How Teams Are Earning Automatic Bids to the FCS Spring Playoffs
Following are scenarios in the 10 conferences whose champions earn an automatic qualifying bid (AQ) to the FCS spring playoffs. The NCAA will announce its 16-team pairings on April 18.
Big Sky: Weber State (5-0) clinched the automatic bid by defeating Idaho State 20-15 on Saturday.
Big South: Monmouth (3-0) earned the first AQ to the playoffs by defeating Kennesaw State 42-17 on Saturday.
CAA: Either Delaware (4-0, 3-0), James Madison (4-0, 2-0) or Richmond (3-0) will claim the AQ next Saturday.
Missouri Valley: North Dakota State (6-1, 5-1) will host South Dakota State (4-1) for the AQ next Saturday, although Missouri State (5-4, 5-1) and North Dakota (4-1) have clinched a share of the conference title.
NEC: Sacred Heart (3-1) earned the AQ by defeating Duquesne 34-27 in overtime in the conference’s first championship game on Sunday.
OVC: Jacksonville State (9-2, 6-1) won 28-14 at Murray State on Sunday to secure the AQ.
Patriot: Bucknell (2-1) will host Holy Cross (2-0) in the league’s first championship game next Saturday, with the winner earning the AQ.
Pioneer: Davidson (4-2, 4-1) owns the AQ tiebreaker over San Diego (4-1) heading into next Saturday’s action. Valparaiso (3-2) and Morehead State (3-3, 3-2) are alive for a share of the league title, but not for the AQ.
Southern: VMI (5-1) holds the lead in the standings over Mercer (5-5, 5-2), although both teams remain alive for the AQ next Saturday.
Southland: Sam Houston (5-0) clinched the AQ on Saturday with a 27-13 win over McNeese combined with UIW’s 49-47 loss to Northwestern State.