CSJ Sagarin 2021 NCAA FCS Playoff Projection-FINAL

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Using the Sagarin ranking this week, the following would be the field of 24 teams for the Division I FCS Football Playoffs. The actual playoff announcement will be made later today at 12:30 EST on ESPNU.

North Dakota State is the top seed, while MVFC mate South Dakota State is the second seed.

James Madison is the #3, while Sam Houston State and Eastern Washington are the #4 and #5 respectively.

There are currently 11 conferences that get their champion into the field as an automatic qualifier. The remaining 13 positions are at-large selections. NOTE: the MEAC, SWAC, and Ivy League do not send their conference champions to the playoff field. The MEAC and SWAC non-winners of either their division or the conference could be selected so these teams were taken into consideration.

Automatic Bids Already Obtained

There are conferences that recieved automatic bids for their champions. The following are these schools:

AQ7 (WAC/A-Sun)Sam Houston State
Big SkySacramento State
Big SouthKennesaw State
MVFCNorth Dakota State
NECSacred Heart
OVCTennessee- Martin
PatriotHoly Cross
SoConEast Tennessee State
SouthlandIncarnate Word

Below is a list of all 24 teams with the ones in bold and highlighted in orange as the automatic qualifier from their respective conference (again, using the Sagarin rating to determine that team). The teams highlighted in yellow and not bolded represent the at-large selections:

The seeds would be as follows using the Sagarin rankings:

1. North Dakota State
2. South Dakota State
3. James Madison
4. Sam Houston State
5. Eastern Washington
6. Montana
7. Northern Iowa
8. Missouri State

Below would the be bracket using fully the 24-seeds. No regionalization was considered for the 24-team field and the bracket was solely made by the Sagarin rankings.

Conference Breakdown with Number of Teams

Missouri Valley Football Conference6
Big Sky Conference5
Colonial Athletic Association2
Southern Conference2
Southland Conference2
AQ7 (Western Athletic/Atlantic Sun)2
Big South Conference1
Ohio Valley Conference1
Patriot League1
Pioneer Football League1
Northeast Conference1