FCS Playoffs ‘Til I Die: Chuck’s Final Bracket Projection

One last spin in the dryer – here is my fearless prediction as to what the FCS Playoff bracket will look like Sunday afternoon.

Seeds:

1. NDSU
2. Sam Houston
3. James Madison
4. South Dakota State
5. Eastern Washington
6. Villanova
7. Sacramento State
8. East Tennessee State

Chuck’s Take: I feel when push comes to shove (and the committee looks at the computer models), they’ll take North Dakota State over Sam Houston based on a stronger overall schedule. The top 3 seeds seem locked in some order (NDSU, Sam Houston, James Madison), so the real challenge was to figure out the other five. Believing that they will not give 3 seeds to one conference, I feel like they will give it to the CAA champ (Villanova), the SoCon champ (East Tennessee State), and the Big Sky champ (Sacramento State), which leaves one more seed for the Big Sky (Eastern Washington) and Missouri Valley (South Dakota State).

Autobids:

ASUN-WAC: Sam Houston
Big Sky: Sacramento State
Big South: Kennesaw State
CAA: Villanova
Missouri Valley: North Dakota State
NEC: Sacred Heart
OVC: UT Martin
Patriot League: Holy Cross
Pioneer: Davidson
SoCon: ETSU
Southland: Incarnate Word

At-large: Eastern Washington, Eastern Kentucky. James Madison, Missouri State, Montana, Montana State, Northern Iowa, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Southern Illinois, Southeastern Louisiana, Stephen F. Austin, UC Davis

Last Four In: Southeastern Louisiana, Stephen F. Austin, Northern Iowa, Eastern Kentucky

Burst Bubble: Florida A&M, Mercer, Rhode Island, Monmouth

Chuck’s Take: No doubt; the bubble is hard this year. I had 8 teams in my bubble after all the upsets this weekend. Mercer, with six D-I wins, was one of the first out. Rhode Island, losing four of their last five to close the year, was next.

Then, honestly, it became a game of trying to figure out where Sagarin and Massey were going to end up with the other six. UNI, with three wins against playoff teams, had one of the best at-large resumes even with six wins, so they were in. It’s here where Stephen F. Austin and Eastern Kentucky got second looks, too. That meant the last teams were 9-2 Florida A&M, 7-4 Monmouth, and 8-3 Southeastern Louisiana. By a narrow margin, I felt it was Southeastern Louisiana.

Chuck’s Bracket:

Holy Cross/Southern Illinois winner vs. No 1 NDSU
South Dakota/Montana winner vs. No. 8 ETSU

Sacred Heart/Missouri State winner vs. No. 4 South Dakota State
UNI/Southeastern Louisiana winner vs. No. 5. EWU

Davidson/UT Martin winner vs. No. 3 JMU
Eastern Kentucky/Kennesaw winner vs. No. 6 Villanova

Incarnate Word/Stephen F. Austin winner vs. No. 2 Sam Houston
UC Davis/Montana State vs. No. 7 Sacramento State

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