For the second week in a row, the FCS has a highly-ranked matchup that's going to impact the playoff picture. Seeds, home games and playoff matchups are all on the line as No. 3 Weber State travels to No. 6 Sacramento State.
Just as we all predicted and circled this game on the calendar back in August, there's a lot on the line.
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In reality, Sac State was on no one's radar entering the 2019 season after going 2-8 last year. But the Hornets are now 6-2 overall and 5-0 against the FCS, including wins against currently-ranked No. 8 Montana and No. 14 Montana State.
After earning the No. 2 seed last year and reaching the quarterfinals, expectations were all over the place for Weber State in the preseason. Some thought the Wildcats would reload. Others thought they might take a step back with several standout defensive players using up their eligibility. But here they are, 6-2 overall and 6-0 against FCS competition, including a win against currently-ranked No. 9 Northern Iowa.
So what's at stake here?
While last week's NDSU at SDSU game was likely for a Top 2 seed. This one looks to be for a No. 3 or 4 seed. The Bison look primed to finish the regular season 12-0, and even a hiccup would have an 11-1 NDSU team at the No. 1 or 2 seed. The other Top 2 seed looks like it'll go to James Madison, who is 8-1 and 8-0 against the FCS and has three remaining games against unranked opponents.
There's also SDSU, who is now 6-2 overall and 6-1 versus the FCS. If the Jacks win out, which is questionable with the unknown extent of starting QB J'Bore Gibbs' knee injury and games remaining against No. 7 Illinois State and No. 9 UNI, they would be a Top 4 seed.
Whoever wins between Weber and Sac State is in the driver's seat to round out those Top 4 seeds.
That's especially true for the Hornets, who finish the season against three unranked foes: at Northern Arizona, at Idaho and against UC Davis.
Weber has a tougher road and has games remaining against No. 24 North Dakota, at No. 8 Montana and against Idaho State. Montana is currently 6-2 overall and 6-1 against the FCS with that loss coming to Sac State. The Griz are right there in the seeding discussion as well.
While there are so many moving parts every week and the FCS hates the term "on paper," Saturday's game is going to be a huge "data point" for the playoff committee. And it could be the difference between hosting a quarterfinal game or going on the road in the round of eight.
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