The road to Frisco, Texas, is a long and winding one, and both North Dakota State and Jacksonville State took very different paths to the FCS championship.
The Bison, coming off a fourth national championship, faced a year full of adversity. Between losing starting quarterback Carson Wentz to injury to losing two games for the first time since 2010, NDSU's path to the title game wasn't nearly as easy as it was the previous four times. Here's how they got to Frisco:
Jacksonville State, meanwhile, fought in a few close games but otherwise bullied opponents throughout the season. Taking into account a 27-20 overtime loss to Auburn (yes, that Auburn), the Gamecocks averaged 41 points per game in a 12-1 season.