football-fcs flag | November 20, 2016

24-team FCS championship bracket selected

  North Dakota State holds the top seed as it looks for its sixth straight championship.

INDIANAPOLIS — The field of 24 teams competing for the 2016 NCAA 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 matchups.

FCS Championship: Interactive bracket | Printable bracket

Five-time defending national champion North Dakota State (10-1) tops the bracket as the No. 1 seed after tying for the Missouri Valley Football Conference Championship. The Bison are making their seventh straight and overall appearance in the championship.

Eastern Washington (10-1) is the No. 2 seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Big Sky Conference. The Eagles, the 2010 champion, are making their 12th appearance in the championship.

Jacksonville State (10-1) is the No. 3 seed after capturing the Ohio Valley Conference automatic berth. The Gamecocks, 2016 national finalist, are making their fourth straight and seventh overall appearance in the championship.

James Madison (10-1) is the fourth seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes, the 2004 champion, are making their third straight and 13th overall appearance in the championship.

Winner of the Southland Conference automatic qualifying berth, Sam Houston State (11-0), the 2011 and 2012 national finalist will be the fifth seed. The Bearkats are making their sixth straight and 10th overall appearance in the championship.

The No. 6 seed is The Citadel (10-1). The Bulldogs earned the automatic qualifying berth from the Southern Conference and are making their second straight and fifth overall appearance in the championship.

North Dakota (9-2) earned an at-large berth in championship after finishing as co-champion of the Big Sky Conference. The Fighting Hawks are making their inaugural appearance in the championship and will be the seventh seed.

The eighth and final seeded team will be South Dakota State (8-3). The Jackrabbits will be making their fifth straight appearance and sixth overall after capturing the Missouri Valley Football Conference automatic berth, tying with North Dakota State.

The 2016 championship field consists of 10 automatic qualifiers and 14 at-large qualifiers.

Automatic Qualifiers (10)

Conference School
Big Sky Eastern Washington (10-1)
Big South Charleston Southern (7-3)
Colonial Athletic Assocation James Madison (10-1)
Missouri Valley South Dakota State (8-3)
Northeast Saint Francis (Pa.) (7-4)
Ohio Valley Jacksonville State (10-1)
Patriot League Lehigh (9-2)
Pioneer San Diego (9-1)
Southern The Citadel (10-1)
Southland Sam Houston State (11-0)

At-Large (14)

Conference School
Big Sky Cal Poly (7-4)
Big Sky North Dakota (9-2)
Big Sky Weber State (7-4)
Colonial Athletic Association New Hampshire (7-4)
Colonial Athletic Association Richmond (8-3)
Colonial Athletic Association Villanova (8-3)
Mid-Eastern Athletic North Carolina A&T (9-2)
Missouri Valley Illinois State (6-5)
Missouri Valley North Dakota State (10-1)
Missouri Valley Youngstown State (8-3)
Southern Chattanooga (8-3)
Southern Samford (7-4)
Southern Wofford (8-3)
Southland Central Arkansas (9-2)


November 26 at San Luis Obispo, California, 7 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

San Diego (9-1) at Cal Poly (7-4)

November 26 at Villanova, Pennsylvania, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Sant Francis (Pa.) (7-4) at Villanova (8-3)

November 26 at Chattanooga, Tennessee, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Weber St. (7-4) at Chattanooga (8-3)

November 26 at Durham, New Hampshire, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Lehigh (9-2) at New Hampshire (7-4)

November 26 at Youngstown, Ohio, 5 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Samford (7-4) at Youngstown St. (8-3)

November 26 at Spartanburg, South Carolina, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Charleston So. (7-3) at Wofford (8-3)

November 26 at Richmond, Virginia, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

N.C. A&T (9-2) at Richmond (8-3)

November 26 at Conway, Arkansas, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Illinois St. (6-5) at Central Ark. (9-2)


December 3 at Fargo, North Dakota, 3:30 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

San Diego/Cal Poly winner at #1 North Dakota St. (10-1)

December 3 at Brookings, South Dakota, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Sant Francis (PA)/Villanova winner at #8 South Dakota St. (8-3)

December 3 at Huntsville, Texas, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Weber St./Chattanooga winner at #5 Sam Houston St. (11-0)


December 3 at Harrisonburg, Virginia, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Lehigh/New Hampshire winner at #4 James Madison (10-1)

December 3 at Jacksonville, Alabama, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Samford/Youngstown St. winner at #3 Jacksonville St. (10-1)

December 3 at Charleston, South Carolina, 6 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Charleston So./Wofford winner at #6 The Citadel (10-1)

December 3 at Grand Forks, North Dakota, 6 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

N.C. A&T/Richmond winner at #7 North Dakota (9-2)

December 3 at Cheney, Washington 4 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)

Illinois St./Central Ark. winner at #2 Eastern Wash. (10-1)

Television schedules and games times for all rounds of the 2016 championship will be updated at

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