And then, there were 16.
The FCS playoffs enter the second round this weekend. Twelve of the 16 teams received byes, and four teams will be battling it out for the second week in a row. Eight winners will advance to the semifinals, and for them, dreams of a national championship will still be in tact.
This weekend, from Montana to Texas to North Carolina, teams will actually battle it out in, what do you know, a playoff.
So, let's take a look at the second-round matchups.
Second Round (Dec. 3)
Stony Brook at No. 1 Sam Houston State
New Hampshire at Montana State
Wofford at No. 5 Northern Iowa
Central Arkansas at No. 4 Montana
Old Dominion at No. 3 Georgia Southern
Maine at Appalachian State
Lehigh at Towson
James Madison at No. 2 North Dakota State
Sam Houston State is hot. The Bearkats are the only undefeated FCS team at 11-0 and hope to continue their winning streak in the playoffs.
The Bearkats have an impressive resume with a win over FBS New Mexico and an outstanding offense that has scored an average of 47 points per game against Southland Conference opponents.
Stars on offense for Sam Houston State include running back Tim Flanders, who has rushed for an average of 103 yards per game and 20 touchdowns, and quarterback Brian Bell, who leads the conference in passing efficiency,
Stony Brook is coming off of a close win against Albany in the first round of the playoffs. The Seawolves struggled on offense and came back from a 21-10 deficit at the half to win 31-28.
Sam Houston State simply has too much talent on offense for Stony Brook to keep it close. Look for the Bearkats to advance.
Sam Houston State 38
Stony Brook 14
New Hampshire at Montana State winner
Montana State has had a great season, winning nine straight games until a 38-10 loss to bitter archrival Montana. The Bobcats will be looking to avenge this loss against New Hampshire in the second round of the FCS playoffs.
The Bobcat offense is one of the best in the country. Montana State is led by quarterback Denarius McGee, who has put up impressive statistics. Running back Cody Kirk has rushed for and average of 112 yards per game and 14 touchdowns.
On the other side of the football, New Hampshire has built up an impressive resume with wins over playoff teams Lehigh, James Madison and Maine.
Quarterback Kevin Decker leads the Colonial Athletic Association in total offense and passing efficiency.
The game will be very close, but the Bobcats should have just enough offensive firepower to beat the Wildcats.
Montana State 31
New Hampshire 27
Stony Brook at Sam Houston State winner
Northern Iowa comes into the FCS playoffs with only two losses to FBS Iowa State and North Dakota State, and they are fresh off a 23-20 overtime win at Illinois State.
The most impressive thing about the Panthers is their ability to force turnovers. They lead the Missouri Valley Conference in turnover margin, and four Northern Iowa players have at least three interceptions this season.
Wofford has looked impressive all season. The Terriers even played FBS Clemson close, only losing by eight points 35-27.
Wofford runs an impressive option running game that has garnered an average of 356 yards per game on the ground led by running back Eric Breitenstein. The Terriers were also second in the Southern Conference in scoring defense.
This will be a very close game. However, Wofford's option rushing attack has been impressive all season. The Terriers will squeak one out against the Panthers.
Northern Iowa 21
Central Arkansas at Montana winner
Montana is back in the FCS playoffs after a rare absence in 2010. The Grizzlies are playing great football right now, with a seven-game winning streak and a big win over Montana State to conclude the season.
Stars like Big Sky Conference Defensive MVP Caleb McSurdy, cornerback Trumaine Johnson and defensive lineman Ryan Featherson have made the Grizzly defense one of the best in the nation.
The Grizzlies are not short on offensive playmakers by any means. Wide receiver/returner Jabin Sambrano leads the Big Sky Conference in punt returns, and running backs Peter Nguyen and Dan Moore have run over opposing defenses.
Central Arkansas is coming off a nice 34-14 win over Tennessee Tech in the first round of the FCS playoffs, where quarterback Nathan Dick passed for 319 yards and two touchdowns.
However, Montana's tough defense and playmakers on offense will keep the Bears from Central Arkansas in check.
Central Arkansas 24
Wofford @ Northern Iowa winner
Georgia Southern has had a great season, and finished as Southern Conference Champions, with their only losses to FBS power Alabama and Appalachian State.
Quarterback Jaybo Shaw and freshman running back Dominique Swope helped the Eagles lead the Southern Conference in total offense.
The Monarchs are fresh off a nice 35-18 win over Norfolk State in the first round of the FCS playoffs, where quarterback Taylor Heinick passed for 269 yards and five touchdowns.
This game will be down to the wire, but Georgia Southern's offense will be a little overpowering against the Monarchs.
Georgia Southern 34
Old Dominion 28
Maine @ Appalachian State winner
Appalachian State is in a familiar position. They are looking for their fourth FCS national championship in seven years, and first since 2007.
Quarterback Jamal Jackson hasn't been quite on Armanti Edward's level, but he has still been productive for the Mountaineer offense.
The Black Bears are looking for a win fresh off a loss to conference rival New Hampshire.
Maine is led on defense by safety Trevor Coston and cornerback Darlos James.
Appalachian State will win this football game with a strong home field advantage and more overall talent on both sides of the football.
Appalachian State 38
Old Dominion at Georgia Southern winner
How about those Tigers?
Towson is 9-2 and Colonial Athletic Association champions after a dismal 1-10 season in 2010, marking one of the most impressive turnarounds in FCS history.
Running back Terrance West has been extremely impressive with an average of 124 yards rushing per game and 24 touchdowns. The defense is led by two all-CAA first team studs, defensive lineman Frank Beltre and safety Jordan Dangerfield.
Lehigh has also had a very successful season, going 10-1 overall and 6-0 in Patriot League play.
The Mountain Hawks are fresh off a 37-13 thrashing of rival Lafayette.
However, Towson just has more talent and strength on both sides of the football. Look for them to move on.
James Madison at North Dakota State winner
The Bison are on a roll.
North Dakota State is 10-1, with its only hiccup coming against Youngstown State in 27-24 loss. The Bison have impressive victories over FBS Minnesota 37-24 and Northern Iowa 27-19.
There are stars all over the field for North Dakota State, including cornerback Marcus Williams, who leads the Missouri Valley Conference in interceptions, and returner Ryan Smith, who leads the conference in punt return yards.
Additionally, the defense for North Dakota State has been solid as a whole, as the Bison lead the conference in passing defense and scoring defense.
James Madison is coming off of a very close win to Eastern Kentucky in the first round of the FCS playoffs. The Dukes came back from a 10-7 deficit at halftime with 244 yards rushing and a 35-yard field goal by Cameron Starke as time expired.
Look for North Dakota State to roll past the Dukes easily at home.
North Dakota State 31
James Madison 17
Lehigh at Towson winner