Week 8 FCS Football Bracketology Breakdown

Bracketology Breakdown
Last Four In: Incarnate Word, South Dakota, Northern Iowa, Mercer
First Four Out: William & Mary, Rhode Island, Missouri State, Monmouth
Plenty of playing in and falling out this week, once again.
First, Bryant takes over as the new incumbent placeholder for the Northeast, as Duquesne falls after a loss to Sacred Heart. Sacred Heart would have been in that position, but their Week 2 loss to Bryant clinches it for the Bulldogs. At least for now, it does. Just about everybody in the NEC is going to be in play with some kind of tiebreaker likely being needed to sort out their automatic bid at season’s end.
Second, Northern Iowa, who’s backs were clearly against the wall after dropping two straight, went to South Dakota State and scored a huge resume building road victory. This also knocks the Jackrabbits off the seed line. Though, they’re in a very short list of teams just outside those lines.
Third, we’re going to give a little love to a third Southern Conference team, Mercer. Yes, the Bears have a sub-FCS victory as part of their 5-2 record. But having that combined with their obliterating loss to Alabama early on, they sit at 4-1 in the FCS. A win over a pretty decent Furman team is included on that ledger. They just barely eke out William & Mary, who really could have taken the spot all the same. The Pride are also 5-2, 5-1 in FCS. If you look at the map, a straight swap would easily work geographically.
Falling off, besides Duquesne this week, Rhode Island. The Rams still sit 5-2, but were rag dolled by Villanova, 44-0. True, Villanova is a great team and currently seeded #4, but a 44-point loss towards the bottom of the at-large line has its detractions. Missouri State also falls off after a very tough loss at new #1 North Dakota State. It might be a little harsh, but at 4-3, it’s tough to put a sixth MVFC team in the field. Though, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Selection Committee would if this were the real deal. And they still have games to jump back in easily, including a home date with Northern Iowa.
Bids By Conference
AQ7 (2): *Sam Houston State, Eastern Kentucky
Big Sky (5): *Eastern Washington, UC-Davis, Montana State, Sacramento State, Montana
Big South (1): *Kennesaw State
Colonial (2): *Villanova, James Madison
Missouri Valley (5): *North Dakota State, Southern Illinois, South Dakota State, South Dakota, Northern Iowa
Northeast (1): *Bryant
Ohio Valley (1): *Tennessee-Martin
Patriot (1): *Holy Cross
Pioneer (1): *Davidson
Southern (3): *East Tennessee State, Virginia Military, Mercer
Southland (2): *Southeastern Louisiana, Incarnate Word
* denotes projected conference’s automatic qualifier