Week 12 FCS Football Bracketology Breakdown

George Hammond

Last Four In: Eastern Illinois, Fordham, New Hampshire, North Dakota

First Four Out: Western Illinois, Towson, Northern Arizona, Liberty

The 24-team playoff field is set – at least the projected field – now that the regular season has come to a close. Ten automatic berths have gone out along with 14 at-large bids. The auto bids are as follows: Southern Utah, Charleston Southern, Richmond, North Dakota State, Duquesne, Jacksonville State, Colgate, Dayton, Chattanooga and McNeese State.

The biggest suspense this year comes in the top eight seeds. Jacksonville State is the obvious No. 1, but after that, it gets a little dicey, particularly with South Dakota State losing to Western Illinois on Saturday. The Jackrabbits had to negotiate difficult weather conditions just to get to WIU, but the loss likely cost them a top seed.

The four primary bubble teams likely to be disappointed Sunday morning when their names aren’t called are Western Illinois, Towson, Northern Arizona and Liberty.

Western Illinois (6-5) beat three likely playoff teams this year: Eastern Illinois, Northern Iowa and South Dakota State. However, it’s difficult to take a team with five losses. Towson (7-4), the 2013 national runner-up, won five of its last six games, but an early season loss to Elon (among others) doomed its chances. Northern Arizona (7-4) lost to Montana and Southern Utah and didn’t meet Portland State this fall. A loss to UC-Davis really hurt while Liberty (6-5) has to be disappointed with victories over Coastal Carolina and Montana. But the Flames lost to Southern Illinois, Gardner-Webb, Monmouth, Charleston Southern and West Virginia.

The FCS tournament bracket will be announced beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday (Nov. 22) on ESPNU.


See the FCS Football Projected Bracket


Big Sky: Southern Utah*, Montana, Portland State, North Dakota

Big South: Charleston Southern*, Coastal Carolina

CAA: Richmond*, James Madison, New Hampshire, William & Mary

MVFC: North Dakota State*, Illinois State, South Dakota State, Northern Iowa

NEC: Duquesne*

OVC: Jacksonville State*, Eastern Illinois

Patriot: Colgate*, Fordham

Pioneer: Dayton*

Southern: Chattanooga*, The Citadel

Southland: McNeese State*, Sam Houston State


See the FCS Football Projected Bracket