The 2022 FCS playoff bracket has 11 automatic bids and 13 free bids. Eight teams will be seeded with byes in the first round. The national championship game is scheduled for January 8th in Frisco, Texas. It will air on ABC.
The games are over and now it’s time for our final predictions for seeding, auto bidding, general bidding and which teams are in the bubble.
These predictions take into account current playoff summaries and any future scheduled games.
This is through the eyes of the playoff committee and what I think they will do.
Interview with Jermaine Truax, Chair of the Playoff Committee
2021 Final Bracketology Accuracy: 7/8 seeds right, 24/24 teams right
1. Sac state
3. State of Montana
6. William & Mary
7. Weaver State
8. Holy Cross
ASUN-WAC – Eastern Kentucky
Big Sky – sack state
CAA—William & Mary
NEC – Saint Francis
Patriot – Holy Cross
Southland-Southeastern Louisiana University
State of Montana (seeds)
Weaver State (seeds)
Last 4 inches
23. North Dakota
24. UC Davis
First 5 out
28. State of Youngstown
The FCS playoff bracket is regionalized to save on travel expenses. The committee must use as many bus rides as possible in the first round. Bus trips (400 miles or less) are Gardner-Webb-Eastern Kentucky, SEMO-Chattanooga, Fordham-New Hampshire, Furman-Richmond, and Davidson-Elon.
The committee avoids first-round conference matchups if the two teams have played each other in the regular season. However, if two conference teams have not played each other during the regular season, they may be paired in the first round. Non-conference opponents who played each other in the regular season may be matched in the opening round.
Once first-round teams are paired via proximity, they will be slotted with the seeds that are regionally (again) as close as possible.
The order of seeds is NOT determined by regionalization. The seeds also cannot be adjusted once set to balance the sides of the mount.
This does not display the home team for the first round matches. The home team in a match between two unseeded teams is determined by who made the higher bid to play.
The top two seeds are a close contest between SDSU and Sac State. The committee could reflect what voters think and put SDSU at #1. I think Sac State has a slight advantage if they rate resumes more.
#1 Sac condition is 11-0 with an FBS win at Colorado State and four ranked wins (#13 Montana, #21 Idaho, #7 Weber, #24 UC Davis). Sac State’s Massey SOS is No. 4, one spot ahead of SDSU.
#2 State of South Dakota is 10-1 overall and 10-0 against FCS with three wins now counted (#4 NDSU, #16 AND, #24 UC Davis). SOS of the SDSU is #5.
#3 State of Montana surely the committee impressed with Montana’s dominance. The Bobcats are 10-1 overall and 10-0 against FCS with three wins in the rankings (#7 Weber, #24 UC Davis, #13 Montana). MSU’s No. 15 SOS is good, but it will likely prevent it from jumping SDSU or Sac State into the seeds.
I find State of North Dakota will receive the #4 seed based on being last year’s national champion, losing by just five points to SDSU and Arizona. But his resume isn’t great so could Samford or W&M skip the bison? Maybe! NDSU finishes 9-2 overall and 9-1 against FCS with a ranked win over No. 16 AND. His SOS is No. 21, three points behind Samford.
#5 Samford will have a case for the No. 4 at 10-1 overall and 10-0 against FCS with three ranked wins (No. 12 Furman, No. 15 Chattanooga, No. 19 Mercer). His SOS is #18.
#6 William & Maria also has a great resume of 10-1 overall with an FBS win (Charlotte) and three wins then ranked and two wins ranked today (#20 Delaware, #11 Richmond). His SOS #49 can prevent him from skipping Samford or NDSU.
#7 Weaver State finishes 9-2 overall with eight D1 wins including FBS Utah State and two wins in the current rankings (No. 13 Montana, No. 24 UC Davis). His SOS is #12 which puts them higher than Holy Cross and UIW in my opinion.
Seed #8 appears to be sandwiched between Holy Cross and UIW. I’m leaning towards the committee going with HC with his undefeated record. holy cross is 11-0 (11 D1 wins) with an FBS win over Buffalo and a ranked win over No. 21 Fordham. However, it has a weaker SOS of No. 79. UIW is 10-1 overall with nine D1 wins, an FBS win over Nevada, a then ranked win and zero ranked wins. His SOS is #58.
According to the three free commandments, the seeds are…
I talked about UIW just being on top outside of a seed.
Furman is comfortable overall with eight D1 wins and an 8-1 against the FCS record 9-2. Furman has three then ranked wins and two now ranked wins (#15 Chattanooga, #19 Mercer).
Elon should also be comfortable going in at 8-3 overall and 8-2 against FCS with three ranked wins (No. 8 W&M, No. 11 Richmond, No. 20 Delaware).
Richmond lost a fight to W&M this weekend but has an 8-2 record against FCS with three then ranked wins and two current ranked wins (No. 18 UNH, No. 20 Delaware).
New Hampshire 8-3 on aggregate and 8-2 against FCS, including a key ranked win over Elon who is also in the field.
Idaho is one of several 7-4 teams but has a 7-2 FCS record. His win back then-No. 3 Montana will stand out as well as his SOS from No.11.
Several teams with seven wins that lost and didn’t reach eight D1 wins really benefited Fordham. It’s 9-2 overall with nine D1 wins. The Rams don’t have ranked wins and their SOS isn’t great at No. 78, but they do have a point loss to FBS Ohio and Holy Cross who may be a seed. The committee is looking at how you lost.
Chattanooga just lost to unranked wcu which might hurt the mocs. But at 7-4 overall and 7-3 against FCS with a ranked win over Mercer and a No. 26 SOS, I think SoCon has earned enough respect to win one of their seven-win teams.
North Dakota is another 7-4 team, 7-3 against FCS. It has two then ranked wins and no now ranked wins. It has a win against Youngstown State, which is a bubble team. AND has the #2 SOS that will really catch the committee’s eye.
Didn’t think 6-5 would make it this year but U.C. Davis has a legitimate case. It’s 6-4 against FCS with four losses to the top 10 teams and just one loss to SDSU, Weber State and just finished Sac State. UC Davis also has a dominant Week 11 win over Idaho that appears to be in the field. UC Davis was on a five-game winning streak in which he beat opponents until he lost 27-21 at Sac State tonight. UC Davis also has the No. 7 SOS, higher than the bubble teams below.
Delaware is 7-4 overall and has an FBS win and a ranked win, but it has lost three of its last four games, including this weekend’s unranked Nova.
Montana is 7-4 with no ranked wins. It has narrow road losses against top-ranked teams Weber and Sac State without starting QB Lucas Johnson, but the 55-21 loss to Montana State (with Johnson) may be why the committee is skipping the Griz given the argument of the Loss of quality has become weaker.
mercer is 7-4 overall and 7-3 against FCS. It has no ranked wins and has lost three of its last four games, including the last two. Only a 50-44 loss to seeded Samford this weekend could help their case.
Youngstown Federal State is 7-4 and 7-3 against FCS. It has no ranked wins but has won five of its last six games. That momentum at the end could be significant for the committee, but the head-to-head loss to AND and lack of a ranked win can’t dent it.
Florida A&M has a similar resume to last year’s bidding team at large if it wins. FAMU is 9-2 overall with eight D1 wins. A loss is scrapped against FBS UNC. The other loss is 59-3 against top-ranked Jackson State, compared to last year’s 7-6 loss to JSU. With a predicted SOS rank of 108 and a more inflated bubble, plus last year’s 38-14 first-round loss to SLU not helping their case, FAMU’s chances of making the playoffs are slimmer than in the last season.