Preseason FCS Football Bracketology Breakdown

Bracketology Breakdown
Last Four In: North Carolina A&T, UC-Davis, Chattanooga, Villanova
First Four Out: Northern Iowa, Sacramento State, Albany, Missouri State
Welcome back, FCS Football, it’s great to see you! And for the fans reading this page, thank you and welcome also! It’s not a terrible exaggeration that last season just ended, it was just a little over three months, as opposed to the typical seven or so. But, we’re fortunate that we had the 2020-21 Spring season, I’m not complaining.
A few changes with this new season, here on College Sports Madness. First, the voting for the Top 25 has been expanded. It’s still not a huge cross section, but the panel now is about as unbiased as I could find. Second, the FCS Power Rankings will return this fall. The first installment will come after Week 4, which will be the September 25 weekend. As has been the last few years, I’ll continue to put a pairings map together for the weekly Bracketology.
Now, to the actual preseason Bracketology. This opening version was almost exclusively taken from the initial voting results. There is a slight difference this season as far as automatic qualifiers and at-large breakdown. As you’ll see below, the new AQ7 has been granted an automatic bid. Even if they didn’t, the champion would almost assuredly get a bid anyway, so it’s a moot point. The AQ7 is a mix of future Western Athletic and Atlantic Sun Conference teams. That gives the FCS field eleven (11) automatic and thirteen (13) at-large bids. Provided each is able to get to at least six conference members by next season, the split will become twelve a piece. That’s also depending on any conference being purged and losing its bid.
The field right now is dominated by the Big Sky (5), Missouri Valley (4), Colonial (3) and the new AQ7 (3) affiliation. When you get into three or more bids, your conference is a power. It’ll be interesting to see if the AQ7 can keep this number with only seven teams. The Big South and Southern are each pulling two bids in this first run. Most of this preseason run is dominated by the final results of this spring. As is normal, if your team isn’t represented here, don’t worry. These things change and can change a lot, especially early in the season.
Bids By Conference
AQ7 (3): *Sam Houston, Jacksonville State, Central Arkansas
Big Sky (5): *Montana, Weber State, Eastern Washington, Montana State, UC-Davis
Big South (2): *Monmouth, North Carolina A&T
Colonial (3): *James Madison, Delaware, Villanova
Missouri Valley (4): *South Dakota State, North Dakota State, Southern Illinois, North Dakota
Northeast (1): *Central Connecticut State
Ohio Valley (1): *Murray State
Patriot (1): *Holy Cross
Pioneer (1): *San Diego
Southern (2): *Virginia Military, Chattanooga
Southland (1): *Southeastern Louisiana
* denotes projected conference’s automatic qualifier