INDIANAPOLIS — The Division I Football Championship Committee released a top-10 ranking on Wednesday, Nov. 6. The announcement was revealed during ESPN2’s halftime broadcast of the Miami (OH) vs. Ohio game.

Using selection criteria and results through games as of Saturday, Nov. 2, the defending national champion North Dakota State Bison of the Missouri Valley Football Conference earned the top spot in the nation with an unblemished 9-0 record. James Madison (8-1) of the Colonial Athletic Association, the Big Sky Conference’s Weber State (7-2), and South Dakota State (7-2) another Missouri Valley Football member followed at second through fourth, respectively. Big Sky member Sacramento State (6-3) rounded out the top five. 

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“With three weeks left before Selection Sunday, the committee has released a mid-season top-10 ranking as a way of providing insight and building interest to fans about FCS Football.” said Greg Seitz, chair of the committee and Director of Athletics at Jacksonville State University. 

The remainder of the top-10 includes the MVFC’s third conference member among the rankings with University of Northern Iowa (6-3) at sixth followed by Central Arkansas (7-2), a Southland Conference member, at seventh. The Big Sky also has three members ranked in the top-10 with Montana earning an eighth-place listing followed by Furman (6-2) of the Southern Conference in ninth place. New Hampshire (5-3), another CAA member, earned the 10th and final position.

“Our committee looks forward to watching teams compete and play over the final three weeks of the regular-season,” said Seitz. “There is still a great amount of football to be played that will have an impact on individual teams’ résumés as today’s release of the top-10 is just a snapshot at this point of the season. We’ll continue our dialogue with our Regional Advisory Committees, before we as a national committee reconvene in the coming weeks for our final evaluations and select the teams that will compete in the championship.” 

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The reveal is based on the criteria used to select and seed the 24 teams for the Division I Football Championship. At any time during the process, the committee may consider comparative data of individual teams, including but not limited to overall record, record against Division I opponents, record against opponents from other automatic qualifying conferences, record against Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponents, head-to-head record, common opponents’ record, FCS Coaches Poll, NCAA Simple Rating System data and input from regional advisory committees.  

The announcement is part of the continued team evaluations that will culminate with the final bracket, revealed during the selection show on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU. 

The 2019 championship field will consist of 10 automatic qualifiers and 14 at-large qualifiers. The top eight teams will be seeded and receive first-round byes and host second-round games. The 16 other teams will bid to host first-round games. All rounds of the FCS playoffs can be seen on ESPN’s family of networks with first-round games taking place Saturday, Nov. 30 and concluding with the national championship game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, Saturday, Jan. 11 at noon (ET) on ABC. 

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Top-10 Rankings (record through games played on Nov. 2):

  1. North Dakota State (9-0)
  2. James Madison (8-1)
  3. Weber State (7-2)
  4. South Dakota State (7-2)
  5. Sacramento State (6-3)
  6. UNI (6-3)
  7. Central Arkansas (7-2)
  8. Montana (7-2)
  9. Furman (6-3)
  10. New Hampshire (5-3)
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