football-fcs flag | November 24, 2013

NDSU begins title defense as No. 1 overall seed

North Dakota State football

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INDIANAPOLIS -- The field of 24 teams competing for the Division I Football Championship was announced Sunday by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee. The top eight national seeds will host winners from the first round match-ups.

Two-time defending national champion North Dakota State (11-0) tops the bracket as the No. 1 seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Bison are making their fourth consecutive postseason appearance.

Second-seeded Eastern Illinois (11-1) is making its second consecutive appearance and 15th overall. The Panthers captured the Ohio Valley Conference automatic berth.

Eastern Washington (10-2), which is making its 10th overall tournament appearance, is the No. 3 seed. The 2010 national champion Eagles captured the Big Sky Conference automatic berth.

Southeastern Louisiana (10-2) is the No. 4 seed after capturing the Southland Conference automatic berth. The Lions are making their first appearance in the championship.

The No. 5 seed is Maine (10-2). The Colonial Athletic Association automatic qualifier, the Black Bears are making their seventh overall appearance.

McNeese State (10-2) will be the No. 6 seed. The Cowboys are making their 15th appearance in the championship.

Towson (10-2) will be the seventh seed. This will only be the second appearance for Towson.

The eighth and final seeded team is Montana. The Grizzlies, national champions in 1995 and 2001, are making their championship-leading 22nd appearance.

First-round hosts include South Carolina State (9-3), Big South automatic qualifier Coastal Carolina (10-2), New Hampshire (7-4), Sam Houston State (8-4), Northern Arizona (9-2), Jacksonville State (9-3), Fordham (11-1) and first-time participant Butler (9-3).

The championship field consists of 11 automatic qualifiers and 13 at-large qualifiers.

Automatic Qualifiers
Big Sky Conference – Eastern Washington (10-2)
Big South Conference – Coastal Carolina (10-2)
Colonial Athletic Association – Maine (10-2)
Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference – Bethune-Cookman (10-2)
Missouri Valley Football Conference – North Dakota State (11-0)
Northeast Conference – Sacred Heart (10-2) 
Ohio Valley Conference – Eastern Illinois (11-1)
Patriot League – Lafayette (5-6)
Pioneer Football League – Butler (9-3) 
Southern Conference – Furman (7-5)
Southland Conference – Southeastern Louisiana (10-2)

Big Sky Conference – Montana (10-2)
Big Sky Conference – Northern Arizona (9-2)
Big Sky Conference – Southern Utah (8-4)
Colonial Athletic Association – New Hampshire (7-4)
Colonial Athletic Association – Towson (10-2)
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference – South Carolina State (9-3)
Missouri Valley Football Conference – South Dakota State (8-4)
Ohio Valley Conference – Jacksonville State (9-3)
Ohio Valley Conference – Tennessee State (9-3)
Patriot League – Fordham (11-1)
Southern Conference – Samford (8-4)
Southland Conference – McNeese State (10-2)
Southland Conference – Sam Houston State (8-4)


Nov. 30 at Orangeburg, S.C., 1 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Furman (7-5) at South Carolina State (9-3)

Nov. 30 at Conway, S.C., 1 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Bethune-Cookman (10-2) at Coastal Carolina (10-2)

Nov. 30 at Durham, N.H., noon ET (ESPN3)
Lafayette (5-6) at New Hampshire (7-4)

Nov. 30 at Huntsville, Texas, 3 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Southern Utah (8-4) at Sam Houston State (8-4)

Nov. 30 at Flagstaff, Ariz., 8 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
South Dakota State (8-4) at Northern Arizona (9-2)

Nov. 30 at Jacksonville, Ala., 8 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Samford (8-4) at Jacksonville State (9-3)

Nov. 30 at Bronx, N.Y., 1 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Sacred Heart (10-2) at Fordham (11-1)

Nov. 30 at Indianapolis, 1 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Tennessee State (9-3) at Butler (9-3)


Dec. 7 at Fargo, N.D., 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Furman/South Carolina State winner at North Dakota State (11-0)

Dec. 7 at Missoula, Mont., 2 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Bethune-Cookman/Coastal Carolina winner at Montana (10-2)

Dec. 7 at Orono, Maine, 2 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Lafayette/New Hampshire winner at Maine (10-2)

Dec. 7 at Hammond, La., 8 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Southern Utah/Sam Houston State winner at Southeastern Louisiana (10-2)

Dec. 7 at Cheney, Wash., 4 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
South Dakota State/Northern Arizona winner at Eastern Washington (10-2)

Dec. 7 at Lake Charles, La., 7 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Samford/Jacksonville State winner at McNeese State (10-2)

Dec. 7 at Towson, Md., 1 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Sacred Heart/Fordham winner at Towson (10-2)

Dec. 7 at Charleston, Ill., 2 p.m. ET (ESPN3)
Tennessee State/Butler winner at Eastern Illinois (11-1)


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