FARGO —Only North Dakota State controls its destiny in the chase to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference's automatic bid to the FCS playoffs, but four teams remain in contention as the league limps to the finish line of the spring season.

NDSU, South Dakota State, North Dakota and Missouri State are all 4-1 with two weekends left in the regular season. According to a conference press release, there are 16 different outcomes possible based on the league's final four scheduled games.

April 10

* Youngstown State at Missouri State

* North Dakota State at Northern Iowa

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April 17

* North Dakota at Youngstown State

* South Dakota State at North Dakota State

If the Bison win their final two games, they will win the league's auto-bid to the 16-team FCS playoffs.

According to the league, assuming no other games involving the tied teams would occur, here’s a breakdown of how many possible scenarios favor each team in the path to the league’s AQ.

Total Possible Scenarios — 16

Scenarios Resulting in AQ for Each Team

6 — South Dakota State

5 — North Dakota State

4 — North Dakota

1 — Missouri State

There is always the possibility, of course, that a game or games will be cancelled because of COVID issues. That would throw more confusion into the mix.

With 11 conferences receiving auto-bids to the postseason, there will be five at-large spots. While it's likely Missouri State (4-4 including last fall's games, which the playoff selection committee is supposed to take into account) will have to win the auto-bid to make the playoffs, the other three teams will be in the running for at-large spots.

It's likely NDSU (5-1 including a victory over No. 10-ranked Central Arkansas last fall) could absorb one more loss and still make the playoff field, while the prospects become more dicey for SDSU and UND if they lose their remaining game. If UND and SDSU both lose their last games, the Fighting Hawks would seemingly have the advantage for an at-large bid because they beat the Jackrabbits earlier in the season.

Here is the Valley's tiebreaker formula, in case you want to piece together the scenarios for each team winning the AQ:

MVFC 2021 Tiebreaker

Standings shall be determined according to respective won-lost records and winning percentages in Conference games. The team with the best won-lost percentage shall be champion.

In the event of an unbalanced schedule due to cancellation of games: If two (or more) teams have the same number of conference losses but a different number of conference wins, head-to-head results will take precedence over winning percentage.

If the game was cancelled between two teams with the same winning percentage in all conference games or the same number of conference losses but a different number of conference wins, move to tiebreaker for two teams below. If a game or games was cancelled between three or more teams with the same winning percentage in all conference games or the same number of conference losses but a different number of conference wins, move to tiebreaker for three or more teams below.

Two Teams Tied.

1. In the event of a two-team tie in the conference results and the two teams played each other, the winner of the game shall be declared the NCAA automatic qualifier.

2. If the tied teams did not play each other, then each team’s record against all common conference opponents shall be used to determine the NCAA automatic qualifier.

3. If the teams are still tied, then each team’s record against the next highest common opponent in the conference standings shall be used to determine the NCAA automatic qualifier.

4. If the teams are still tied, the latest available Sagarin Rating shall be used as the final tiebreaker. Rating will only be used as a ranking system or tiebreaker in the event all teams under consideration have played a minimum of 8 total (non-conference plus conference) games. In the event only a partial schedule is played and Sagarin cannot be utilized, the Conference will utilize the Media (STATS) Top 25 poll to break the tie.

Three or More Teams Tied.

1. If at any point a tie is broken using the multiple-tie tiebreaker procedures and only two teams remain tied, the remaining teams shall revert to the two-way tiebreaker (See above).

2. If the tied teams all played one another, the team with the best cumulative record involving games among the tied teams shall be declared the NCAA automatic qualifier.

3. If the tied teams all played one another and have identical records against the other tied teams, then each team’s record against all common conference opponents shall be used to determine the NCAA automatic bid. If teams are still tied, then each team’s record against the next highest common opponent in the conference standings shall determine the automatic bid.

4. If the tied teams did not play each other, then each team’s record against common conference opponents shall be used to determine the automatic bid. If the tied teams did not play each other, but one team played and defeated the other two teams, that team is the champion.

5. If the teams are still tied and they did not play each other, then each team’s record against the next highest common opponent in the conference standings shall determine the automatic bid.

6. If the teams are still tied, the latest available Sagarin Rating shall be used as the final tiebreaker. Sagarin Rating will only be used as a ranking system or tiebreaker in the event all teams under consideration have played a minimum of 8 total (non-conference plus conference) games. In the event only a partial schedule is played and Sagarin cannot be utilized, the Conference will utilize the Media (STATS) Top 25 poll to break the tie.