Season’s End FCS Bracketology

Hot Beef Take

This is not to be confused with the FCS Bracketology I do for College Sports Madness online. This was a requested special piece, produced exclusively for On Press Row. The differences are pretty substantial. The piece produced for CSM is done as a weekly, “where are they now” picture in time. The piece here for OPR is being done as a “where they will end up” glimpse into the future.

One may ask, what’s the real difference? The answer is a lot. Although I do think about the season’s end and where teams will eventually fall, I try not to get into the prediction game. One, predictions are often wrong and two, bias could also come into play. So the first is not fair to me by looking wrong half the time and the second is unfair to those subjected to biases and prejudices.

So what I did was go into the Ken Massey Ratings, which is the best power rating service out there in my opinion, and look at all potential contenders and where his rating has them finishing at season’s end. I took those records and used them as if they will become fact. I then cranked out a potential FCS Bracketology using those records.

First we’ll go through all the contenders from the FCS Automatic bid conferences. Teams will be listed with their Massey projected overall record and their conference record. As noted after certain teams, if they were automatic or at-large qualifiers for the playoffs.

Big Sky

  • Weber State, 10-1 / 8-0 … automatic
  • Montana. 10-1 / 8-0 … at-large
  • Eastern Washington, 9-2 / 7-1 … at-large
  • UC-Davis, 8-3 / 6-2 … at-large
  • Montana State, 7-4 / 5-3 …at-large
  • Sacramento State, 6-5 / 4-4
  • Idaho, 5-6 / 4-4
  • Northern Arizona, 5-6 / 3-5

Big South

  • Kennesaw State, 9-2 / 5-0 … automatic
  • Monmouth, 8-3 / 4-1
  • Charleston Southern, 6-5 / 3-2

Colonial

  • James Madison, 10-1 / 8-0 … automatic
  • Stony Brook, 9-2 / 7-1 … at-large
  • Delaware, 7-4 / 5-3 … at-large
  • Rhode Island, 7-4 / 5-3 … at-large
  • Maine, 6-5 / 5-3 … at-large
  • Elon, 6-4 / 4-3
  • Richmond, 6-5 / 4-4
  • Towson, 6-5 / 4-4
  • Villanova, 6-5 / 3-5

Missouri Valley

  • North Dakota State, 11-0 / 8-0 … automatic
  • South Dakota State, 9-1 / 7-1 … at-large
  • South Dakota, 7-4 / 6-2 … at-large
  • Illinois State, 8-3 / 5-3 …at-large
  • Western Illinois, 6-5 / 5-3
  • Northern Iowa, 5-6 / 4-4

Northeast

  • Sacred Heart, 8-3 / 6-0 … automatic

Ohio Valley

  • Jacksonville State, 10-1 / 8-0 … automatic
  • Tennessee-Martin, 7-4 / 7-1
  • Austin Peay, 7-4 / 5-3
  • Southeast Missouri State, 7-4 / 5-3
  • Eastern Kentucky, 6-5 / 4-3

Patriot

  • Colgate, 9-1 / 6-0 … automatic

Pioneer

  • San Diego, 9-2 / 8-0 … automatic

Southern

  • Wofford, 10-1 / 8-0 … automatic
  • Chattanooga, 8-3 / 6-2 …at-large
  • Mercer, 6-5 / 5-3
  • Furman, 5-5 / 5-3
  • Samford, 5-6 / 4-4
  • The Citadel, 5-6 / 4-4

Southland

  • McNeese, 10-1 / 9-0 … automatic
  • Nicholls, 9-2 / 8-1 …at-large
  • Central Arkansas, 9-2 / 8-1 …at-large
  • Sam Houston State, 8-3 / 7-2

The final at-large bids went to Maine, by virtue of a winning record in the Colonial and by having an FBS win (Western Kentucky). The very last spot went to Montana State, who had a victory over Western Illinois and had 5-3 marl in the Big Sky. Sam Houston State and Tennessee-Martin were left out because they had no signature wins and lost all that could have been counted as such.

2018 FCS Schedule & Ratings – Bracket (1)