Using the Sagarin ranking this week, the following would be the field of 24 teams for the Division I FCS Football Playoffs. North Dakota State is the top seed, while MVFC mates South Dakota State and Northern Iowa are the second and third seeds respectively.
James Madison is the #4, while Sam Houston State and Eastern Washington are the #5 and #6 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.
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. Northern Iowa|
|4. James Madison|
|5. Sam Houston State|
|6. Eastern Washington|
|7. Southern Illinois|
|8. Montana 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 Conference||6|
|Big Sky Conference||6|
|Colonial Athletic Association||2|
|Big South Conference||1|
|Ohio Valley Conference||1|
|Pioneer Football League||1|
|AQ7 (Western Athletic/Atlantic Sun)||1|
I will create a weekly projection until the playoff selections are made on Nov. 21st and will later take into account playoff criteria such as consideration for 7-wins (this week North Dakota falls into this category after suffering its fifth loss so they can not get to the 7-win total despite being ranked in the Top 24) being the minimum required to be included into the playoff field and will also take the automatic qualifiers when they are declared conference champions over what the Sagarin rankings show as the top team in a conference.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football is the Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
Reach him at this email or click below: