FCS Bracketology, Week 9

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Last Four In: Cal Poly, New Hampshire, Liberty, Wofford
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First Four Out: Albany, Stony Brook, Fordham, Maine
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Well, at least some of the picture became clearer on Saturday night.  First of all, three conferences have all but clinched who their automatic bids are going to be.  San Diego, with its win over Marist, leaves themselves as the lone undefeated team in the Pioneer League, with only two conferences games to play.  Each of the teams directly behind them in the standings, they have beaten head-to-head.  A similar situation has occurred in the Patriot League, after Lehigh took care of Fordham.  A total collapse would have to happen just for tiebreaker scenarios.  And, finally, the Northeast Conference has been just about wrapped up by St. Francis (PA) after they beat Sacred Heart.
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A good number of teams also won their seventh game this weekend, and that’s seven wins against Division I competition.  That seems to be the Selection Committee’s magic number.  There have been exceptions, Western Illinois in 2015 for example was 6-5 and received an at-large.  There might be one such spot open in 2016, but it’ll have to be a team who is hot at the end of the season, has signature wins and a very tough schedule.
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Two at-large teams entered this week’s bracket.  New Hampshire, with their win over Stony Brook, did a straight Colonial swap.  The other was Liberty, who is on fire right now, pardon the pun.  But the Flames have won four straight games!  They replace Eastern Illinois, who slipped to 5-4 after losing to Jacksonville State.
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Big Sky (4): Eastern Washington, North Dakota, Montana, Cal Poly
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Big South (2): Charleston Southern, Liberty
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Colonial (4): Richmond, James Madison, Villanova, New Hampshire
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Missouri Valley (4): North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Western Illinois, Youngstown State
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Northeast (1): St. Francis (PA)
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Ohio Valley (1): Jacksonville State
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Patriot (1): Lehigh
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Pioneer (1): San Diego
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Southern (4): The Citadel, Chattanooga, Samford, Wofford
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Southland (2): Sam Houston State, Central Arkansas
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To see the bracket in tree form, you can visit this site…
http://www.collegesportsmadness.com/fcs-football/bracketology