Week 1 Spring FCS Football Bracketology Breakdown

Bracketology Breakdown
Six At-Large Bids: South Dakota State, James Madison, Northern Iowa, Albany, Eastern Washington, Nicholls
First Four Out: Illinois State, Sam Houston State, North Dakota, Furman
It sure feels good to see the FCS brand of football finally taking the field. It will be even better in the coming weeks, as every conference that is participating joins the fray.
As you can see above, the Bracketology Breakdown is going to take a slightly different format this Spring 2021 season. With the playoffs only involving sixteen teams and ten of those being automatic, we’ll just show all the at-large teams. Obviously, if you look at the rankings, the top at-large teams will usually be teams that have little to worry about as far as playoff trepidation. The focus will be more on those missing the cut.
Illinois State and Sam Houston State are the highest rated teams not on the bracket tree. This has much less to do with either of them than it does with their conference affiliation. Neither has played a game yet. It’s very possible either or both could replace someone currently in the field. We’re one week into a two month plus race. Furman has played a game and dominated Western Carolina. North Dakota may have had the most impressive win this week of anyone not named South Dakota State. And guess what? They play each other next week.
The biggest question that will have to be answered is how many bids the power conferences will receive. General thought amongst most folks are that the Missouri Valley, Colonial and Big Sky, will all get at least one of the six at-large bids. Right now, those conferences are holding five of the six bids. There’s huge potential for change when conference match-ups progress in the next two months. There’s a lot to be answered, so don’t get overly excited by this first in-season bracket. Let’s just be happy we have one to talk about.
Bids By Conference
Big Sky (2): *Weber State, Eastern Washington
Big South (1): *Kennesaw State
Colonial (3): *Villanova, James Madison, Albany
Missouri Valley (3): *North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Northern Iowa
Northeast (1): *Duquesne
Ohio Valley (1): *Jacksonville State
Patriot (1): *Holy Cross
Pioneer (1): *San Diego
Southern (1): *Wofford
Southland (2): *Southeastern Louisiana, Nicholls
* denotes predicted automatic qualifier