INDIANAPOLIS — The field of 16 teams competing for the 2020 NCAA Division I Football Championship was announced today by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee.

South Dakota State (5-1), winners of the Missouri Valley Football Conference, earned the top seed in their 10th appearance in the championship.

Sam Houston (6-0) is the number two seed earning the automatic qualifying berth from the Southland Conference.  The Bearkats are making their 12th overall appearance and first since 2017 in the championship.

James Madison (5-0) is the number three seed after winning the CAA’s south division title. The Dukes will make their seventh consecutive appearance in the championship and 17th overall.  

Jacksonville State (9-2) rounded out the top four seeds after capturing its ninth Ohio Valley Conference title and its sixth in the last seven years.

UPDATES: Live coverage for the 2020-21 FCS football championship

During the previous 43 years of the championship, 21 schools have won a national title, five of which earned a place in this year’s bracket.

The 2020 championship field consists of 10 automatic qualifiers and six at-large qualifiers. Team pairings are determined primarily according to geographical proximity.

Teams from the same conference will not be paired for first round games. (except for teams from the same conference that did not play against each other during the regular season; such teams may play each other in the first round).


Conference                        Team                        Record         Previous App.       Won     Lost        Last App.
Big Sky                               Weber State                  5-0                        8                     7         8                2019
Big South                           Monmouth                   3-0                        2                      1         2                2019
Colonial                              Delaware                      5-0                       16                    22       15              2018
Missouri Valley Football  South Dakota State     5-1                        9                      8         9                2019
Northeast                          Sacred Heart                3-1                        2                      0         2                2014
Ohio Valley                        Jacksonville State         9-2                        9                      6         9                2018
Patriot                                Holy Cross                     3-0                        3                      0         3                2019
Pioneer Football               Davidson                      4-2                        FIRST APPEARANCE
Southern                            VMI                                6-1                        FIRST APPEARANCE
Southland                          Sam Houston               6-0                        11                    19       11              2017


Team                                 Conference            Record         Previous App.       Won   Lost        Last App.
Eastern Washington         Big Sky                      5-1                      13                    19       12             2018 
James Madison                 Colonial                     5-0                       16                   20       14             2019
North Dakota                    MVFC                         4-1                        2                      0         2              2019
North Dakota State          MVFC                         6-2                       10                    36       2               2019
Missouri State                   MVFC                         5-4                        2                      1         2               1990
Southern Illinois               MVFC                         5-3                         8                      8         7               2009 

Longest Consecutive Tournament Appearances in the Championship (Including 2020)

North Dakota State – 11
South Dakota State – 10
James Madison – 7
Weber State – 5

Consecutive Tournament Appearances in the Championship Ending

San Diego – 4
Wofford– 4
UNI– 3

Most Tournament Appearances in the Championship (Including 2020)

Delaware – 17
James Madison – 17
Eastern Washington – 14
Sam Houston – 12
North Dakota State – 11

Schools Making the Championship for the First Time


Longest Stretch between Championship Appearances

Missouri St.– 1990
Southern Ill. – 2009
Sacred Heart – 2014

Schools by Conference

Missouri Valley Football Conference – 5
Big Sky Conference – 2
Colonial Athletic Association- 2


April 24 at Brookings, South Dakota, 3 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Holy Cross (3-0) at #1 South Dakota St. (5-1)

April 24 at Ogden, Utah, 4 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Southern Ill. (5-3) at Weber St. (5-0)

April 24 at Newark, Delaware, 7 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Sacred Heart (3-1) at Delaware (5-0)

April 24 at Jacksonville, Alabama, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Davidson (4-2) at #4 Jacksonville St. (9-2)

April 24 at Harrisonburg, Virginia, 2 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
VMI (6-1) at #3 James Madison (5-0)

April 24 at Grand Fork, North Dakota, 4 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Missouri St. (5-4) at North Dakota (4-1)

April 24 at Fargo, North Dakota, 3:30 p.m. (ET) (ESPN3)
Eastern Wash. (5-1) at North Dakota St. (6-2)

April 24 at Huntsville, Texas, Noon (ET) (ESPN3)
Monmouth (3-0) at #2 Sam Houston (6-0)

Television schedules and game times for all rounds of the 2020 championship will be updated at www.NCAA.com/fcs. All rounds of the FCS playoffs can be seen on ESPN’s family of networks with first-round games taking place Saturday, April 24 and concluding with the national championship game at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, Sunday, May 16 at 2 p.m. (ET) on ABC.



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