Week 12 FCS Football Bracketology Breakdown

Last Four In: East Tennessee State, Indiana State, Northern Iowa, Lamar
First Five Out: Montana, Furman, Monmouth, Incarnate Word, Eastern Kentucky
We’re not going to get too much into those securely in the field or those definitely out. This will be an exercise of explaining why the four teams listed above get the final bids and the five below did not.
East Tennessee State finished 8-3 and second best team in the Southern Conference. Having the win head-to-head over Furman figured large. Wins against Chattanooga and Mercer helped too. The computer numbers were average, though the strength of schedule (SoS) was soft.
Indiana State finished tied for third in the FCS’ second best conference. Winning their last five games were a big factor, especially when the last two were elimination games over Illinois State and Western Illinois.
Northern Iowa finished tied with Indiana State for third in the MVFC. Rock solid computer numbers, the best single victory of any bubble team (over South Dakota State) and the toughest SoS in the entire FCS.
Lamar came from nowhere, but won their last six games. Much like ETSU, the computer numbers are average against a weak schedule. Biggest claim in their six game win streak was four of those being against 6-5 contenders.
Montana limped to the finish line, losing four of six, despite an early season win over Northern Iowa.
Furman had borderline good computer numbers and a win over Wofford, but losses to Elon and East Tennessee State bumps them just outside the field.
Monmouth tied for the most wins in this group of nine, at 8-3. Unfortunately, they had the worst SoS of any contender and the only three good teams they played, they were beaten thoroughly.
Incarnate Word looked like a decent bet to make the field. But cancelling that final game might have cost them. They had many of the same wins as Lamar, but lost to them head-to-head.
Eastern Kentucky finished on a four game win streak and two of their four losses were to FBS or Jacksonville State. A win over Southeast Missouri State was nice, but no other win was of any substance.
In the end, you know The Committee was going to take a third MVFC team between the winner of Indiana State and Western Illinois. When most of the other potential contenders lost and Northern Iowa shut out a third opponent in the finale, that would bode well for them also. Montana State secured a bid by winning the Brawl of the Wild game at Montana. The Colonial had a few questionable losses in Week 12, but each team’s overall resume was just too strong to not include them. Lamar was the surprise entry, explained above. With the CAA, MVFC and Big Sky as the FCS’ royalty, you figure than each of the second-tier, Ohio Valley, Southern and Southland, would all get equal representation. And Lamar inched ahead of Incarnate Word at the finish line.
Big Sky (4): *Weber State, Eastern Washington, UC-Davis, Montana State
Big South (1): *Kennesaw State
Colonial (6): *Maine, James Madison, Stony Brook, Elon, Towson, Delaware
Missouri Valley (4): *North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Indiana State, Northern Iowa
Northeast (1): *Duquesne
Ohio Valley (2): *Jacksonville State, Southeast Missouri State
Patriot (1): *Colgate
Pioneer (1): *San Diego
Southern (2): *Wofford, East Tennessee State
Southland (2): *Nicholls, Lamar
* denotes conference automatic qualifier