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Stan Becton | | November 19, 2022

FCS playoff predictions: Predicting every at-large selection to the 2022 FCS playoffs

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It's almost time for the 2022 FCS playoffs, with the selection show Sunday, Nov. 20 at 12:30 p.m. ET. With all of the automatic qualifying bids decided, the 13 at-large selections are still up for grabs. 

AUTO-BID TRACKER: See every automatic bid to the FCS playoffs

Luckily for FCS fans around the country, I have predicted all 13 at-large teams that will receive an invitation to the 24-team field come tomorrow afternoon.

Here are the 2022 FCS playoff at-large selection predictions

1. Montana State (10-1) Big Sky

Montana State is undefeated against FCS competition. They should receive a top-four seed.


2. North Dakota State (9-2) MVFC

North Dakota State's only FCS loss came to No. 1 South Dakota State. The Bison will earn an at-large and a seed. The only question is if the seed will be in the top four.

3. UIW (10-1) Southland

UIW only has one FCS loss that came on a last-second touchdown. With one FCS loss and an FBS win, the Cardinals are in the field.

4. Weber State (9-2) Big Sky

Weber State's only two losses came to the second- and third-ranked teams in the country. The Wildcats also have an FBS win.

SEEDS: The importance of a top seed in the FCS playoffs, explained

5. Furman (9-2) SoCon

Furman only has one FCS loss to the eventual SoCon champions and three ranked wins. The Paladins are in the playoffs.

6. New Hampshire (8-3) CAA

The co-champs of the CAA missed out on an auto-bid due to a tiebreaker, but it won't miss out come selection time.

7. Elon (8-3) CAA

Elon finished the season on a three-game win streak after going 6-2 in CAA play.

8. Richmond (8-3) CAA

The Spiders have two FCS losses and finished a game away from winning the CAA title. Richmond returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

RANKINGS: See the latest FCS polls

9. Idaho (7-4) Big Sky

Idaho finished fourth in the Big Sky with only two FCS losses. The Vandals also have a head-to-head win over Montana, a teams on the playoff bubble entering Week 12.

10. Fordham (9-2) Patriot

Fordham has only lost one FCS game, and that came to a top-10 Holy Cross team in overtime. The Rams will bring one of the most explosive offenses in the FCS and a likely Walter Payton Award finalist in Tim DeMorat to the playoffs.

11. North Dakota (7-4) MVFC

North Dakota finished third in the MVFC. All of North Dakota's FCS losses came to then-ranked teams, with two losses coming to current teams in the top four. The Fighting Hawks also have a head-to-head win over Youngstown State. Seven wins from a tough schedule get North Dakota into the playoffs.

12. Florida A&M (9-2) SWAC

Florida A&M ended the regular season on a nine-game win streak. The Rattlers have eight FCS wins to just one FCS loss to No. 5 Jackson State. While Florida A&M's strength of schedule may be underwhelming, nine straight wins get the Rattlers the nod over bubble teams that lost in Week 12.

2022 HBCU: Follow everything that happens in the 2022 HBCU football season

13. Rhode Island (7-4) CAA

Rhode Island is my last team in this year's FCS playoffs. The Rams have three FCS losses to currently-ranked teams, but it's a ranked win over Elon that gets them into the playoffs. The win over Elon is better than any win 7-4 teams like Montana, Chattanooga, Mercer or Youngstown State have.

While Rhode Island lost to fellow CAA bubble team Delaware head-to-head, Delaware lost four FCS games to Rhode Island's three, including three of the Blue Hens' last four games. That gives the Rams a slight advantage.

Finally, Rhode Island gets the nod over Austin Peay because the Governors played four FCS non-conference games against teams with a 9-35 record (.204 win percentage).

MORE: The case for and against 16 FCS teams for an at-large bid in the 2022 playoffs

First team out

Austin Peay (7-4) ASUN

Austin Peay is the first team out because of its weak non-conference schedule. Yet, Austin Peay's conference win over Eastern Kentucky combined with just two FCS losses makes the Governors more deserving of a playoff spot than the other bubble teams.

Other teams that just missed out

Chattanooga (7-4) SoCon

  • A season-ending loss to Western Carolina knocked the Mocs out of the playoffs.

Delaware (7-4) CAA

  • Four FCS losses can't be offset by Delaware's FBS win. A loss in the Battle of the Blue keeps out the Blue Hens.

Montana (7-4) Big Sky

  • The Grizzlies lack a quality win to offset four FCS losses.

Mercer (7-4) SoCon

  • Mercer lost head-to-head to Chattanooga, so the Bears are behind the Mocs for playoff consideration.

Youngstown State (7-4) MVFC

  • The Penguins don't have a ranked win and a loss to Missouri State is a bad loss on the playoff resume.

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