All eight seeds are represented in the quarterfinals of the 2018 FCS playoffs.
Not only does that mean the playoff committee nailed it, but it means we're looking at an exciting slate of games that can go either way.
[divider]MORE FCS PLAYOFFS
Odds To Win National Title
Bracket Challenge Standings [divider]
Here's the schedule (all times Eastern):
Maine at Weber St, 8 p.m – ESPN2
Colgate at NDSU, Noon – ESPN
SDSU at Kennesaw, 2 p.m. – ESPN3
UC Davis at EWU 4 p.m. – ESPN3
Let's pick some scores!
No. 8 Colgate @ No. 1 North Dakota State
Brian: NDSU 30, Colgate 6
Colgate is a wonderful story this year and has proven that when you find "your way" of doing things, big things can happen. The Raiders couple a scheme that you can win with along with a knack for finding the kind of young man that fits it. They will get their shot at arguably the best NDSU team of this incredible run of titles this decade.
Sam: NDSU 38, Colgate 10
Colgate has the style of play that just won't get it done against NDSU. The Raiders have a ball-control, run-first offense with a very good defense. In other words, they mirror NDSU. Well, no one in the FCS has been able to out NDSU, NDSU.
Steidl Another Example Of NDSU's Successful Walk-On Program
Colgate's Florida Connection Helps Fill The Roster
No. 5 South Dakota State @ No. 4 Kennesaw State
Brian: KSU 28, SDSU 27
I had a tough time with this one. Prior to the tournament I had KSU knocking off SDSU in this one, but nearly flipped the pick this week. But I'm holding firm with Kennesaw State here. It appears the game will be played in messy and chilly — but not freezing — conditions. That could favor the Owls. My other question is, which SDSU team do we get? The one that gave NDSU fits like nobody else and looked like a title contender, or the one that scored nine points against Northern Iowa and gave up 51 to Indiana State and 38 to Southern Illinois? I think a lot of this pick revolves around that question, because I still think out of the field of teams we have left — SDSU would have the best chance of ruining NDSU's attempt to get back to Frisco. If SDSU has it's A-game? Watch out.
Sam: SDSU 42, KSU 31
A rainy and sloppy game can definitely be an equalizer for KSU. But don't make the mistake of thinking SDSU is an air-raid offense. This is about as balanced a Jacks team that they've had in a number of years. And if SDSU has to win this game running the ball, it can. The offensive line will be the most physical the KSU defense has seen. And running backs Mikey Daniel and Pierre Strong, Jr. have really emerged as standout players with the Jacks dealing with injuries in the RB room. Plus, if the Jacks can score 51 points in a blizzard last week, some rain is no big deal.
No. 6 UC Davis @ No. 3 Eastern Washington
Brian: EWU 40, UC Davis 28
The last time they played? EWU ran away with it. I don't think that happens this time up in Cheney, but I do think the Eagles are a more complete team now — playing stout defense and scoring lots of points behind their new QB Eric Barriere.
Sam: EWU 35, UC Davis 28
I wrote an article about how people should expect a much closer ball game than the 59-20 EWU win a month ago. The Eagles have since lost a couple All-Conference caliber players to injury on defense. And UC Davis has a ton of momentum. I still like EWU here, but this could be one of the more entertaining games.
Expect A Much Closer Game For EWU-UC Davis
Eastern Washington vs. UC Davis By The Numbers
No. 7 Maine @ No. 2 Weber State
Brian: Maine 21, Weber 20
Prior to the playoffs beginning, I picked Maine to make it to the semifinals, and I stand by that going into this game. But this is a definite 50/50 affair that seems like a defensive battle in the making. One key battle to keep an eye on is Maine's No. 2 rush defense (in the FCS) and how it deals with stud Weber State freshman RB Josh Davis.
Sam: Weber 27, Maine 21
Weber has really turned into a complete team and might be the most complete team outside of NDSU. I do think Maine traveling across the country with one less day of preparation because of the Friday night game is a factor.
MORE MAINE-WEBER STATE:
Maine Coach Joe Harasymiak Goes On The Record
LISTEN: Previewing The Quarterfinals