Week 9 FCS Football Bracketology Breakdown

Last Four In: Mercer, Elon, Richmond, Rhode Island
First Eight (of about 15) Out: Tennessee-Martin, Fordham, Austin Peay, Montana, North Dakota, Illinois State, Northern Iowa, Stephen F. Austin
Since I had chaos happen when doing this week’s bracketology, I completely wiped the slate clean and looked at everything from anew. Changes? I was too high on Incarnate Word. I had them at #4 last week. This week, I don’t even have them seeded. It’s nothing they’ve done to themselves, but a result of things around them. First, their loss to Southeastern Louisiana looks like it’ll come to a fellow playoff participant, but then the Lions barely beat McNeese last night. The huge win over Southern Illinois earlier this year, suddenly looks less glossy with the Salukis losing their fourth game.
I was a little down on Montana State. At least, as much as you can with a team that’s been seeded or near seeded all season. Their win over Weber State is a truly big one and their win over UC-Davis continues to look stronger. In fact, they’re the last team to beat the Aggies. But the Bobcats are one of five FCS teams that are still undefeated against FCS competition.
William & Mary? I’ve been high on them for weeks and they’ve continued to award me by piling up wins. They’re 7-1 vs. the FCS, with a lone loss to Elon. And Elon has played five of their eight games against playoff contenders, winning three. Back to the Pride, they have a win over Charlotte (FBS) and also Rhode Island and Delaware. They deserve a high seed.
Lastly, some congratulations. St. Francis has not clinched the Northeast Conference yet, though they’re 5-0 in NEC play. But so is Merrimack, that’s ineligible because of that wonky transition rule. But everybody else has at least three conference losses, Sacred Heart has two but just lost to St. Francis. Insofacto, St. Francis can be seen as the first team to officially punch their ticket to the 2022 Playoffs. On a different note, Murray State, Long Island, Central Connecticut State, Drake and Lamar picked up their first wins yesterday and will avoid going donut in the win column.
Bids By Conference
**Atlantic Sun (1): *Eastern Kentucky
Big Sky (4): *Sacramento State, Montana State, Weber State, Idaho
Big South (1): *North Carolina A&T
Colonial (6): *New Hampshire, William & Mary, Delaware, Elon, Rhode Island, Richmond
Missouri Valley (2): *North Dakota State, South Dakota State
Northeast (1): *St. Francis
Ohio Valley (1): *Southeast Missouri
Patriot (1): *Holy Cross
Pioneer (1): *Davidson
Southern (4): *Samford, Furman, Chattanooga, Mercer
Southland (2): *Southeastern Louisiana, Incarnate Word
**Western (0):
* denotes an automatic qualifier
** one of the champions between the Atlantic Sun and Western combined, will also receive an automatic bid