South Dakota State gains top seed in FCS playoffs

Field Level Media

April 19, 2021 at 7:58 pm.

South Dakota State is the top seed in the field of 16 teams competing for the 2020 NCAA Division I Football Championship, announced Sunday.

The season was pushed to spring because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Jackrabbits finished 5-1 to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference and will be making their 10th consecutive appearance in the playoffs.

The field consists of 10 automatic qualifiers and six at-large teams. Matchups are based largely on geographical proximity between campuses.

South Dakota State will host Holy Cross (3-0) on Saturday in Brookings, S.D.

The tournament will feature five teams from the MVC, including Missouri State, which will be making its first playoff appearance in 31 years. The Bears are led by Bobby Petrino, previously the head coach at Arkansas, Louisville, Western Kentucky and the Atlanta Falcons.

Missouri State hired Petrino in January 2020 to turn around a program that finished 1-10 in 2019.

FCS teams and first-round pairings:

Holy Cross (3-0) at No. 1 South Dakota St. (5-1)
April 24, Brookings, S.D.

Monmouth (3-0) at No. 2 Sam Houston (6-0)
April 24, Huntsville, Texas

VMI (6-1) at No. 3 James Madison (5-0)
April 24, Harrisonburg, Va.

Davidson (4-2) at No. 4 Jacksonville State (9-2)
April 24, Jacksonville, Ala.

Southern Illinois (5-3) at Weber State (5-0)
April 24, Ogden, Utah

Sacred Heart (3-1) at Delaware (5-0)
April 24, Newark, Del.

Missouri St. (5-4) at North Dakota (4-1)
April 24, Grand Forks, N.D.

Eastern Washington (5-1) at North Dakota St. (6-2)
April 24, Fargo, N.D.