Playoffs ‘Til I Die: Playoff Projections, One Week To Go



This year, we are picking a consensus bracket based on staff picks, Sagarin Ratings, and the FCS Coaches’ Poll to determine who we think will be in the playoff field, who is seeded, who is in, who is out.

In the FCS playoffs, there are 10 conferences that get autobids, the Big Sky, Big South, CAA, Northeast, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Pioneer Football League, Southern, and Southland Conferences.

Two conferences, the SWAC and MEAC, choose to send their champions to a different non-sanctioned postseason separate from the NCAA’s official playoffs. A third, the Ivy League, chooses to not send its members.

Per Sagarin, the Coaches’ Poll, and our expert picks, the possible playoff participants are below:

Overall SeedSchoolPlayoff BidSeed/Placement
1North Dakota StateMissouri Valley#1 Seed
2James MadisonColonial#2 Seed
3Youngstown StateAt-Large 1#3 Seed
4South DakotaAt-Large 2#4 Seed
5Western IllinoisAt-Large 3#5 Seed
6South Dakota StateAt-Large 4#6 Seed
7Northern IowaAt-Large 5#7 Seed
8Jacksonville StateOhio Valley#8 Seed
9Northern ArizonaBig SkyHome 1st Round
10Southern IllinoisAt-Large 6Home 1st Round
11Central ArkansasSouthlandHome 1st Round
12Weber State
At-Large 7Home 1st Round
13Illinois StateAt-Large 8Home 1st Round
14VillanovaAt-Large 9Home 1st Round
15SamfordSoConHome 1st Round
16Sam Houston StateAt-Large 10Home 1st Round
17WoffordAt-Large 11Road 1st Round
18DelawareAt-Large 12Road 1st Round
19FurmanAt-Large 13Road 1st Round
20Southern UtahAt-Large 14Road 1st Round
21Kennesaw StateBig SouthRoad 1st Round
22DuquesneNECRoad 1st Round
23ColgatePatriotRoad 1st Round
24San DiegoPioneerRoad 1st Round

The CSJ Consensus Bracket:

Conference Champions:

  • Big Sky: Eastern Washington
  • Big South: Charleston Southern
  • CAA: James Madison (clinched)
  • Northeast: St Francis (PA) (clinched)
  • Missouri Valley: North Dakota State
  • Ohio Valley: Jacksonville State
  • Patriot League: Lehigh (clinched)
  • Pioneer: San Diego
  • Southern: The Citadel (clinched)
  • Southland: Sam Houston State


  1. Eastern Washington
  2. North Dakota State
  3. Jacksonville State
  4. Sam Houston State
  5. James Madison
  6. The Citadel
  7. Central Arkansas
  8. Richmond

Rest of the field: Cal Poly, Charleston Southern, Chattanooga, Illinois State, Lehigh, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, St. Francis (PA), Samford, San Diego, South Dakota State, Villanova, Western Illinois, Wofford, Youngstown State.

Last Four In: Cal Poly, Maine, Illinois State, Western Illinois
First Four Out: Fordham, Liberty, New Hampshire, UT-Martin