Last Updated 11:51 AM, April 20, 2021

Live updates for the 2020-21 FCS football championship

Watch the 2020-21 FCS football championship selection show
1:43 pm, April 19, 2021

This is the schedule for the first round of the FCS playoffs

The 2020-21 NCAA football bracket The 2020-21 FCS football championship bracket.

Spring championship football is here. Sixteen teams will compete for the 2020-21 FCS championship beginning on April 24. Here are the first-round games:

All times are Eastern. All games will stream on ESPN3 and be aired on the ESPN family of networks. The championship game is at 2 p.m on ABC, live from Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, May 16.

3:03 pm, April 20, 2021

Final rankings of the regular season

The final rankings of the regular season were released on Tuesday, April 20. James Madison finished No. 1, followed by South Dakota State and Weber State. You can see the full rankings below. And here is the final STATS Perform FCS poll

Games through APR. 20, 2020






1 James Madison (18) 5-0 545 1
2 South Dakota St. (3) 5-1 516 4
3 Weber St. 5-0 513 2
4 Sam Houston State 6-0 460 5
5 Delaware 5-0 441 7
6 North Dakota 4-1 430 6
7 North Dakota St. 6-2 408 3
8 Eastern Washington 5-1 401 8
9 Jacksonville St. 9-2 397 9
10 Monmouth (NJ) 3-0 325 13
11 VMI 6-1 317 12
12 UC Davis 3-2 287 14
13 Richmond 3-1 281 10
14 Southern Illinois 5-3 260 17
15 Kennesaw St. 4-1 243 16
16 Villanova 2-2 228 11
17 Missouri St. 5-4 201 18
18 Murray St. 5-2 154 19
19 Southern (1) 5-1 141 21
20 Nicholls 4-3 122 20
21 Southeastern Louisana 4-3 121 15
22 Alabama A&M 4-3 81 T25
23 East Tennessee St. 4-2 76 24
24 Northern Iowa 3-4 57 23
25 Arkansas-Pine Bluff 4-0 32 NR
3:46 pm, April 20, 2021

Finalists named for Walter Payton Award, other top honors

Eastern Washington Athletics Eric Barriere

Finalists were announced and voting began on Monday, April 19 for the 2020-21 Stats Perform FCS legacy awards, which honor the national players and coach of the year in college football’s Division I subdivision.

The Walter Payton Award (FCS offensive player of the year) and Eddie Robinson Award (FCS coach of the year) are being presented for the 34th time, the Buck Buchanan Award (FCS defensive player of the year) for the 26th time and the Jerry Rice Award (FCS freshman player of the year) for the 10th time. 

Below are the 16 finalists for the Walter Payton Award.

  • Percy Agyei-Obese, James Madison, RB, Sr. (CAA)
  • Eric Barriere, Eastern Washington, QB, Sr. (Big Sky)
  • Julius Chestnut, Sacred Heart, RB, Jr. (Northeast)
  • Tim DeMorat, Fordham, QB, Jr. (Patriot)
  • Juwon Farri, Monmouth, RB, Jr. (Big South)
  • Aqeel Glass, Alabama A&M, QB, Sr. (SWAC)
  • Jakob Herres, VMI, WR, Jr. (Southern)
  • Quay Holmes, ETSU, RB, Jr. (Southern)
  • Tyler Hudson, Central Arkansas, WR, So. (Southland)
  • Cole Kelley, Southeastern Louisiana, QB, Sr. (Southland)
  • Dejoun Lee, Delaware, RB, Sr. (CAA)
  • Keith Pearson, Presbyterian, WR, Sr. (Pioneer)
  • Pierre Strong Jr., South Dakota State, RB, Jr. (Missouri Valley)
  • Otis Weah, North Dakota, RB, So. (Missouri Valley)
  • Liam Welch, Samford, QB, Grad (Southern)
  • DeAngelo Wilson, Austin Peay, WR, Sr. (Ohio Valley)

Here's the list of every finalist for all four major awards. 

4:13 pm, April 18, 2021

2020 FCS playoff selections revealed

Watch the 2020-21 FCS football championship selection show

On Sunday, the 2020 FCS playoff selections were revealed and South Dakota State earned the No. 1 seed.

You can view the complete, 16-team interactive bracket here. Sam Houston State earned the No. 2 seed, James Madison is the No. 3 seed and No. 4 seed Jacksonville State rounds out the four seeded teams in the bracket.

North Dakota State, which has won eight of the last nine FCS championships, will face Eastern Washington in the first round with a potential quarterfinal matchup with No. 2 Sam Houston State.

Click or tap here to view the official selections release.

First-round action takes place on Saturday, April 24.

Here's a link to a printable version of the bracket (pictured below):

The 2020-21 NCAA football bracket.
12:31 pm, April 18, 2021

When and how to watch the FCS selection show

NCAA Photos 2021 FCS selection show is today at 11:30 a.m. ET

The 16-team FCS football bracket will be revealed at 11:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, April 18 on ESPNU and WatchESPN.

That'll set the stage for the first round to start the weekend of April 24. Preliminary rounds' dates, times and TV information are all TBD but will be available here.

Ten teams have already clinched automatic bids via conference championships. You can check out those automatic qualifiers here.

7:17 pm, April 8, 2021

Format, schedule and what to know about the 2020-21 FCS championship

The 2020-21 FCS championship will start April 24 and will run through Sunday, May 16, the date of the national championship game. Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas will play host to the title game for the 11th straight year.

This year's bracket was condensed to 16 teams — rather than the typical 24 — once the championship was moved from the fall to the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's the interactive bracket.

Ten of the 16 teams will automatically qualify via conference championships. The remaining six will be selected at large. Here are the conferences who will receive AQs for their conference champions:

  • Big Sky
  • Big South
  • CAA
  • MVFC
  • NEC
  • OVC
  • Patriot League
  • Pioneer League
  • SoCon
  • Southland

We're tracking every conference champion and automatic qualifier here.

*The MEAC announced April 7 that it would not be able to meet the criteria to maintain its automatic qualification.

The full playoff bracket will be announced Sunday, April 18 on ESPNU at 11:30 a.m. ET. Championship play will then begin the weekend of April 24.

The championship game on May 16 will be broadcasted on ABC, starting at 2 p.m. ET.

7:05 pm, April 8, 2021

Predetermined host sites announced for FCS championship

The NCAA Division I Football Championship committee announced 14 predetermined preliminary round sites for the 2020-21 FCS championship. 

The decision was made due to health and safety protocols surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Eight of the 14 selected sites will host first-round games. Twelve of the 14 sites will then be in contention to host the quarterfinal and semifinals. The championship game is still set to be played at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.

Here are the 14 predetermined sites announced for the preliminary rounds:

  • Newark, Delaware – Delaware
  • Cheney, Washington – Eastern Washington
  • Jacksonville, Alabama – Jacksonville State
  • Harrisonburg, Virginia – James Madison
  • Kennesaw, Georgia – Kennesaw State
  • Orono, Maine – Maine
  • Springfield, Missouri – Missouri State
  • Murray, Kentucky – Murray State
  • Grand Forks, North Dakota – North Dakota
  • Fargo, North Dakota – North Dakota State
  • Huntsville, Texas – Sam Houston
  • Brookings, South Dakota – South Dakota State
  • Villanova, Pennsylvania – Villanova
  • Ogden, Utah – Weber State
6:57 pm, April 8, 2021

DI Football Championship Committee reveals top 10

The Division I Football Championship Committee released a top-10 ranking on Thursday, April 1.

The committee's ranking is based on criteria used to select and seed teams for the Division I Football Championship, and reflect results through games played on Sunday, March 28. The full rankings are listed below.

1. James Madison (4-0)
2. North Dakota State (5-1)
3. South Dakota State (4-1)
4. Sam Houston (3-0)
T-5. North Dakota (4-1)
T-5. Weber State (3-0)
7. Delaware (3-0)
8. VMI (5-0)
9. UC Davis (3-1)
10. Murray State (5-0)

5:49 pm, April 8, 2021

FCS football championship history (1978-2019)

Below is the complete NCAA FCS football national championship history since 1978. North Dakota State leads all schools with eight titles, all coming in the last nine years.

The national championship game has been played at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas every year since 2010.

2019 North Dakota State Matt Entz 28-20 James Madison Frisco, Texas
2018 North Dakota State Chris Klieman 38-24 Eastern Washington Frisco, Texas
2017 North Dakota State Chris Klieman 17-13 James Madison Frisco, Texas
2016 James Madison Mike Houston 28-14 Youngstown State Frisco, Texas
2015 North Dakota State Chris Klieman 37-10 Jacksonville State Frisco, Texas
2014 North Dakota State Chris Klieman 29-27 Illinois State Frisco, Texas
2013 North Dakota State Craig Bohl 35-7 Towson Frisco, Texas
2012 North Dakota State Craig Bohl 39-13 Sam Houston State Frisco, Texas
2011 North Dakota State Craig Bohl 17-6 Sam Houston State Frisco, Texas
2010 Eastern Washington Beau Baldwin 20-19 Delaware Frisco, Texas
2009 Villanova Andy Talley 23-21 Montana Chattanooga, Tenn.
2008 Richmond Mike London 24-7 Montana Chattanooga, Tenn.
2007 Appalachian State Jerry Moore 49-21 Delaware Chattanooga, Tenn.
2006 Appalachian State Jerry Moore 28-17 Massachusetts Chattanooga, Tenn.
2005 Appalachian State Jerry Moore 21-16 UNI Chattanooga, Tenn.
2004 James Madison Mickey Matthews 31-21 Montana Chattanooga, Tenn.
2003 Delaware K.C. Keeler 40-0 Colgate Chattanooga, Tenn.
2002 Western Kentucky Jack Harbaugh 34-14 McNeese State Chattanooga, Tenn.
2001 Montana Joe Glenn 13-6 Furman Chattanooga, Tenn.
2000 Georgia Southern Paul Johnson 27-25 Montana Chattanooga, Tenn.
1999 Georgia Southern Paul Johnson 59-24 Youngstown State Chattanooga, Tenn.
1998 Massachusetts Mark Whipple 55-43 Georgia Southern Chattanooga, Tenn.
1997 Youngstown State Jim Tressel 10-9 McNeese State Chattanooga, Tenn.
1996 Marshall Bob Pruett 49-29 Montana Huntington, W.Va.
1995 Montana Don Read 22-20 Marshall Huntington, W.Va.
1994 Youngstown State Jim Tressel 28-14 Boise State Huntington, W.Va.
1993 Youngstown State Jim Tressel 17-5 Marshall Huntington, W.Va.
1992 Marshall Jim Donnan 31-28 Youngstown State Huntington, W.Va.
1991 Youngstown State Jim Tressel 25-17 Marshall Statesboro, Ga.
1990 Georgia Southern Tim Stowers 36-13 Nevada Statesboro, Ga.
1989 Georgia Southern Erk Russell 37-34 Stephen F. Austin * Statesboro, Ga.
1988 Furman Jimmy Satterfield 17-12 Georgia Southern Pocatello, Idaho
1987 Louisiana-Monroe Pat Collins 43-42 Marshall Pocatello, Idaho
1986 Georgia Southern Erk Russell 48-21 Arkansas State Tacoma, Wash.
1985 Georgia Southern Erk Russell 44-42 Furman Tacoma, Wash.
1984 Montana State Dave Arnold 19-6 Louisiana Tech Charleston, S.C.
1983 Southern Illinois Rey Dempsey 43-7 Western Carolina Charleston, S.C.
1982 Eastern Kentucky Roy Kidd 17-14 Delaware Wichita Falls, Texas
1981 Idaho State Dave Kragthorpe 34-23 Eastern Kentucky Wichita Falls, Texas
1980 Boise State Jim Criner 31-29 Eastern Kentucky Sacramento, Calif.
1979 Eastern Kentucky Roy Kidd 30-7 Lehigh Orlando, Fla.
1978 Florida A&M Ruby Hubbard 35-28 Massachusetts Wichita Falls, Texas

* -- Stephen F. Austin's participation in 1989 championship vacated.