By Chuck Burton
College Sports Journal
PHILADELPHIA, PA. — The autobids are now set.
We knew about McNeese State, Charleston Southern, Dayton, Chattanooga, Jacksonville State, and Colgate, but we had to wait until the very end in order to find out that Richmond, Duquesne, Southern Utah and North Dakota State would be the autobids.
All the regular season games are now done. So what might the field look like? Who might be in? Who might not make it?
It’s all right here in “Playoffs ‘Til I Die.”
Ten Conferences, Ten Autobids
The following teams are IN.
Big Sky Conference:
8-3 SOUTHERN UTAH
Big South Conference:
9-2 CHARLESTON SOUTHERN
Colonial Athletic Association:
Missouri Valley Football Conference:
9-2 NORTH DAKOTA STATE
Ohio Valley Conference:
10-1 JACKSONVILLE STATE
Pioneer Football League:
10-0 MCNEESE STATE
Here’s my thoughts on the 14 at-large invites.
Almost certainly in Already:
Two Missouri Valley at-large teams. 9-2 Illinois State, 8-3 South Dakota State
One Big Sky at-large team. 9-2 Portland State
Two CAA at-large teams. 9-2 James Madison, 8-3 William and Mary
One Big South at-large. 9-2 Coastal Carolina
One Patriot League at-large. 9-2 Fordham
One SoCon at-large. 8-3 The Citadel, thanks to their win over FBS South Carolina
One Southland at-large. 8-3 Sam Houston State, thanks to their win over Central Arkansas
Who’s On the Bubble?
In my estimation, there are five bubble spots. The teams in the running for those spots are:
7-4 Central Arkansas
7-4 Eastern Illinois
7-4 New Hampshire
7-4 Northern Arizona
7-4 Northern Iowa
7-4 North Dakota
7-4 Western Carolina (6 D-I wins)
The Teams I have in:
7-4 Eastern Illinois, 7-4 Montana, 7-4 New Hampshire, 7-4 Northern Iowa, 7-4 North Dakota
The Last Four Out:
7-4 Central Arkansas, 7-4 Northern Arizona, 7-4 Towson, 7-4 Western Carolina
Projected Seeds: North Dakota State, Jacksonville State, Illinois State, James Madison, Charleston Southern, Portland State, McNeese State, South Dakota State.
North Dakota State Bracket
Sam Houston State @ Montana winner at No. 1 North Dakota State
North Dakota @ Southern Utah winner at No. 8 South Dakota State
James Madison Bracket
Fordham @ New Hampshire winner at No. 4 James Madison
Coastal Carolina @ The Citadel winner at No. 5 Charleston Southern
Illinois State Bracket
Dayton @ Chattanooga winner at No. 3 Illinois State
Eastern Illinois @ Northern Iowa winner at No. 6 Portland State
Jacksonville State Bracket
Colgate @ William & Mary winner at No. 2 Jacksonville State
Duquesne @ Richmond winner at No. 7 McNeese State