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NCAA | November 19, 2017

2017 FCS playoff bracket released: JMU lands top seed

INDIANAPOLIS -- The field of 24 teams competing for the 2017 NCAA Division I Football Championship was announced today by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee. The top eight national seeds will host winners from the first-round match-ups.


Defending national champion James Madison University (11-0) tops the bracket as the number one seed after winning the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes are making their fourth straight and 14th overall appearance in the championship. 

North Dakota State University (10-1) is the number two seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Bison, five-time champion, are making their eighth straight and overall appearance in the championship. 

Jacksonville State University (10-1) is the number three seed after capturing the Ohio Valley Conference automatic berth. The Gamecocks, 2016 national championship game participant, are making their fifth straight and eighth overall appearance in the championship.

University of Central Arkansas (10-1) is the number four seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Southland Conference. The Bears are making their second straight and fourth overall appearance in the championship. 

South Dakota State University (9-2) will be the fifth seed. The Jackrabbits are making their sixth overall appearance in the championship. 

Sam Houston State University (10-1), the 2011 and 2012 championship game participant,  will be the sixth seed. The Bearkats are making their seventh straight and 11th overall appearance in the championship. 

Wofford (9-2) earned the automatic qualifier as the champion of the Southern Conference. The Terriers are making their eighth straight appearance in the championship and will be the seventh seed. 

The eighth and final seeded team will be Southern Utah University (9-2). The Thunderbirds will be making its third overall appearance after capturing the Big Sky Conference automatic berth.

Longest Consecutive Tournament Appearances in the Championship, including 2017:

  1. New Hampshire – 14
  2. North Dakota St. – 8
  3. Sam Houston St. – 7
  4. Jacksonville St. – 5
  5. James Madison – 4

The 2017 championship field consists of 10 automatic qualifiers and 14 at-large qualifiers.

Automatic Qualifiers

Big Sky Conference – Southern Utah (9-2)
Big South Conference – Kennesaw State (10-1)
Colonial Athletic Association –  James Madison (11-0)
Missouri Valley Football Conference – North Dakota State (10-1)
Northeast Conference – Central Connecticut State (8-3)  
Ohio Valley Conference – Jacksonville State (10-1)
Patriot League – Lehigh (5-6) 
Pioneer Football League – San Diego (9-2)  
Southern Conference – Wofford (9-2)
Southland Conference – Central Arkansas (10-1)

At-Large (14)

Big Sky Conference – Northern Arizona (7-4)
Big Sky Conference – Weber State (9-2)
Big South Conference – Monmouth (9-2)

Colonial Athletic Association – Elon (8-3)
Colonial Athletic Association – New Hampshire (7-4)
Colonial Athletic Association – Stony Brook (9-2)

Missouri Valley Football Conference – South Dakota (7-4)
Missouri Valley Football Conference – South Dakota State (9-2)
Missouri Valley Football Conference – University of Northern Iowa (7-4)
Missouri Valley Football Conference – Western Illinois (8-3)

Southern Conference – Furman (7-4)
Southern Conference – Samford (8-3)
Southland Conference – Nicholls State (8-3)
Southland Conference – Sam Houston State (10-1)

First-round games

November 25 at Stony Brook, New York, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Lehigh (5-6) at Stony Brook (9-2)

November 25 at Ogden, Utah, 4 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Western Ill. (8-3) at Weber St. (9-2)

November 25 at Cedar Falls, Iowa, 5 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Monmouth (9-2) at UNI (7-4) 

November 25 at Durham, New Hampshire, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Central Conn. St. (8-3) at New Hampshire (7-4)

November 25 at Kennesaw, Georgia, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Samford (8-3) at Kennesaw St. (10-1)

November 25 at Thibodaux, Louisiana, 4 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
South Dakota (7-4) at Nicholls St. (8-3)
November 25 at Elon, North Carolina, 1 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Furman (7-4) at Elon (8-3)

November 25 at Flagstaff, Arizona, 8 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
San Diego (9-2) at Northern Ariz. (7-4)

Second-round games

December 2 at Harrisonburg, Virginia, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Lehigh/Stony Brook winner at #1 James Madison (11-0)

December 2 at Cedar City, Utah, 8 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Western Ill./Weber St. winner at #8 Southern Utah (9-2)

December 2 at Brookings, South Dakota, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Monmouth/UNI winner at #5 South Dakota St. (9-2)

December 2 at Conway, Arkansas, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Central Conn. St./New Hampshire winner at #4 Central Ark. (10-1)

December 2 at Jacksonville, Alabama, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Samford/Kennesaw St. winner at #3 Jacksonville St. (10-1)

December 2 at Huntsville, Texas, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
South Dakota at Nicholls St. winner at #6 Sam Houston St. (10-1)

December 2 at Spartanburg, South Carolina, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Furman/Elon winner at #7 Wofford (9-2)

December 2 at Fargo, North Dakota, 3:30 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
San Diego/Northern Ariz. winner at #2 North Dakota St. (10-1)

Television schedules and games times for all rounds of the 2017 championship will be updated at

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