Week 12 FCS Football Bracketology Breakdown

Last Four In: Fordham, Cal Poly, Weber State, North Carolina A&T
First Five Out: Samford, Southeastern Louisiana, Montana, Western Illinois, Maine
The final Saturday has finished and all the work is done.  No more can be added or subtracted from anybody’s resume.  Like has been normal this season, a number of the teams who controlled their own destiny and only needed to win a game in the last couple weeks to secure their bid, fell to the pressure.
So the final four teams in, why?  Well, some of the resumes are no better than those they beat out.  The final cuts were razor thin.  Let’s take a look.
Fordham: 8-3, seven Division I wins, including winning six of their last seven (losing only to Lehigh).
Cal Poly: 7-4, all wins were Division I, including wins over Montana, South Dakota State, Northern Colorado and San Diego.
Weber State: 7-4, all wins were Division I, including a win over Cal Poly and a 6-2 record in the Big Sky.
North Carolina A&T: 9-2, eight wins against Division I, including one over FBS Kent State. One of the two losses was to another FBS team.
There are five listed as just missing the cut, why?  Let’s look at those.
Samford: 7-4, six Division I wins, including one over Central Arkansas. But they lost three of their last four, one being a very bad loss to end against East Tennessee State.
Southeastern Louisiana: 7-4, all Division I wins. Unfortunately, they were all in the Southland Conference, which is weak overall. They lost to Central Arkansas and did not play Sam Houston State, further weakening the schedule.
Montana: 6-5, all were Division I and they beat St. Francis and Northern Iowa, but lost to every contender in the Big Sky they played. They also dropped four of their last five.
Western Illinois: 6-5, all were Division I, including one over FBS Northern Illinois. They also lost four of the last five, including the last three.
Maine: 6-5, all six wins were Division I, but didn’t beat any team with a winning record besides Albany.
So what conference was the big winner?  The Colonial, which should receive five bids.  The Big Sky also wins.  Most of the season, they were slotted to get either two or three bids and jump up and snag a fourth during the final Saturday.  The Patriot also gets a second bid from the seven teams, which has to be looked at as a victory.  The Biggest loser is the Missouri Valley.  Two teams should be seeded and receive byes and the third is going to be a tough out for whichever seed may have to play them in the Round of 16, but the conference’s overall strength totally cannibalized itself.  There is surely two or three teams that are better than other at-larges in the field, but their resumes don’t stack up.  The Ohio Valley also loses, as just Jacksonville State gets a bid as the automatic.  The Southern Conference was slated to be a four-bid league most of the last month, but dropped one the final day of the season.
Big Sky (4): Eastern Washington*, North Dakota, Cal Poly, Weber State
Big South (1): Charleston Southern*
Colonial (5): James Madison*, Villanova, Richmond, Albany, New Hampshire
Mid-Eastern (1): North Carolina A&T
Missouri Valley (3): South Dakota State*, North Dakota State, Youngstown State
Northeast (1): St. Francis, PA*
Ohio Valley (1): Jacksonville State*
Patriot (2): Lehigh*, Fordham
Pioneer (1): San Diego*
Southern (3): The Citadel*, Chattanooga, Wofford
Southland (2): Sam Houston State*, Central Arkansas
* League Championship and automatic bid