCS Coaches’ Poll to determine who we think will be in the playoff field, who is seeded, who is in, who is out.
In the FCS playoffs, there are 10 conferences that get autobids, the Big Sky, Big South, CAA, Northeast, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Pioneer Football League, Southern, and Southland Conferences.
Two conferences, the SWAC and MEAC, choose to send their champions to a different non-sanctioned postseason separate from the NCAA’s official playoffs. A third, the Ivy League, chooses to not send its members.
Per Sagarin, the Coaches’ Poll, and our expert picks, the possible playoff participants are below:[table “19” not found /]
The CSJ Consensus Bracket:
- Big Sky: Eastern Washington
- Big South: Charleston Southern
- CAA: James Madison (clinched)
- Northeast: St Francis (PA) (clinched)
- Missouri Valley: North Dakota State
- Ohio Valley: Jacksonville State
- Patriot League: Lehigh (clinched)
- Pioneer: San Diego
- Southern: The Citadel (clinched)
- Southland: Sam Houston State
- Eastern Washington
- North Dakota State
- Jacksonville State
- Sam Houston State
- James Madison
- The Citadel
- Central Arkansas
Rest of the field: Cal Poly, Charleston Southern, Chattanooga, Illinois State, Lehigh, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, St. Francis (PA), Samford, San Diego, South Dakota State, Villanova, Western Illinois, Wofford, Youngstown State.