2016 NCAA Division I Football Championship Field Announced


INDIANAPOLIS—The field of 24 teams competing for the 2016 NCAA Division I Football Championship was announced today by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee. The top eight national seeds will host winners from the first-round match-ups.

Five-time defending national champion North Dakota State (10-1) tops the bracket as the number one seed after tying for the Missouri Valley Football Conference Championship. The Bison are making their seventh straight and overall appearance in the championship.

Eastern Washington University (10-1) is the number two seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Big Sky Conference. TheEagles, the 2010 champion, are making their 12th appearance in the championship.

Jacksonville State University (10-1) is the number three seed after capturing the Ohio Valley Conference automatic berth. The Gamecocks, 2016 national finalist, are making their fourth straight and seventh overall appearance in the championship.

James Madison University (10-1) is the number fourth seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes, the 2004 champion, are making their third straight and 13th overall appearance in the championship.

Winner of the Southland Conference automatic qualifying berth, Sam Houston State University (11-0), the 2011 and 2012 national finalist will be the fifth seed. The Bearkats are making their sixth straight and 10th overall appearance in the championship.

The number six seed is The Citadel (10-1). The Bulldogs earned the automatic qualifying berth from the Southern Conference and are making its second straight and fifth overall appearance in the championship.

University of North Dakota (9-2) earned an at-large berth in championship after finishing as co-champion of the Big Sky Conference. The Fighting Hawks are making their inaugural appearance in the championship and will be the seventh seed.

The eighth and final seeded team will be South Dakota State University (8-3). The Jackrabbits will be making its fifth straight appearance and sixth overall after capturing the Missouri Valley Football Conference automatic berth, tying with North Dakota St.

The 2016 championship field consists of 10 automatic qualifiers and 14 at-large qualifiers.

Automatic Qualifiers (10)

Big Sky Conference – Eastern Washington (10-1)
Big South Conference – Charleston Southern (7-3)
Colonial Athletic Association – James Madison (10-1)
Missouri Valley Football Conference – South Dakota State (8-3)
Northeast Conference – Saint Francis (Pennsylvania) (7-4)
Ohio Valley Conference – Jacksonville State (10-1)
Patriot League – Lehigh (9-2)
Pioneer Football League – San Diego (9-1)
Southern Conference – The Citadel (10-1)
Southland Conference – Sam Houston State (11-0)

At-Large (14)
Big Sky Conference – Cal Poly (7-4)
Big Sky Conference – North Dakota (9-2)
Big Sky Conference – Weber State (7-4)
Colonial Athletic Association – New Hampshire (7-4)
Colonial Athletic Association – Richmond (8-3)
Colonial Athletic Association – Villanova (8-3)
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – North Carolina A&T (9-2)
Missouri Valley Football Conference – Illinois State (6-5)
Missouri Valley Football Conference – North Dakota State (10-1)
Missouri Valley Football Conference – Youngstown State (8-3)
Southern Conference – Chattanooga (8-3)
Southern Conference – Samford (7-4)
Southern Conference – Wofford (8-3)
Southland Conference – Central Arkansas (9-2)


November 26 at San Luis Obispo, California, 7 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
San Diego (9-1) at Cal Poly (7-4)

November 26 at Villanova, Pennsylvania, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Sant Francis (PA) (7-4) at Villanova (8-3)

November 26 at Chattanooga, Tennessee, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Weber St. (7-4) at Chattanooga (8-3)

November 26 at Durham, New Hampshire, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Lehigh (9-2) at New Hampshire (7-4)

November 26 at Youngstown, Ohio, 5 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Samford (7-4) at Youngstown St. (8-3)

November 26 at Spartanburg, South Carolina, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Charleston So. (7-3) at Wofford (8-3)

November 26 at Richmond, Virginia, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
N.C. A&T (9-2) at Richmond (8-3)

November 26 at Conway, Arkansas, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Illinois St. (6-5) at Central Ark. (9-2)


December 3 at Fargo, North Dakota, 3:30 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
San Diego/Cal Poly winner at #1 North Dakota St. (10-1)

December 3 at Brookings, South Dakota, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Sant Francis (PA)/Villanova winner at #8 South Dakota St. (8-3)

December 3 at Huntsville, Texas, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Weber St./Chattanooga winner at #5 Sam Houston St. (11-0)
December 3 at Harrisonburg, Virginia, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Lehigh/New Hampshire winner at #4 James Madison (10-1)

December 3 at Jacksonville, Alabama, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Samford/Youngstown St. winner at #3 Jacksonville St. (10-1)

December 3 at Charleston, South Carolina, 6 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Charleston So./Wofford winner at #6 The Citadel (10-1)

December 3 at Grand Forks, North Dakota, 6 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
N.C. A&T/Richmond winner at #7 North Dakota (9-2)

December 3 at Cheney, Washington 4 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Illinois St./Central Ark. winner at #2 Eastern Wash. (10-1)

Television schedules and games times for all rounds of the 2016 championship will be updated at www.NCAA.com/fcs.