After a crazy weekend in FCS football, figuring out the 16 playoff teams was going to be a tall task. Well, the committee released their 16-team FCS Spring Football Playoff bracket this morning, and it was full of surprises. Remember, instead of the normal 24-team field, there will be only 16 teams in the playoffs this season.
I will take a deeper look at the field tomorrow, but for now, let’s just see who made the postseason.
FCS Spring Football Playoff Bracket
Top Four Seeds
- South Dakota State (5-1 Overall, 5-1 MVFC)
- Sam Houston State (6-0, 6-0 Southland)
- James Madison (5-0, 3-0 CAA)(At-Large)
- Jacksonville State (9-2, 6-1 OVC)
The Rest Of the Field (Bold: Automatic Qualifier)
Weber State (Big Sky), North Dakota (MVFC), North Dakota State (MVFC), Missouri State (MVFC), Delaware (CAA), Sacred Heart (Northeast), Davidson (Pioneer), Holy Cross (Patriot), VMI (Southern), Southern Illinois (MVFC), Eastern Washington (Big Sky), Monmouth (Big South)
First Reactions to FCS Spring Football Playoffs Bracket
5 Teams From the MVFC in FCS Spring Football Playoff
I, for one, am shocked. NDSU, SDSU and UND all deserved at-large bids in the FCS Spring Football Playoffs, in my opinion. However, Missouri State seems like a bit of a reach for me. The Bears ended their spring season with a 5-4 record. They lost to Oklahoma in the fall, as well as falling to Central Arkansas twice. They lost to NDSU in early March, but have reeled off four straight wins. I think even Bear fans will admit, them getting in was a bit of luck.
Weber State Falls Out of Top–Four
Another shocker on Sunday morning was the Wildcats falling out of the top four seeds. As you have seen from my weekly rankings, I have been very high on Weber State. However, the committee did not feel their schedule or wins were worthy of a top-four seed. I disagree. On top of not being a top-four seed, they have a tough first-round matchup with Southern Illinois, who upset NDSU earlier in the spring. The Wildcats have had success slowing down high-tempo offenses. Southern Illinois is the exact opposite. They wear you down on the ground. If Weber State can beat the Salukis, they match up well with South Dakota State in the second round.
Delaware Gets Auto Bid, JMU Gets Top–Four
The Colonial has been a mess all spring. After Delaware beat previously unbeaten Villanova on Saturday, they were voted CAA champions by CAA Athletic Directors. However, the national media seems to like James Madison much more than Delaware. JMU got a top-four seed, and will host two games if they win. Sure, the Blue Hens were awarded the CAA automatic bid, but James Madison was the real winner out of the CAA.
Jacksonville State Got and Deserved a Top-Four Seed
The Gamecocks played four games in the fall and finished 3-1, with their lone loss coming to Florida State. Then, the Gamecocks opted to play a full spring season as well. They started the spring with four straight wins before losing to a tricky Austin Peay team. After the loss, the Gamecocks went on to win two straight, including a de-facto Ohio Valley Championship Game victory over Murray State. They are going to be tough to beat. However, it will be interesting to see how and if the full schedule affects their post-season dreams.
Can Sam Houston State And K.C. Keeler Win the Big One?
Sam Houston State is having their best season since 2017. In 2017, they were awarded the sixth seed in the FCS Playoffs. Remember though, in 2017 there were eight top seeds given out, and the FCS playoff field was 24 teams. That year, the Bearkats advanced to the semi-finals, where they were embarrassed by NDSU, 55-13. After 2017, the program had some difficult seasons, but seem to be back to their old selves this year. Head coach K.C. Keeler won a national championship in 2003 with Delaware. Can he bring some hardware back to Texas with him this year?
Tomorrow, we will post our top-10 FCS rankings. As the week goes on, we’ll take a deeper look at the matchups and how each game could play out. All first-round playoff games are scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 24th. For the first time in a long time, it seems like the playoff field is wide open this year, and I for one could not be happier.