2021 NCAA FCS Football Championship bracket announced

Indianapolis – The NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee announced today the stadiums of 24 teams competing for the 2021 NCAA Division I Football Championship.

Sam Houston (10-0), the reigning title and winner of the ASUN/WAC Conference, earned the top seed in his thirteenth appearance at the tournament. The Bearkats have won 21 consecutive competitions.

North Dakota State (10-1) is the second seed to earn an automatic qualifying berth from the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Bison achieves their 12th overall appearance with the highest FCS Championship win percentage ever (.925).

James Madison (10-1) is the number three seed after having had a big show. The Dukes will make their eighth consecutive appearance in the championship and 18th overall.

Sacramento State (9-2) wrapped up the top four after being undefeated in the Big Sky Conference. The Hornets will only make their second trip to the FCS Championship.

Championship 2021: see the interactive arc | The latest tournament updates

Villanova (9-2) secured the No. five seed after taking the Athletic Colonization Association automatic playoffs. The Wildcats will make their 14th appearance in the FCS Championship.

Sixth-seeded Montana (9-2) will be a big choice outside the Big Sky Conference. The Grizzlies have finished the season with a win in their last five games and will appear for the 25th time in the FCS Championship.

Eastern Tennessee (10-1) snatched the seeded seven. The Buccaneers won the Southern Conference title and will appear for their third time in the FCS Championship and their first since 2018.

Montana Street (9-2) knocks out the top eight seeded ones who received the first round. The Bobcats are a huge pick after picking up nine wins in Division I in the regular season.

Over the past 44 years of the tournament, 22 schools have won a national title, nine of which have secured a place in this year’s class.

The 2021 championship field consists of 11 auto qualifiers and 13 general qualifiers. Team pairs are determined primarily on the basis of geographical proximity.

Teams from the same conference will not be paired in first round matches. (Except for teams from the same conference that did not play against each other during the regular season; such teams may play each other in the first round).

2021 NCAA DI FCS Auto Qualifiers (11)

conspiracy Team 2021 record Previous Previous Previous Last seen
Years Wins losses
ASUN / WAC . Conference Sam Houston 10-0 12 23 11 2020
the sky is big Sacramento Street 9-2 1 0 1 2019
Great South Kennesaw Street 10-1 3 4 3 2019
colony Villanova 9-2 13 12 12 2019
Missouri Valley Football North Dakota Street 10-1 11 37 3 2020
the Northeast holy heart 8-3 3 0 3 2020
Ohio Valley Utah Martin 9-2 1 0 1 2006
patriot Holy Cross 9-2 4 0 4 2020
pioneer Davidson 8-2 1 0 1 2020
the South ETSU 10-1 2 1 2 2018
Southland UIW 9-2 1 0 1 2018

2021 NCAA DI FCS Big Championship Picks (13)

Team conspiracy 2021 record Previous Previous Previous Last seen
Years Wins losses
SFA ASUN / WAC 8-3 6 4 6 2014
Oriental wash. the sky is big 9-2 14 19 13 2020
Montana the sky is big 9-2 24 33 22 2019
Montana Street the sky is big 9-2 10 9 9 2019
University of California at Davis the sky is big 8-3 1 1 1 2018
James Madison CAA 10-1 17 22 15th 2020
Missouri Street MVFC 8-3 3 1 3 2020
South Dakota MVFC 7-4 1 1 1 2017
South Dakota Street MVFC 8-3 10 11 10 2020
South Elle. MVFC 7-4 9 9 8 2020
UNI MVFC 6-5 21 26 21 2019
Southeast no. Southland 8-3 3 2 3 2019
Florida A&M SWAC 9-2 7 5 6 2001

Longest consecutive championship appearances (including 2021)

  • North Dakota Street – 12
  • South Dakota Street – 11
  • James Madison – 8

The appearance of consecutive tournaments in the ended tournament

  • Weber Street – 5
  • Monmouth – 2
  • North Dakota – 2

Most tournament entries in the tournament (including 2021)

  • Montana – 25
  • UNI – 22
  • James Madison – 18
  • Oriental Laundry. – 15th
  • Vilanova – 14
  • Sam Houston – 13
  • North Dakota Street – 12
  • Montana Street – 11
  • South Dakota Street – 11

Schools that make the championship for the first time

Longest elongation period between tournament appearances

  • Florida A&M – 2001
  • Utah Martin – 2006
  • SFA – 2014

Schools by conference

  • Missouri Valley Football Conference – 6
  • Big Sky Conference – 5
  • ASUN / WAC – 2
  • Colonial Sports League – 2
  • Southland – 2

Dates/locations/pairs of first round games

November 27 in San Antonio, Texas, 3 p.m. (+ESPN)
SFA (8-3) in UIW (9-2)

November 27 in Springfield, Missouri, 4 p.m. (ESPN+)
Utah Martin (9-2) on Missouri Street (8-3)

November 27 in Worcester, MA, noon (Eastern time) (+ESPN)
The Sacred Heart (8-3) at the Holy Cross (9-2)

November 27 in Brookings, South Dakota, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN+)
University of California Davis (8-3) on South Dakota Street (8-3)

November 27 in Hammond, Louisiana, 7 p.m. (ET) (ESPN+)
Florida A&M (9-2) at Southeastern La. (8-3)

November 27 in Cheney, Washington, 4 p.m. (ET) (+ESPN)
UNI. (6-5) at Eastern Wash. (9-2)

November 27 in Kennesaw, Georgia, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN+)
Davidson (8-2) on Kennesaw Street (10-1)

November 27 in Vermillion, South Dakota, 6 p.m. (ET) (ESPN+)
South Elle. (7-4) in South Dakota (7-4)

TV schedules and match times for all 2021 Championship rounds will be updated at NCAA.com. All FCS playoffs can be watched on the ESPN Family of Networks with first-round matches taking place on Saturday, November 27 and ending with the National Championship Game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, January 8 at noon (ET) on ESPN2.

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