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2017 college football postseason: lower divisions


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It's that special time of year for those of us that follow college football outside of the FBS.


The NCAA Division 2 and 3 playoff selections will be this evening. FCS has one more week left in it's regular season and will have their playoff selection next Sunday. I personally don't follow NAIA, NCFA (club football) or NJCAA (junior college), but there's usually a couple guys here that do a good job keeping everyone informed on the postseason of those leagues.

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North Carolina A&T (10-0) wins the MEAC (at least a share for now) and will represent the conference in the Celebration Bowl. The Aggies still have to play their arch rival North Carolina Central in the season finale on Saturday.



Howard University (7-3 overall) could win a share of the MEAC title if they beat Hampton and A&T loses to NC Central. Howard would not go to the Celebration Bowl in that scenario though. Howard and A&T did not ply each other during the season. If Howard finishes the season 8-3, they might be able to get in the FCS playoffs. A big might lol.


Edit: North Carolina Central is also 7-3. A win over A&T could put them in the playoff conversation as well.

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So, to refresh everyone on how the lower levels work.


FCS: 24 teams. There's 10 automatic bids (Two of them already clinched by Jacksonville State and San Diego) and 14 at-large bids. The top 8 teams are seeded and given 1st round byes. The final is in Frisco, TX. The MEAC, SWAC and Ivy League all abstain from the playoffs... now, what 4_tattoos said is correct. The MEAC does allow it's non-champion teams to compete in the playoffs, but the SWAC does not, for the time being. This season is the final season for the title game in the SWAC. This means that any team (Not named Grambling, Southern or Alabama State) can accept an at-large bid.


Division II: 28 teams enter. It's the top 7 teams in each Super Region. The top seed in each region earns a first round bye. The final is in Kansas City, KS. As for the Super Regions...

 -Super Region 1: Great Midwest, Mountain East, Northeast-10, PSAC

 -Super Region 2: CIAA, Gulf South, South Atlantic, SIAC

 -Super Region 3: Great American, GLIAC, Great Lakes Valley, MIAA

 -Super Region 4: Great Northwest, Lone Star, Northern Sun, Rocky Mountain


Division III: 32 teams enter. There's 25 automatic bids, 2 bids for leagues that doesn't have automatic status (The American Southwest and NEWMAC are those leagues) and 5 at-large bids (The NCAA refers to these as Pool 'A' for the automatic bids, Pool 'B' for the leagues that don't have automatic status and Pool 'C' for the at-large bids). Travel restrictions play a big role here as the 1st Round games must have a maximum travel distance of 500 miles. The final is in Salem, VA.


NAIA: 16 teams. Automatic bids are only given out if a conference champion finishes in the Top 20 of the Coaches Poll.  As of now, there's at least 9 automatic bids, which creates 7 at-large bids. The final is in Daytona Beach, FL.


NJCAA: There's 9 bowl games at the Juco level. The number 1 team can choose to make it's bowl game the National Championship Game only if number 2 agrees to play there. If not, then the final rankings determines the national championship.

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D-III brackets are being announced right now.. Here's the match-ups.


Quadrant 1

-Lakeland at UW-Oshkosh

-St. John's (MN) at North Central

-Franklin at Wartburg

-Monmouth (IL) at Trine


Quadrant 2

-Washington and Lee at Mount Union

-Case Western Reserve at Illinois Wesleyan

-Johns Hopkins at Washington and Jefferson

-Frostburg State at Wittenberg


Quadrant 3

-Chapman at Mary Hardin-Baylor

-Hardin-Simmons at Linfield

-Eureka at St. Thomas (MN)

-Huntingdon at Berry


Quadrant 4

-Western New England at Delaware Valley

-Husson at Springfield

-Plymouth State at Brockport

-RPI at Wesley


NAIA is also set...


-Benedictine (KS) at St, Francis (IN)

-Concordia (MI) at Reinhardt (GA)

-Sterling (KS) at Morningside (IA)

-Southeastern (FL) at Lindsay Wilson (KY)

-Dickinson State (ND) at Southern Oregon

-Georgetown (KY) at Baker (KS)

-Northwestern (IA) at Langston (OK)

-Grand View (IA) at St. Xavier (IL)

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As far as the playoffs go I usually pull for HBCU's and schools out of Maryland & Washington DC. With that said, I'll be pulling for Bowie State (my brother played college ball there), Virginia State & Shepherd (just across the MD/WV border, not too far from DC :P) in Division 2. In Division 3 I'm gonna have to pull for the teams from Maryland, Frostburg State and Johns Hopkins. Although they have a potential second round matchup against each other.


I have no dog in the fight of the NAIA playoffs, but I may just root for Georgetown out of Kentucky because they have the same school name as the Hoyas here in DC lol :P


SN: It was brought to my attention earlier today that there are a few Division 2 bowl games for teams that just missed the playoffs. I'll try to keep the thread informed once I hear any announcements regarding participants.

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For me, it's local teams... or close to local.


At D-II, it's Central Washington. Kind of cool they got a first round bye. It's a nice prize for an unbeaten season.


In D-III, it's Linfield. They're usually the best in the Northwest but they were challenged this year by George Fox. Of course, they put them down.


In NAIA, it's Southern Oregon. No reason.


As for Sprint Football... They had their title game last Friday with Army defeating Penn. They introduced a divisional format this season.

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So here are the matchups for a few Division II bowl games. Just a heads up, I received this info by word of mouth by a pretty reliable source. I haven't checked anywhere to verify yet, so these could be wrong. I don't know the location of any of these games right now.


  • Mineral Water Bowl: Minnesota-Duluth vs. Central Missouri
  • Corsicana Bowl: Tarleton State vs. Central Oklahoma
  • Heart of Texas Bowl: Washburn vs Angelo State
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On 11/12/2017 at 12:56 PM, Dalcowboyfan92 said:

If Lehigh beats Lafayette next week, they'll win the Patriot League with only 5 wins (all of them in conference). They own the tiebreaker over Colgate thanks to a 41-38 victory back on October 7th (their first win of the season actually).


This could be an interesting game.  Your boys can't play defense.  My boys can't play offense.

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22 minutes ago, stumpygremlin said:

It’s a shame that A&T isn’t competing in the playoffs. I wonder how they’d do.

Last year, they lost by 29 at Richmond to a 3rd string QB who was redshirting the week before and they decided to blow it. Granted, both teams started backups, but since the last MEAC playoff win was in 1999, past performance is  likely indicative of future results. Beating that injured a Richmond team was a good of an opportunity as they could receive.

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On 11/15/2017 at 2:28 PM, leopard88 said:


This could be an interesting game.  Your boys can't play defense.  My boys can't play offense.


It was a good game. Lafayette played a really good first half and took advantage of a sloppy Lehigh style of play.


It's just they couldn't rush Mayes at all, and allowed him to pick them apart for almost 400 yards passing.

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First round in Division II and Division III are done, so time for a recap...


In Division II, if you were a 2 seed or a 4 seed... you had a bad day. Only one 2 seed (Minnesota State) and only one 4 seed (Ferris State) moved on. In fact, in Super Region 3 the lower seeds all won. Next week, the top seeds come in to play.


In Division III, there were not that many upsets as only 3 road teams won (Those three? Case Western Reserve, Frostburg State and Husson) while the top seeds all ran away with their games by a combined total of 169-6.

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I went to the Bowie State/Delta State game in the D2 playoffs. Bowie could not stop the QB option keeper in the first half. AT ALL. The managed to come back and take the lead going into the 4th quarter, but they couldn't finish Delta off.

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Okay, it's time for the FCS playoffs to be set... They announced the top four seeds already. Now for the bracket itself.


-Lehigh at Stony Brook (Winner gets #1 James Madison)

-Western Illinois at Weber State (Winner gets #8 Southern Utah)

-Monmouth at Northern Iowa (Winner gets #5 South Dakota State)

-Central Connecticut at New Hampshire (Winner gets #4 Central Arkansas)

-Samford at Kennesaw State (Winner gets #3 Jacksonville State)

-South Dakota at Nicholls State (Winner gets #6 Sam Houston State)

-Furman at Elon (Winner gets #7 Wofford)

-San Diego at Northern Arizona (Winner gets #2 North Dakota State)


OK... South Dakota and New Hampshire in over Austin Peay and McNeese State?!? WTF, man???

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Just now, nickp91 said:

The FCS selection committee is a joke  how do you leave Austin Peay and North Carolina A&T out? 


North Carolina A&T is already tied into the Celebration Bowl, so that's why they're out.


But Austin Peay has a better record then Northern Iowa, South Dakota AND New Hampshire. Their lone loss in FCS play was to Jacksonville State... which means they went 8-1 against their peers. There's a lot of horse puckey involved here.

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