2022 FCS Bracketology 4.0: Where will NDSU be seeded? That's the big question
North Dakota State has plenty to play for this weekend, a first round bye and a high playoff seed are at stake in Saturday's game.
The final week of the regular season has arrived and with it, plenty of drama for teams looking to keep its season going.
This year there are an unusual amount of teams that have reached six or seven wins and will be sweating it out Saturday night into Sunday morning if they make the 24-team playoff.
There are four teams that have clinched playoff berths, South Dakota State, Saint Francis, Samford and Holy Cross. The final seven automatic bids will be clinched Saturday. The unfortunate circumstance that two non-qualifiers may win their leagues Saturday, St. Thomas and Merrimack. Each are transitioning up to Division I, and each are ineligible for the playoffs. Both may win their leagues Saturday.
Lastly, I need to draw attention to the Ohio Valley Conference. Southeast Missouri State and Tennessee-Martin are each tied for the conference lead at 4-0, with winnable games on Saturday. If each win, they'll tie for the title at 5-0. Here's the wrinkle. SEMO and UTM didn't play each other this year, because of a late addition to the conference in Lindenwood. Rather than scrub non-conference schedules, the OVC messed with its conference schedule and in just a seven-team league, those schools didn't play.
The tiebreaker is the part that is really a head scratcher. There will be a coin flip to determine the OVC winner if both schools are still tied. If UTM wins the toss, they will take an at-large bid from a team on the bubble. If SEMO wins the toss, the bubble teams will breathe a sigh of relief.
For North Dakota State, the Bison win Saturday against North Dakota will lock in a first round bye and a potential high playoff seed. How high is the question.
Samford, from the Southern Conference, has the potential to get to 10-1, with its only loss to FBS reigning champion Georgia. The Bulldogs would have more ranked wins than NDSU and more FCS overall wins. Would the committee seed Samford over NDSU? We'll find out come Sunday morning.
Here's what I see happening after Saturday's games are done. We'll have one more bracket, during our Bracketology Show, Saturday night at 9 at Inforum.com.
Digest. Debate. Discuss.
AUTOMATIC BIDS (11)
Colonial - William & Mary
Big South - North Carolina A&T
Big Sky: Sacramento State
Missouri Valley: South Dakota State
Northeast: Saint Francis
Ohio Valley: Southeast Missouri State
Patriot League: Holy Cross
Pioneer League: Dayton
Southland: Southeastern Louisiana
ASUN/WAC: Abilene Christian
AT-LARGE BIDS (13)
North Dakota State