FCS Final Four Preview (UPDATED)

May 6, 2021 by Staff

Both FCS semifinal games will take place this Saturday, with Delaware visiting top-seed South Dakota State while 3-seed James Madison travels to 2-seed Sam Houston State.

Unfortunately, broadcast coverage of the games will have some overlap with ESPN airing the Blue Hens-Jackrabbits contest at Noon while the Dukes-Bearkats game will kickoff at 2:30 on ABC.

The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com was 2-2 in picking quarterfinal winners outright and 2-2 against the spread, running its playofff record to 8-4 SU and 7-5 ATS. Meanwhile, the human picks at CollegeFootballPoll.com are 9-3 SU while Sam Herder at HeroSports.org is 10-2.

Two of the three sources - the CFP Human and Herder - still have their predicted champion in play. The computer was riding North Dakota State to the top, but the Bison were knocked out by the CFP Human choice, Sam Houston State. Herder's national champ favorite is South Dakota State which needed a fourth quarter rally to avoid the same fate as the other four Missouri Valley Football Conference teams that have been bounced from the playoff - North Dakota State, Missouri State, Southern Illinois and North Dakota.

The computer's straight up losses in week 2 were its narrow miss on NDSU at Sam Houston, and Jacksonville State falling at home to Delaware.

The only CFP human miss was Delaware taking out Jacksonville State, while Herder's only miss was North Dakota State falling at Sam Houston.

Week 3 (Semifinal) Matchups

Delaware at #1 South Dakota State - 12 Noon, ESPN
#3 James Madison at #2 Sam Houston State - 2:30 p.m., ABC

The computer has South Dakota State and James Madison advancing to the championship game on Sunday, May 16 at 1:00 p.m. EDT in Frisco, Texas.

(SEE: Picks)

Here is how each of the three sources stack-up with their selections this week. Bottom team is home.

Game Computer (Spread) CFP Human Herder
Delaware (7-0) at
#1 SDSU (7-1)
#3 JMU (7-0) at
#2 SHSU (8-0)
JMU (-14.91) SHSU JMU


The computer has the No. 1 and 3 seeds advancing by rather hefty margins with the Jackrabbits favored by nearly 20 and the Dukes at just under 15.

CFP Human

The home teams are the way to go. Sam Houston State is 15-0 in home playoff games and Bearkats' head coach is K.C. Keeler is 28-0 in home playoff games after going 13-0 at Rowan, 8-0 at Delaware and now 7-0 at SHSU.

South Dakota State should simply have a clear home advantage over Delaware.


Before the playoffs began, Herder had South Dakota State going the distance and he keeps that pick in place for this week until. But Herder had North Dakota State knocking out Sam Houston State which didn't materialize. Now he has James Madison over the Bearkats.