The 2022 FCS playoff bubble looks to be more packed than last year’s.
Several teams look to hit at least the seven D1 wins mark, which will get you into the at-large pool. Sometimes, six D1 wins have gotten teams into consideration or even into the bracket.
Here’s a look at teams who still have their playoff hopes alive.
The ASUN and the WAC announced they were combining for one auto-bid after their schedules were already announced. Due to the lack of crossover games, the auto-bid will be selected by each individual league having a conference champ, and whoever of those two has a higher computerized ranking will be the AQ.
A lot of teams still have a shot to finish with seven or more D1 wins, which will at least get them talked about in the selection process. The ASUN-WAC may turn out to be a one-bid league due to its lack of ranked teams, although getting one at-large bid is a possibility.
UCA is 4-5 overall, but 3-1 in the ASUN standings, which still gives them a shot at being the ASUN champ for the AQ ranking.
Remaining games: at Stephen F. Austin, vs. Jacksonville State
EKU is 6-3 overall, featuring a close FBS loss, a close FBS win (Bowling Green), and a ranked win over now-No. 20 SEMO. EKU is currently 2-1 in the ASUN standings. If the ASUN-WAC were to get two bids, the most likely scenario of that happening would be ACU getting the AQ out of the WAC and EKU getting an at-large bid if it wins out to hit eight D1 wins.
Remaining games: at Jacksonville State, vs. Kennesaw State
Austin Peay (6-3, 6-2 vs. the FCS) already has two losses in the ASUN. It has beaten EKU but lost to UCA. If Austin Peay beats Kennesaw State this week, it would hit seven D1 wins before playing Alabama. Seven D1 wins will at least give Austin Peay into the big at-large pool for consideration.
Remaining games: at Kennesaw State, at Alabama
Kennesaw is a longshot, but it does have the potential to hit seven D1 wins, which again puts you in the at-large pool for consideration. It is 1-2 in the ASUN but did just beat then-ranked UT Martin. KSU is currently 5-4 overall and 5-3 vs. the FCS, winning three straight.
Remaining games: vs. Austin Peay, at Eastern Kentucky
If the season ended today, ACU would be the AQ out of the WAC-ASUN, according to the latest computerized ranking. ACU is 3-0 in the WAC and 6-3 overall (6-2 vs. the FCS). The regular-season finale vs. SFA (2-1 in the WAC) will help shake all of this out.
Remaining games: at Sam Houston, vs. Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin
SFA is 5-4 overall and 5-3 vs. the FCS with a 2-1 record in the WAC standings. It already played ACU once and won, but that one didn’t count in the standings. SFA has to go to ACU in a game that counts in the standings to end the regular season. It can hit seven D1 wins in these next two weeks. Trying to figure out if SFA would be the ASUN-WAC AQ if it beat ACU is headache-inducing, but seven wins at least gets them in the at-large pool. But again, whether any ASUN-WAC teams emerge out of the at-large pool and into the bracket is questionable with the lack of ranked teams.
Remaining games: vs. Central Arkansas, at Abilene Christian
The Big Sky looks like it’s shaping up to be a five-bid league with an outside shot six teams get in.
No. 2 Sacramento State
Sac State will be in contention for a top seed if it wins out. It is currently 9-0 with an FBS win (Colorado State) and three now-ranked wins (No. 16 Montana, No. 15 Idaho, No. 7 Weber).
Remaining games: at Portland State, vs. UC Davis
No. 3 Montana State
Montana State is also in the seeds conversation. The Bobcats are 8-1 overall and 8-0 vs. the FCS. They own one now-ranked win over No. 7 Weber State.
Remaining games: at Cal Poly, vs. No. 16 Montana
No. 7 Weber State
Weber is another Big Sky team looking to get a seed if it wins out. Weber is now 7-2 overall with six D1 wins. The wins are highlighted by beating FBS Utah State and No. 16 Montana. The losses are to No. 3 Montana State and No. 2 Sac State.
Remaining games: vs. Idaho State, at Northern Arizona
No. 15 Idaho
Idaho is 6-3 overall but 6-1 vs. the FCS. The Vandals have one now-ranked win over No. 16 Montana, and its loss is to No. 2 Sac State. They will also be talked about as a potential seed if they win out.
Remaining games: vs. UC Davis, at Idaho State
No. 16 Montana
The Grizzlies are 6-3 with losses to No. 15 Idaho, No. 2 Sac State, and No. 7 Weber State. They do not currently own any ranked wins. Montana looks to hit the seven-D1-win mark this week before playing ranked Montana State.
Remaining games: vs. Eastern Washington, at No. 3 Montana State
UC Davis isn’t out of it yet at 5-4 overall and 5-3 vs. the FCS. The losses are to No. 1 SDSU, No. 7 Weber, and No. 3 Montana State. UC Davis does not own any ranked wins, but it has two left on its schedule as it looks to hit seven D1 wins.
Remaining games: at No. 15 Idaho, at No. 2 Sac State
The Big South will be a one-bid league. NC A&T and Gardner-Webb are currently 3-0 at the top of the standings. NC A&T goes to Gardner-Webb in the regular-season finale.
The CAA looks likely to have 4-5 total bids with an outside shot of getting a sixth team in.
No. 8 William & Mary
W&M is 8-1 overall, featuring an FBS win (Charlotte) and two now-ranked wins (No. 17 Delaware and No. 22 Rhody). Its loss is to No. 18 Elon. At eight D1 wins already with two games to go, W&M is in the running for a seed.
Remaining games: vs. Villanova, at No. 12 Richmond
No. 12 Richmond
Richmond is 7-2 overall and 7-1 vs. the FCS. It owns one now-ranked win over No. 21 UNH, and the loss is to No. 18 Elon. Already at seven D1 wins with two ranked opponents coming up, the Spiders could be anywhere from a seed to being jumbled with several 7-4 teams.
Remaining games: at No. 17 Delaware, vs. No. 8 William & Mary
No. 17 Delaware
The Blue Hens are 7-2 overall, featuring an FBS win (Navy) and one now-ranked win (No. 22 Rhody). The losses are to No. 8 W&M and No. 18 Elon. One more win and Delaware would feel good about getting in at eight D1 wins and the FBS win.
Remaining games: vs. No. 12 Richmond, at Villanova
No. 18 Elon
Elon is 7-3 overall and 7-2 vs. the FCS. It has three now-ranked wins (No. 8 W&M, No. 12 Richmond, No. 17 Delaware). The two FCS losses are to No. 22 Rhody and No. 21 UNH. The Phoenix appear to be in a win-and-in scenario this weekend vs. Hampton. Eight D1 wins and three of them over ranked opponents should get a bid.
Remaining games: vs. Hampton
No. 21 New Hampshire
UNH is 6-3 overall and 6-2 vs. the FCS. It has one now-ranked win over No. 18 Elon. The losses are to NC Central and No. 12 Richmond. UNH eyes its seventh D1 win this week against No. 22 Rhody before a winnable Week 12 game.
Remaining games: vs. No. 22 Rhode Island, at Maine
No. 22 Rhode Island
Rhody is 6-3 overall and 6-2 vs. the FCS. It has FCS losses to No. 17 Delaware and No. 8 W&M. And it has one now-ranked win over No. 18 Elon. A key ranked game at No. 21 UNH looms to try and hit seven D1 wins before a winnable game vs. UAlbany.
Remaining games: at No. 21 New Hampshire, vs. UAlbany
Nova is 5-4 overall and 5-3 vs. the FCS. It has losses to Monmouth, No. 12 Richmond, and Towson. Two of those losses being to unranked teams, including 27-3 last week at Towson, spells a bleak playoff outlook for Villanova. But they aren’t 100% out of it yet, with two ranked games coming and the possibility still out there to hit seven D1 wins.
Remaining games: at No. 8 William & Mary, vs. No. 17 Delaware
The MVFC could have anywhere from 3-5 teams in the field. Upsets could result in six teams hitting seven D1 wins
No. 1 South Dakota State
SDSU has already clinched the MVFC’s auto-bid. It can secure a Top 2 seed if its beats Illinois State before a Week 12 bye to finish 10-1 overall and 10-0 vs. the FCS with two now-ranked wins (No. 4 NDSU, No. 19 UND).
Remaining games: vs. Illinois State
No. 4 North Dakota State
The Bison are in the conversation for a Top 4 seed if it wins out. They are 7-2 overall and 7-1 vs. the FCS (loss to No. 1 SDSU). NDSU does not own any currently-ranked wins, but it plays two teams in the playoff picture to finish the regular season.
Remaining games: at Southern Illinois, vs. No. 19 North Dakota
No. 19 North Dakota
UND is 6-3 overall and 6-2 vs. the FCS. The FCS losses are to SIU and No. 1 SDSU. The Fighting Hawks do not own any currently-ranked wins. They should hit seven D1 wins this week vs. USD before going to Fargo.
Remaining games: vs. South Dakota, at No. 4 North Dakota State
SIU is 5-4 overall, featuring an FBS win over Northwestern and a now-ranked win over No. 19 UND. Its losses are to No. 6 UIW, No. 20 SEMO, South Dakota, and Northern Iowa. Hitting seven D1 wins would require a home win this week vs. No. 4 NDSU and then at playoff contender YSU.
Remaining games: vs. No. 4 North Dakota State, at Youngstown State
YSU is 6-3 overall and 6-2 vs. the FCS. Its FCS losses are to No. 4 NDSU and No. 19 UND. The Penguins do not have any currently-ranked wins. Winners of four straight, YSU has winnable games to hit eight D1 wins.
Remaining games: at Missouri State, vs. Southern Illinois
Illinois State is 5-4 overall and 5-3 vs. the FCS. The Redbirds don’t have any currently-ranked wins, and the three FCS losses are to SIU, No. 4 NDSU, and YSU. To have a chance at seven D1 wins, ISU will need to beat top-ranked SDSU this week.
Remaining games: at No. 1 South Dakota State, vs. Western Illinois
UNI has a slim shot at the bracket as it won’t hit seven D1 wins. The Panthers are 5-5 overall and 5-4 vs. the FCS. It had won three in a row, including over then-ranked SIU, before losing to No. 1 SDSU on a last-second FG. UNI should beat USD in Week 12 to finish 6-5. The Panthers made the bracket last year at 6-5, but it also had a marquee win over seeded Sac State. They’re not 100% eliminated this year at 6-5 as the committee may at least have them in their big group of at-large contenders, but it’s a longshot.
Remaining games: at South Dakota
Saint Francis has clinched the AQ out of the one-bid NEC.
The OVC will be a 1-2-bid league. No. 20 SEMO and UT Martin (receiving votes) do not play each other due to the late addition of Lindenwood, which knocked a conference game off of each team’s schedule. If both finish undefeated in league play, the AQ tiebreaker would be a coin flip.
No. 20 SEMO
SEMO is 7-2 overall and 7-1 vs. the FCS, losing to EKU. It does not own any now-ranked wins, but its best win was against playoff contender SIU. SEMO will have a case for an at-large bid if they and UT Martin win out and UT Martin wins the AQ coin flip. SEMO would have nine D1 wins.
Remaining games: at Eastern Illinois, vs. Murray State
UT Martin would not have a strong argument for an at-large bid if it lost the coin flip to SEMO. The Skyhawks are 5-4 overall and 5-2 vs. the FCS with losses to unranked Missouri State and Kennesaw State.
Remaining games: at Tennessee State, vs. Eastern Illinois
The Patriot could earn two bids for the first time since 2015.
No. 5 Holy Cross
Holy Cross has already secured the auto-bid at 9-0 overall with an FBS win (Buffalo) and a win over No. 23 Fordham. It will be in the seeding discussion if it wins out.
Remaining games: vs. Bryant, at Georgetown
No. 23 Fordham
Fordham is 7-2 overall with close losses to FBS Ohio and No. 5 Holy Cross. If it wins out, Fordham will have nine D1 wins. Those nine wins will stick out more than the several bubble teams with seven D1 wins, although none of Fordham’s wins would be against ranked opponents.
Remaining games: vs. Lafayette, vs. Colgate
The Pioneer will be a one-bid conference. St. Thomas is 6-0 in league play, but it is ineligible for the playoffs as it transitions from D3. Davidson, Butler, and Dayton are all currently 5-1 in the standings.
The SoCon looks like a 3-4-bid conference this season with four teams separating themselves from the rest of the league.
No. 10 Samford
Samford is 8-1 overall and 8-0 vs. the FCS. It has one now-ranked win against No. 13 Furman. Samford is sitting nice at eight D1 wins. With two ranked opponents to come, Samford could range from a solid seed with two more wins to being in the at-large pool with eight D1 wins.
Remaining games: at No. 11 Chattanooga, vs. No. 14 Mercer
No. 11 Chattanooga
Chattanooga is 7-2 overall and 7-1 vs. the FCS. The loss is to No. 13 Furman, and the Mocs have one now-ranked win over No. 14 Mercer. Hitting eight D1 wins this week would be massive, especially since it’d be against No. 10 Samford before a favorable game at WCU.
Remaining games: vs. No. 10 Samford, at Western Carolina
No. 13 Furman
Furman is 7-2 overall with six D1 wins and one FCS loss (No. 10 Samford). It owns one now-ranked win over No. 11 Chattanooga. Furman needs to win one more game to hit seven D1 wins, but eight D1 wins certainly gives teams more confidence on Selection Sunday.
Remaining games: at No. 14 Mercer, vs. Wofford
No. 14 Mercer
Mercer is 7-2 overall and 7-1 vs the FCS. Its FCS loss is to No. 11 Chattanooga. At seven D1 wins but no currently-ranked victories, Mercer’s playoff outlook can go a lot of different ways in the final two weeks against ranked opponents.
Remaining games: vs. No. 13 Furman, at No. 10 Samford
The Southland looks like it will get two total bids, although three still have playoff hopes alive.
No. 6 Incarnate Word
UIW is 9-1 overall with eight D1 wins. It owns an FBS win over Nevada and no now-ranked wins, although SIU was ranked at the time and is still in playoff contention. The lone loss is to Southland foe No. 25 Southeastern. UIW will be in the conversation for a seed if it wins at Northwestern State despite its non-counter win and potentially not getting the Southland’s AQ
Remaining games: at Northwestern State
No. 25 Southeastern Louisiana University
Southeastern is 6-3 overall and 6-1 vs. the FCS. It has one FCS loss in Southland play against Texas A&M-Commerce, but it has the head-to-head nod in the AQ scenario over No. 6 UIW.
Remaining games: vs. Northwestern State, at Nicholls
Northwestern State is 0-5 in the non-conference but is currently 4-0 in the Southland. It would have to win the Southland’s AQ to make the playoffs with its non-conference showings, but it still has to play the two teams above.
Remaining games: at No. 25 Southeastern, vs. No. 6 UIW
The SWAC’s title game between its two Division champs is during the playoffs. The winner of the SWAC title game meets the MEAC champ in the Celebration Bowl. A team in the SWAC that finishes below first place in its Division can be selected for an at-large bid if deemed worthy.
FAMU is 7-2 overall with six D1 wins. The losses are to Jackson State and FBS UNC. If the Rattlers win out, they would have the same-looking resume as last year’s team that got an at-large bid: 9-2 record, eight D1 wins, FBS loss, loss to Jackson State.
Remaining games: at Alabama State, vs. Bethune-Cookman