FCS Playoffs 2018: Dates, Schedule, Teams, Bracket and More

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 19, 2018

IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 17:  Quarterback Easton Stick #12 of the North Dakota State Bison drops back for a pass in the second quarter against the Iowa Hawkeyes, on September 17, 2016 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa.  (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
Matthew Holst/Getty Images

North Dakota State will hope to defend its championship in the FCS football playoffs after the bracket was released Sunday.

The Bison are 11-0 on the season and have won the title in six of the last seven years, but they will still have to navigate the 24-team field in a single-elimination tournament to take home another trophy.

It will take four wins to win a championship—five wins for the unseeded teams—so nothing is guaranteed heading into the postseason.

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming tournament.



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First Round (Saturday, Nov. 24)

Duquesne at Towson; 2 p.m. ET

Elon at Wofford; 2 p.m. ET

Stony Brook at Southeast Missouri State; 2 p.m. ET

Incarnate Word at Montana State; 3 p.m. ET

Delaware at James Madison; 3 p.m. ET

San Diego at Nicholls State; 4 p.m. ET

Lamar at Northern Iowa; 5 p.m. ET

ETSU at Jacksonville State; 7:30 p.m. ET


Second Round (Saturday, Dec. 1)

ETSU-JSU winner at No. 7 Maine; 12 p.m. ET

JMU-Delaware winner at No. 8 Colgate; 1 p.m. ET

Wofford-Elon winner at No. 4 Kennesaw State; 2 p.m. ET

Montana St.-Incarnate World winner at No. 1 North Dakota State; 3 p.m. ET

Towson-Duquesne winner at No. 5 South Dakota State; 3 p.m. ET

SEMO-Stony Brook winner at No. 2 Weber State; 4 p.m. ET

Nicholls-San Diego winner at No. 3 Eastern Washington; 5 p.m. ET

UNI-Lamar winner at No. 6 UC Davis, 7 p.m. ET


Later Rounds

Quarterfinals: At Campus Sites; Dec. 7/8

Semifinals: At Campus Sites; Dec. 14/15

National Championship: At Frisco, Texas; Jan. 5


North Dakota State comes into the playoffs as the top team thanks to a balanced offensive attack and a strong defense.

Easton Stick has turned heads at the national level with 22 passing touchdowns and just four interceptions, while he is also one of five quarterbacks who have rushed for more than 400 yards on the season. Meanwhile, the team ranks seventh in the country with just 287.9 total yards allowed per game.

The team's experience in past postseasons should help give the Bison an advantage over every opponent over the coming weeks.

However, winning a title is far from a sure thing.

Weber State is coming in with six straight wins and a Big Sky title behind running back Josh Davis, who has 1,288 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the ground this season.

Eastern Washington didn't earn the automatic bid out of the Big Sky but is still a top contender as the No. 3 seed.

San Diego could be a sleeper behind quarterback Anthony Lawrence and his FCS-best 35 passing touchdowns. James Madison also shouldn't be counted out after reaching the finals last year and winning it all two years ago.

Overall, this could be an exciting competition to be the best in the FCS.


Note: Unless otherwise noted, all statistics courtesy of team sites.