NDSU jumps to No. 1 in FCS committee rankings
(STATS) - It wasn't quite the North Dakota State jubilation and Jacksonville State dejection following the NCAA Division I FCS Championship Game last January, but there must have been similar vibes Tuesday night.
The NCAA Division I FCS selection committee flip-flopped the two national powers in raising NDSU to No. 1 and dropping Jacksonville State to No. 3 in its last set of Top 10 rankings that precede the announcement of the 24-team playoff pairings on Sunday.
NDSU defeated Jacksonville State 37-10 in the 2015 FCS championship game to claim its record fifth straight national title.
Jacksonville State (9-1), which had been No. 1 in the committee's rankings the last two weeks, fell behind NDSU (9-1) and Eastern Washington (9-1), which remained No. 2. James Madison (9-1) was fourth, followed by Sam Houston State (10-0), The Citadel (10-0), Central Arkansas (7-1), Richmond (8-2), North Dakota (9-2) and South Dakota State (7-3).
The top two seeded teams in the playoffs are guaranteed home games through the semifinals, whose winners will advance to the championship game Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas. NDSU has had home-field advantage at its Fargodome throughout each run to the last five championship games.
The playoffs consist of 10 conference champions which receive automatic bids and 14 at-large selections. Eight teams will be seeded and receive first-round byes, and 16 open play in the first round on Nov. 26.