Preseason FCS Football Bracketology Breakdown

LAST FOUR IN: Austin Peay, Furman, South Dakota, Montana State
FIRST EIGHT OUT: Wofford, Illinois State, Idaho, Mercer, Youngstown State, UC Davis, Monmouth, Sacramento State
The 2018 season of FCS Bracketology starts much like 2017 ended. North Dakota State on the top line, James Madison just below them. Of course, going into the tournament last year, their spots were swapped, but the ending point after the National Championship is a mirror image for right now. Not only that, but many of the traditional familiar faces litter the first bracket tree. Like any year, there are some omissions and some upstarts, but that’s the nature of the bracketology beast.
New Hampshire and South Dakota State join their respective conference’s leading contenders as projected early season national seeds. The other four slots are taken from projected conference champions of the Big South (Kennesaw State), Eastern Washington (Big Sky), Samford (Southern) and Jacksonville State (Ohio Valley).
The overall field is led by the Colonial with five teams. The Big Sky and Missouri Valley each come in with four. The Southland follows with three and the Ohio Valley and Southern each round out the multi-bid leagues with two. This season seems as deep as ever. There are so many schools returning key pieces from last season and many others with questions yet to be answered. We’re probably going to list the first eight out for the initial four to six weeks, just because the line between those in and out is a total mystery. After that, we’ll re-evaluate and may take it back to the traditional first four out like previous years. Also keep an eye out for the FCS Power Rankings, which will premiere after the Week 4 games.
Big Sky (4): *Eastern Washington, Northern Arizona, Montana, Montana State
Big South (1): *Kennesaw State
Colonial (5): *James Madison, New Hampshire, Elon, Villanova, Delaware
Missouri Valley (4): *North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Northern Iowa, South Dakota
Northeast (1): *Bryant
Ohio Valley (2): *Jacksonville State, Austin Peay
Patriot (1): *Colgate
Pioneer (1): *San Diego
Southern (2): *Samford, Furman
Southland (3): *Sam Houston State, McNeese, Nicholls
* denotes projected conference’s automatic bid