Week 5 FCS Football Bracketology Breakdown

LAST FOUR IN: Stony Brook, The Citadel, McNeese, Elon
FIRST FOUR OUT: Western Carolina, Samford, Albany, Tennessee-Martin
Just when the week seemed like it would be a normal go for the teams already on the playoff tree, the upset bug raised its ugly head and snatched a few more apples, leaving empty branches to bare new fruit. 
That’s exactly how it happened in the Ohio Valley this week.  Tennessee-Martin and Tennessee State were riding high with 3-1 records.  Even with last week’s loss to Tennessee-Martin, Tennessee State was still clinging on.  Then comes the late Saturday evening home game with Eastern Illinois.  A game resulting in an overtime loss.  Now the wins over a weak FBS Georgia State team and two against a couple of paltry HBCUs doesn’t look so good.  Tennessee-Martin at least has the head-to-head victory, but then gets shutout by Austin Peay.  The same Austin Peay that’s spent recent years in the OVC gutter?  And UT-M’s win over Chattanooga looks nothing like it did weeks ago.  Now both are on the outside looking in again.  Luckily, time is on their sides.
Taking those spots are McNeese and Stony Brook.  McNeese is 4-1 and that’s after their season opening loss to Nicholls.  Beating the plethora of also-rans in the Southland isn’t overly impressive.  But the schedule sets up very nicely for the Cowboys, as a road game at Central Arkansas is the only game they won’t be favored the rest of the way.  And Sam Houston State isn’t on the docket either.  Which means a nice, shiny record is theirs for the taking, but a slip up here or there will count against them exponentially.  Similarly, Stony Brook is 4-1, after an opening loss to FBS South Florida.  They lead the way in the CAA at 3-0.  Without James Madison or Villanova on the schedule, they could also be playoff bound.  Almost assuredly, they’ll be in the conversation, in the least.
The final changes were in conference swaps.  Elon, another 4-1 team doing it the same way, up and proved the upset of Richmond might not have really been an upset, when they disposed of Albany, in a 6-0 shutout.  The other change comes in the Big South, where we’re going to give the automatic bid to Monmouth, for the time being.  Monmouth has a 3-0 record against Patriot League teams this year, which is too bad.  Too bad they don’t compete there, because nobody in the Patriot currently has a .500 record.  Charleston Southern has improved to 2-2, but they played nobody of clout.  The Big South is a mess overall and Monmouth is probably the conference’s only shot at an at-large bid, if it came to it.
Overall, the Colonial joins the Missouri Valley with an incredible six bids each.  Now before people start e-mailing me and calling me an idiot, let’s make this clear, the chances of this happening at the end of the season is very, very low.  But, right now, those two conferences deserve the push they’re getting.  What’s even crazier is the fact that the Missouri Valley have four teams on the national seed lines, at the moment.  Again, for sake of being buried by insults, this is an almost impossible scenario for the end of the season.  That being said, don’t be surprised if these two conference combine for ten or eleven bids and five of the eight national seeds before Thanksgiving weekend.  The chasm between the CAA and MVFC against everyone else would be unbelievable if it wasn’t actually happening.
Big Sky (2): Eastern Washington*, Weber State
Big South (1): Monmouth*
Colonial (6): James Madison*, New Hampshire, Villanova, Richmond, Stony Brook, Elon
Missouri Valley (6): North Dakota State*, South Dakota, Youngstown State, South Dakota State, Western Illinois, Illinois State
Northeast (1): Duquesne*
Ohio Valley (1): Jacksonville State*
Patriot (1): Holy Cross*
Pioneer (1): San Diego*
Southern (2): Wofford*, The Citadel
Southland (3): Central Arkansas*, Sam Houston State, McNeese
* League Champion and automatic bid