Big Sky Conference places four teams in second round of FCS football playoffs

Posted at 2:13 PM, Nov 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-26 16:13:55-05
Montana State coach Jeff Choate looks on during the Bobcats’ playoff game against Incarnate Word at Bobcat Stadium. (SLIM KIMMEL/MTN Sports)

After Montana State’s 35-14 win over Incarnate Word on Saturday, the Big Sky Conference leads all FCS conference with four teams set to play in the second round of the FCS football playoffs.

The Bobcats join co-Big Sky champions Weber State, Eastern Washington and UC Davis in the second round after the Wildcats, Eagles and Aggies earned top-eight seeds and first-round byes. The Big Sky was the only conference to get three teams in the top eight.

Weber State (No. 2), Eastern Washington (No. 3) and UC Davis (No. 6) will host Southeast Missouri State, Nicholls State and Northern Iowa, respectively, in the second round Saturday. Montana State, meanwhile, will travel to top-seeded and undefeated North Dakota State. The Bobcats are the only Big Sky team on the left side of the 24-team bracket.

NDSU and MSU will kick off at 1 p.m. (MST) Saturday at Fargo, N.D. Weber State and Southeast Missouri State are scheduled for a 2 p.m. (MST) kick, Eastern Washington and Nicholls State are set for 3 p.m. (MST), and Northern Iowa and UC Davis are slated to start at 5 p.m. (MST).

To view the complete bracket, please click here.

There were 10 automatic playoff bids given to conferences with an additional 14 teams receiving at-large bids for the playoffs. The FCS playoffs started on Nov. 24 with the first-round games.

The second round is Saturday, Dec. 1, the quarterfinals are Dec. 7 and 8 and the semifinals on Dec. 14 and 15. The championship game will be played in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 10 a.m. Mountain Time on ESPN2. NDSU is the defending national champion and has won six of the past seven titles.

ESPN owns exclusive television rights to the FCS playoffs, and all second-round games will be available only on ESPN3.