Sam Houston State leads FCS field
Playoff consists of 20 teams including 10 automatic qualifiers
INDIANAPOLIS -- The field of 20 teams competing for the 2011 FCS title was announced Sunday by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee.
Sam Houston State (11-0) tops the bracket as the No. 1 seed after capturing the automatic-qualifying berth from the Southland Conference. The Bearkats are making their fifth appearance and first since 2004.
Second-seeded North Dakota State (10-1) is making its second consecutive appearance. The Bison captured the Missouri Valley Football Conference automatic berth.
Georgia Southern University (9-2), which is making its 18th overall tournament appearance, is the No. 3 seed. The six-time national champion Eagles captured the Southern Conference automatic berth.
Montana (9-2) earned the No. 4 seed after winning the Big Sky Conference automatic berth. The Grizzlies, the 1995 and 2001 national champion, are making its 21st appearance in the playoffs.
Rounding out this year’s seeded teams is Northern Iowa (9-2) with the No. 5 seed. The Panthers are making their 16th overall appearance.
First-round hosts include Big South automatic qualifier Stony Brook (8-3), Ohio Valley Conference automatic qualifier Tennessee Tech (7-3) along with Old Dominion (9-2) and Eastern Kentucky (7-4).
The top four national seeds will host winners from the first-round matchups. Others hosting second rounds game will be Northern Iowa, Appalachian State (8-3), Montana State (9-2) and the Colonial Athletic Association automatic qualifier Towson (9-2).
Other automatic qualifiers in the tournament include Albany (8-3), the Northeast Conference champion, which clinched its first trip into the championship. Also making its first trip into the championship is Norfolk State (9-2), winner of the automatic bid from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Winning the Patriot League was the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh (10-1).
Other teams in the field: first-time participant Central Arkansas (8-3); James Madison (7-4); Maine (8-3); New Hampshire (8-3); and Wofford (8-3).
Ten conferences received automatic-qualifying berths: the Big Sky Conference, Big South Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley Football Conference, Northeast Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Patriot League, Southern Conference and Southland Conference.
The combination of NCAA.com and ESPN’s family of networks will once again provide coverage of all rounds of the 2011 FCS Championship. Television schedules and games times for all rounds of the 2011 championship will be updated daily at NCAA.com/fcs.
The 2012 FCS Championship Game is slated for 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. The game will be televised on ESPN2 HD and on ESPN3 the championship game.
|FCS Championship Participating Teams|
|Conference||Automatic Qualifier (Record)|
|Big Sky||No. 4 Montana (9-2)|
|Big South||Stony Brook (8-3)|
|Colonial Athletic Association||Towson (9-2)|
|Mid-Eastern Athletic||Norfolk State (9-2)|
|Missouri Valley Football Conference||No. 2 North Dakota State (10-1)|
|Northeast Conference||Albany (N.Y.) (8-3)|
|Ohio Valley Conference||Tennessee Tech (7-3)|
|Patriot League||Lehigh (10-1)|
|Southern Conference||No. 3 Georgia Southern (9-2)|
|Southland Conference||No. 1 Sam Houston State (11-0)|
|Conference||At-Large Qualifier (Record)|
|Big Sky||Montana St. (9-2)|
|Colonial Athletic Association||James Madison (7-4)|
|Colonial Athletic Association||Maine (8-3)|
|Colonial Athletic Association||New Hampshire (8-3)|
|Colonial Athletic Association||Old Dominion (9-2)|
|Missouri Valley Football Conference||No. 5 Northern Iowa (9-2)|
|Ohio Valley Conference||Eastern Kentucky (7-4)|
|Southern Conference||Appalachian State (8-3)|
|Southern Conference||Wofford (8-3)|
|Southland Conference||Central Arkansas (8-3)|
|Appalachian State||19 (2010)||24||15||3|
|Eastern Kentucky||20 (2008)||16||17||2|
|Georgia Southern||18 (2010)||41||11||6|
|James Madison||10 (2008)||8||8||1|
|Montana State||6 (2010)||4||4||1|
|New Hampshire||10 (2010)||6||9||0|
|North Dakota State||2 (2010)||2||1||0|
|Northern Iowa||16 (2010)||18||15||0|
|Sam Houston State||5 (2004)||3||4||0|
|*Division I only|