College Football FCS Playoffs

The 2021 FCS playoffs have been greatly dramatic so far, there has been plenty of upsets, including the number 1 seed losing.


North Dakota State, 8 time National Champions, prepare for another championship game to add to their resume

Harvard, a team who can not make the playoffs due to Ivy League Rules, getting ready to lift in their old fashioned weight room to prepare for their next season (Sam Boyer)

The NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision is the other division I level beside FBS, which includes top teams like Ohio State and Alabama. In this division, it is very competitive but not as high as a level as FBS. Unlike FBS with four playoff teams, FCS expanded their playoffs to 24 teams. William Outten, future college athlete, said, “The format the FCS uses gives many teams a chance to compete for the tile but in the end, it’s still just the same four teams. Like this year, it’ll be Sam Houston State.” The top eight ranked teams get a buy week and the other 16 teams compete to play the other eight teams. LHS senior and avid football fan Todd Neville gave his opinion on the FCS playoffs and the Ivy League situation. He said, “I love the format of the FCS playoffs and I think it would be great to implement it in the FBS. It is a shame that the Ivy league teams have not been integrated into the playoffs.” To this day, the Ivy League is able to be ranked in the top 25, but can not participate due to league rules. The playoffs consist of upsets sometimes and a lot of dramatic games. This year, there’s already have been a big upset in the playoffs.

College of the Holy Cross stadium right before they paint it for their first playoff win in school history (Sam Boyer)

My favorite team is Holy Cross, a team up north in Worcester, Massachusetts. They got an automatic bid into the playoffs since they won their Conference Championship. They ended up beating Sacred Heart in the first round 13-10. It was a huge defensive game, with nothing but three-and-outs, meaning that the offense isn’t able to get a first down and they punt on fourth down. It wasn’t until the end of the game with about two minutes left to play when Holy Cross was down 10-6. They drove all the way down the field and got to Sacred Heart’s 40 yard line. With 13 seconds left, the quarterback heaved the ball into the end zone and the wide receiver caught it for a touchdown to put them up 13-10. It was a crazy finish for Holy Cross’ first ever playoff game win in school history. This past weekend, they played Villanova in another big defensive game. Unfortunately, they ended up losing 21-16. With 2 minutes left in the game, Holy Cross had a chance to win the game and go up 23-21, but Villanova, the number five ranked team in the nation, stopped the offense and won the game. It was a great run, and Holy Cross will be back with a chip on their shoulder next year. With Villanova’s win, they are going to play South Dakota State, the reigning runner up. This year, they weren’t a top eight seed but won in the first round versus UC Davis by a landslide. The next week, they played another California team, but this time it was number four seed Sacramento State. With a huge upset, South Dakota State won 24-19.

Appalachian State won the 2005, 2006, and 2007 FCS Championship trophies, which caused them to move up a division into FBS since they were so dominant

The number one ranked team and reigning National Champion, Sam Houston State, is a team located in Huntsville, Texas. They were easily the best team statistically and were undefeated in the regular season, which earned them a bye week in the first round. In the second round, they played a team no one has ever heard of. UIW, University of Incarnate Word. Just by the name, you wouldn’t expect them to be good since you’ve never heard of them right? Wrong, they put up a huge fight until the end of the game. It was a tie game at 42 points and Sam Houston State scored the dagger with two minutes left to play which put them up 49-42. Next week, the Bearkats play Montana State, the number eight seed, who is definitely not a team to sleep on. The Bobcats have a great resume with a 10-2 record. Their losses were to an FBS team, which they barely lost to, and the now six seed, Montana. Montana State earned a bye week as well and ended up beating UT Martin 26-7 in the second round.

University of Pennsylvania, another Ivy League team who can’t be in the playoffs, are practicing in case there is a rule change on their eligibility in the playoffs (Sam Boyer)

James Madison, the number three seed in the playoffs, are consistently always a top seed in the playoffs. With a huge win over Southeastern Louisiana, they play the Montana Grizzlies who are the number six seed. The Grizzlies played Eastern Washington and beat them in an offensive shootout, 57-41. James Madison plays Montana this upcoming week in a great third round matchup. North Dakota State, who has won eight championships in the past 10 year, plays East Tennessee State University. As usual, they will probably dominate.