Sunday, November 18, 2007

fcs playoffs

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Northern Iowa grabbed the No. 1 seed on Sunday afternoon when the FCS playoff selection committee announced the 16 teams for the 2007 NCAA Division I Football Championships.

Joining Northern Iowa (11-0) as seeds were No. 2 McNeese State (11-0), No. 3 Montana (11-0) and No. 4 Southern Illinois (10-1).

The playoffs start Friday with a nationally televised game on ESPN of historic proportions when Delaware (8-3) hosts MEAC champion Delaware State (10-1) for the first time at 1:30 p.m. (et).

Delaware was one of a record five teams from the Colonial Athletic Association to make the field. Massachusetts (9-2) won a coin flip with fellow co-champion Richmond (9-2) for the CAA auto bid, while Richmond, James Madison (8-3) and New Hampshire (7-4) were selected with Delaware as at-large teams.

Other at-large berths went to two-time defending national champion and Southern Conference co-champion Appalachian State (9-2), Ohio Valley Conference runner-up Eastern Illinois (8-3), Big Sky runner-up Eastern Washington (8-3) and Gateway runner-up Southern Illinois.

The automatic bids to conference champions were won by Delaware State (MEAC), Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley), Fordham (Patriot) McNeese State (Southland), Montana (Big Sky), Northern Iowa (Gateway), UMass (CAA) and Wofford (Southern).

New Hampshire travels to Northern Iowa and the winner will meet the survivor of the Delaware State at Delaware game. In the opposite side of the top bracket, Eastern Illinois goes to Southern Illinois and Fordham travels to Massachusetts.

New Hampshire is one of only four, four-loss teams ever to earn an at-large bid, joining Appalachian State (1992), Idaho (1995) and Montana State (2006).

Eastern Illinois faces Southern Illinois for the third straight year in the first round.

In the bottom half of the draw, Eastern Washington travels to McNeese State and James Madison plays at Appalachian State.

The match-up between JMU and ASU matches the last two national champions. The Dukes won in 2004, while the Mountaineers captured titles in 2005-06.

Completing the bottom half of the draw are Wofford at Montana and Eastern Kentucky at Richmond.

The first round will be played on Friday and Saturday, with the quarterfinals set for Dec. 1. The semifinals will be conducted on Dec. 6-7 and the championship will be played Dec. 14 in Chattanooga, Tenn. The opening three rounds will be played on campus sites.


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