College Sports Journal Sagarin FCS Playoff Predictions–Nov. 6


Using the Sagarin ratings from this week alone to project the 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 24 for the 24 teams that make the FCS playoffs.

As a reminder, the following conferences receive an automatic bid, while 14 teams are selected as at-large picks.

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

Top 24 Rankings with playoff spot with the conference name indicating the automatic spot for its conference and then the 14 at-large spots also listed. See the full Top 25 with the hyperlink:

1 North Dakota State MVFC
2 James Madison CAA
3 South Dakota State At-Large 1
4 Weber State Big Sky
5 Montana At-Large 2
6 Northern Iowa At-Large 3
7 Sacramento State At-Large 4
8 Furman SoCon
9 Illinois State At-Large 5
10 Montana State At-Large 6
11 Villanova At-Large 7
12 Towson At-Large 8
13 Southern Illinois At-Large 9
14 Central Arkansas Southland
15 Youngstown State At-Large 10
16 New Hampshire At-Large 11
17 Sam Houston State At-Large 12
18 Kennesaw State Big South
19 Monmouth At-Large 13
20 North Dakota At-Large 14
21 SE Missouri State OVC
22 Central Connecticut St. NEC
23 San Diego Pioneer
24 Holy Cross Patriot
Note that Southeast Missouri State, Central Connecticut State, San Diego, and Holy Cross are currently leading the OVC, NEC, Pioneer League, and Patriot League in the Sagarin rankings and would be the last four schools into the field as those conference champions.
Also note that the Ivy League, MEAC, and SWAC do not have autobids. The MEAC and SWAC champions play in the Celebration Bowl. The SWAC also plays a championship game so both division champions would not be able to participate but any second place or lower team in either conference would be eligible. And the Ivy League as a whole has elected not to participate in the playoffs.
For this week, no MEAC or SWAC schools are in the Top 20 of the standings. But Princeton and Dartmouth from the Ivy League, who are in the this Top 21 are not eligible for the playoffs due to the Ivy League rule of no postseason play so these two were left off. Also, UC Davis, Eastern Washington, and Elon would be in the Top 20 but each have five losses and would not make it with the current rule of getting seven DI victories. If each win out, they may have a chance but I left them out in this prediction this week.