Bison Claim No. 2 Seed for FCS Playoffs

North Dakota State claimed the No. 2 seed in the FCS Playoffs when the bracket was revealed Sunday morning. The Bison will play the winner of the Northern Arizona-San Diego matchup following a bye week Dec. 2.

With the No. 2 seed, the Bison will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Bison are 18-1 in playoff home games since 2010. The only loss was last year in the semifinals against James Madison.

Bison fans are familiar with San Diego, as the Toreros visited the Fargodome in the second round last year. NDSU won that game 45-7.

The Toreros went undefeated in the Pioneer Football League en route to a 9-2 season.

They will have to travel to face Northern Arizona, an at-large bid from the Big Sky. The Lumberjacks are coming off a loss to Southern Utah. The loss dropped UNA to 7-4 and 6-2 in the conference, missing out on a share of the conference crown.

Undefeated James Madison took the No. 1 seed. The defending national champions will host the winner of Lehigh and Stony Brook.

The Missouri Valley Football Conference claimed five spots in the field of 24. SDSU joined NDSU in the top-eight and received a bye at No. 5. The Jacks will possibly face a conference foe in Northern Iowa, should the Panthers get past Monmouth.

The Western Illinois Leathernecks will take their 6-1 mark on the road with them to Weber State. The winner of that game will travel to No. 8 Southern Utah.

That makes three NDSU opponents in the opposite side of the bracket for the Bison. In a rare occurrence, the Bison will meet a MVFC foe in the national semifinals at the earliest. South Dakota, one of the last two teams to make the playoffs due to a four-game losing streak, makes their first tournament in program history.

The Coyotes will first have to get past Nicholls State in the first round, followed by No. 6 Sam Houston State and No. 3 Jacksonville State, should high seeds hold.

The other ranked team in the Bison’s quarter is No. 7 Wofford. The Terriers dropped to 9-2 Saturday following a loss to South Carolina. Wofford notched a 7-1 record in the Southern Conference, winning the conference title.

Wofford hosts the winner of Furman and Elon in the second round.

The final ranked team is No. 4 Central Arkansas. The Bears won the Southland Conference with a 10-1 record and haven’t lost since Week 1 against Kansas State of the FBS.

The Bison won the Missouri Valley Football Conference title with a 20-7 win over Illinois State on Saturday. The NDSU-UNA/USD game will be 2:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Fargodome. Student tickets go on sale at the Memorial Union 8 a.m. Monday.

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