College Sports Journal Sagarin 2021 Spring Division I FCS Playoff Predictions–Apr. 5


Using the Sagarin ratings from this week to project the 2021 Spring Division I FCS playoffs, along with the automatic bid for the conferences that receive a bid, the following would be the playoff teams. These teams are seeded 1 through 16 for the 16 teams that make the FCS playoffs for this spring season.

The actual playoff selections will take place after the spring regular season is complete on Sunday, April 18th. The first round playoff games will take place the weekend of of April 25th and the playoffs will end with the final two teams competing in the national championship game on May 16th; in a game played again for the tenth straight season in Frisco, Texas.

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference had its bid announced last week that despite only having three members participating this spring will still get an automatic bid to the playoffs. This means there will be 11 automatic bids and below shows all of these conferences.

Big Sky Conference
Big South Conference
Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA)
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC)
Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC)
Northeast Conference (NEC)
Ohio Valley Conference (OVC)
Patriot League
Pioneer Football League 
Southern Conference
Southland Conference

There are two other FCS leagues typically but these two will not have an automatic selection this spring. The Ivy League has not historically participated in the playoffs and is also not participating in the 2021 spring football season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, the Southwestern (SWAC) Conference will only have its non-title game schools available for the playoffs as that conference’s championship game is slated after the playoffs begin.

After the 11 automatic bid qualifiers, five additional at-large teams will be selected for this spring’s playoffs. This is down from the traditional 24-teams to shorten the spring schedule yet still accomplish the 11 automatic bid qualifiers.

Top 16 Rankings based on the Sagarin rankings and taking into consideration the top rated possible conference championship team for each of the ten automatic bid conferences are highlighted in yellow below. The five schools not highlighted are the five at-large selection based as the best non-automatic bid qualifiers using the current Sagarin rankings. See this week’s full Dvision I FCS Sagarin Top 25 rankings with this hyperlink.

This week’s results excluded any school that has three or more losses and also looked at the tie-breaker policies to capture the automatic bids.

Below is a look from a bracket perspective with the assumption that no regionalization of first round games would take place and all match-ups would be paired per seeds:

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