South Dakota State Gets Top Eight Seed, First Round Bye in FCS Playoffs
That's because the Jackrabbits, for the first time in school history, have secured a Top Eight seed and will be enjoying a first round bye, getting ready to open their post season at home, December 3.
SDSU locked down the number eight spot, and their first-ever Missouri Valley Football Conference championship (sharing the title with North Dakota State) with a 45-24 win at Northern Iowa in the regular season finale.
By virtue of the Jacks' 19-17 win over NDSU in Fargo back in October, they grabbed the MVFC's automatic bid into the playoffs, one of ten conference champs in the field.
FCS Playoffs - Top Eight Seeds
- North Dakota State (10-1)
- Eastern Washington (10-1)
- Jacksonville State (10-1)
- James Madison (10-1)
- Sam Houston State (11-0)
- The Citadel (10-1)
- North Dakota (9-2)
- South Dakota State (8-3)
The Jackrabbits fifth straight post season appearance puts them in very select company. SDSU joins three other schools, Sam Houston State, New Hampshire, and North Dakota State, as the only FCS teams that have made the playoffs each of the last five years.
In the four previous post seasons, South Dakota State is 3-4 overall; eliminated in the second round by North Dakota State in 2012 and 2014, and by Eastern Washington in 2013. SDSU lost in the opening round at Montana last season. The only home playoff game at the Division I level was an opening round 58-10 win over Eastern Illinois, in November of 2012.
The Jackrabbits will host the winner of this Saturday's game between St. Francis (PA) (7-4), the co-champions of the Northeast Conference, and Villanova (8-3), the runner-up in the Colonial Athletic Association. That game will kickoff at 1:00 PM Central in Villanova, PA.
If SDSU wins that game and North Dakota State beats the Cal Poly-San Diego winner, the Jacks would go to Fargo for the Quarterfinals.
In all, the MVFC put four teams in the post season. Youngstown State (8-3) will host Samford (7-4), Saturday at 4:00 PM Central, while Illinois State (6-5) will play at Central Arkansas (9-2) at 2:00 PM Central.