Beef’s Way Too Early FCS Bracketology – 2.0

FCSPlayoffBracket

There are some changes to the ‘Way Too Early Bracketology’

Where teams were placed in the bracket is the biggest change.  I went back in after the first edition and used a pin map to see all the teams geographically.  The seeded teams didn’t change at all, however, after noticing how the FCS committee likes to keep teams as regional as they can through the first couple of rounds, there were a few edits that needed to be made.


CLICK HERE for Beef’s ‘Way Too Early Bracketology 2.0′


  • Eastern Illinois (Charleston, IL) and Indiana State (Terre Haute, IN) are literally spitting distance from each other.  If both teams are playing in the first round, they are an obvious pairing since they would be a non-conference matchup.
  • With three teams making the playoffs from the state of Virginia (Liberty, James Madison and William & Mary), the splitting of teams in the eastern half of the United States has to start there.  Especially with James Madison and William & Mary both being members of the Colonial Conference.  So, pairing Liberty up with William & Mary leaves James Madison to be paired with nearby Eastern Kentucky.
  • In New England there are four first round teams; Bucknell and Fordham — from the Patriot League — and New Hampshire and Bryant.  Obviously the Patriot League teams need to be split.  It’s been customary for the Northeast champion (Bryant, in this case) to be paired with the Patriot champion as the pig-tail opponent for whomever the Nationally high-seeded Colonial champion would be.  This leaves Bucknell with New Hampshire.  It’s not very likely for those opponents to be switched either, as the Northeast champion and the Patriot runner-up would be a very weak match-up.
  • The Southern United States representatives consist of Wofford, Jacksonville State, and Southeastern Louisiana.  With a lack of teams going west, Southeastern Louisiana is the team out here, leaving the other two to play in the first round.
  • In the West, San Diego (from the perennially weak Pioneer League), Eastern Washington and Montana from the Big Sky, and the aforementioned Southeastern Louisiana.  Since I project Eastern Washington as the better team within the Big Sky I matched them up with San Diego.  This leaves Southeastern Louisiana to play at Montana, who can always “buy” a first round home game in the least, due to their huge (by FCS standards) stadium.
So, with that settled, placing the match-ups of first round games with Second Round bye opponents gets determined.
  • Bryant @ Fordham is an automatic straight-line jaunt from Rhode Island to New York to Philadelphia.
  • San Diego @ Eastern Washington gets put in with Montana State, which guarantees a short travel for Eastern Washington, who would beat San Diego 99 times out of 100.
  • Southeastern Louisiana @ Montana goes with Sam Houston State (Huntsville, TX).  Southeastern Louisiana and Sam Houston State are both members of the Southland Conference, but will not play each other in the regular season.  And, being the western-most opponent that Montana will have not played (they play Montana State and North Dakota State), this is an easy spot.
  • Indiana State @ Eastern Illinois could go to North Dakota State or Northern Iowa on my bracket, especially with at least one eastern team having to travel to the Midwest for the second round.  However, the prospects of the defending champions and #1 seed getting a tough Colonial team, rather than a MVFC or OVC team is clear.  They will in all likelihood get the lower-tiered game.
  • The Bucknell @ New Hampshire opponent, reference directly above, will be sent to Northern Iowa instead of Fargo.
  • Wofford @ Jacksonville State could go to Costal Carolina or Chattanooga.  But, since Chattanooga and Jacksonville State play in the regular season, this game goes to Coastal Carolina.
  • Chattanooga gets the Liberty @ William & Mary winner, as it is the more southern and eastern of the remaining games.
  • This leaves Eastern Kentucky @ James Madison as the final game to go into Illinois State.
From there the games are based on seed, and the committee lets the teams deal with travel in fairness to the bracket tree and seeding.