Only four teams remain on the road to Frisco where the FCS Championship game will take place on Saturday, January 8 at 12 Noon ET.
This Friday night, James Madison will visit the FargoDome to face North Dakota State in a battle between two of the preeminent powers of the past decade in the FCS. Then, on Saturday afternoon, Montana State will host South Dakota State at 2:00 p.m. ET.
South Dakota State is the lone unseeded team remaining in the tournament. Just this past May, the Jackrabbits made it to Frisco where they fell to Sam Houston State 23-21 on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 16 seconds left in the game. James Madison had been eliminated the previous week, 38-35, by that same Bearkats bunch. And North Dakota State fell in the quarterfinals to SHSU, 24-20. Montana State opted out out of the 2020 season.
Also taking place this Saturday is the Celebration Bowl which essentially serves as the national championship game for HBCU schools. It matches MEAC champs South Carolina State with SWAC champs Jackson State at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The Tigers come into the game with the longest current FCS winning streak at 9 games after Sam Houston State's string of 22 consecutive wins was halted last week by Montana State. Deion Sanders & Sons bring an 11-1 record to the game against the 6-5 Bulldogs and are favored by 6.66 points, according to the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com. The line favors the Tigers by 10. That contest will be televised on ABC beginning at Noon ET.
James Madison (-0.37) and Montana State (-3.10) are the computer's picks to move on to Frisco. Both are outright upset picks as the sportsbooks have the Bison listed as a 5-point favorite and the Jackrabbits by 5.5.
NOTE: Computer pick is based on the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com
December 17 at Fargo, North Dakota, 9:15 p.m. on ESPN2
(3) James Madison (12-1) by 0.37 at (2) North Dakota State (12-1)
December 18 at Bozeman, Montana, 2 p.m. on ESPN2
(8) Montana State (11-2) by 3.10 vs. South Dakota State (11-3)
|1st Round||2nd Round||Quarterfinals||Semifinals||Championship
(at Frisco, TX)
|UT Martin 32
Missouri State 31
(8) Montana State 25
|(8) Montana State 42
(1) Sam Houston State 19
|Stephen F. Austin 28
Incarnate Word 35
|Incarnate Word 42
(1) Sam Houston State 49
|South Dakota State
(8) Montana State
|UC Davis 24
South Dakota State 56
|South Dakota State 24
(4) Sacramento State 19
|South Dakota State 35
(5) Villanova 21
|Sacred Heart 10
Holy Cross 13
|Holy Cross 16
(5) Villanova 21
|Northern Iowa 10
Eastern Washington 19
|Eastern Washington 41
(6) Montana 57
|(6) Montana 6
(3) James Madison 28
|Florida A&M 14
SE Louisiana 38
|SE Louisiana 20
(3) James Madison 59
|(3) James Madison
Kennesaw State 48
|Kennesaw State 31
(7) ETSU 32
|(7) ETSU 3
(2) NDSU 27
|Southern Illinois 22
South Dakota 10
|Southern Illinois 7
(2) NDSU 38
2 teams played 2 FCS teams this fall (UConn and UMass), and 115 teams played 1 FCS school for a total of 117 such matchups.
The FBS finishes the season is 105-12 vs. the FCS. Since we began tracking this in 2003, the FBS teams are 1,574-140 (.918).
Last year, 30 FBS teams played a total of just 34 games against FCS schools and the FCS won just 1 game (1-33). That honor also went to Jacksonville State with its 19-10 victory over FIU.
Here are the FCS wins in 2021:
September 2: UC Davis 19, Tulsa 17
September 2: Eastern Washington 35, UNLV 33 (2 OT)
September 3: South Dakota State 42, Colorado State 23
September 4: Holy Cross 38, UConn 28September 4: Montana 13, Washington 7
September 4: ETSU 23, Vanderbilt 3
September 11: Duquesne 28, Ohio 26
September 11: Jacksonville State 20, Florida State 17.
September 18: Incarnate Word 42, Texas State 34.
September 18: Northern Arizona 21, Arizona 19
November 6: Rhode Island 35, Massachusetts 22
November 13: Maine 35, Massachusetts 10
This was the only FCS win vs. the FBS in 2020:
October 23: Jacksonville State 19, FIU 10
In 2019, FBS teams were 111-3 (.974) in such games. These were the only FCS wins that season:
August 29: Central Arkansas 35, Western Kentucky 28
September 7: Southern Illinois 45, Massachusetts 20
September 14: The Citadel 27, Georgia Tech 24 (OT)
JACKSON STATE - 9-game winning streak (FCS longest).
LAST: Won 27-10 vs. Prairie View A&M in SWAC Championship game.
Next: Celebration Bowl vs. South Carolina State on Saturday, Dec. 18.
ALCORN STATE - Won 13 straight home games (FCS longest).
Last: Lost 24-10 at Jackson State on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (6-5)
MONMOUTH - Had won 16 straight conference games (was FCS longest).
Last: Lost 49-17 at Kennesaw State on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (7-4)
DARTMOUTH - Won 11 straight road games (FCS longest).
Last: Won 52-31 at Brown on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (9-1) Ivy League champs.
TEXAS SOUTHERN - Lost 18 straight road games (FCS longest).
Last: Lost 24-21 at Alabama State on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (3-8)
YOUNGSTOWN STATE - End road losing streak at 17 games (was tied for FCS longest).
Last: Won 35-18 at Southern Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (3-7).
BUTLER - Snapped 14-game conference losing streak (was FCS longest)..
Last: Won 28-21 at Marist on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (3-8).
WAGNER - Lost 20 straight overall (FCS longest).
LAST: Lost 44-0 at home vs. Duquesne on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Next: Season complete (0-11).