FCS Playoff Predictions: Predicting each at-large pick for the 2022 FCS Playoffs

It’s almost time for the 2022 FCS Playoffs with the selection show on Sunday, November 20 at 12:30 p.m. ET. After all automatically qualifying bids have been decided, the 13 free selections are still up for grabs.

AUTO BID TRACKER: See every FCS playoff auto bid

Luckily for FCS fans across the country, I predicted that all 13 free teams would receive an invite into the 24-team field tomorrow afternoon.

Here are the 2022 FCS playoff pick predictions broadly

1. State of Montana (10-1) Big Sky

Montana State is undefeated against FCS competition. You should get a top 4 seed.

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2. North Dakota State (9-2) MVFC

North Dakota State’s only FCS loss came at No. 1 for South Dakota State. The Bison earns an At-Large and a Seed. The only question is whether the seed will be in the top four.

3.UIW (10-1) Southland

UIW has just one FCS loss stemming from a last-second touchdown. With an FCS loss and an FBS win, the Cardinals are in the field.

4. Weber State (9-2) Big Sky

Weber State’s only two losses went to the state’s second- and third-ranked teams. The Wildcats also have an FBS win.

SEEDS: The Importance of a Top Seed in the FCS Playoffs Explained

5.Furman (9-2) SoCon

Furman has just one FCS loss to the eventual SoCon Champion and three ranked wins. The Paladins are in the playoffs.

6. New Hampshire (8-3) CAA

The CAA Co-Champions missed an automatic bid due to a tiebreaker, but it won’t miss the upcoming selection time.

7. Elon (8-3) CAA

Elon ended the season on a three-game winning streak after winning 6-2 in the CAA game.

8 Richmond (8-3) CAA

The Spiders have two FCS losses and finished a game short of winning the CAA title. Richmond returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

RANKING: Check out the latest FCS polls

9. Idaho (7-4) Big Sky

Idaho finished fourth in the Big Sky with just two FCS losses. The Vandals also have a head-to-head win over Montana, a team in the playoff bubble going into Week 12.

10. Fordham (9-2) Patriots

Fordham have lost just one FCS game, and that came in overtime to a top-10 Holy Cross team. The Rams will bring one of FCS’ most explosive offenses and a likely Walter Payton Award finalist to the playoffs in Tim DeMorat.

11. North Dakota (7-4) MVFC

North Dakota finished third in the MVFC. All North Dakota FCS losses went to then-ranked teams, two losses to current top-four teams. The Fighting Hawks also have a head-to-head win over Youngstown State. Seven wins in a tough schedule propels North Dakota into the playoffs.

12. Florida A&M (9-2) SWAC

Florida A&M ended the regular season on a nine-game winning streak. The Rattlers have eight FCS wins and only one FCS loss against No. 5 Jackson State. While Florida A&M’s schedule may not be overwhelming, nine straight wins give the Rattlers the nod over the bubble teams that lost in Week 12.

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13. Rhode Island (7-4) CAA

Rhode Island is my last team in this year’s FCS playoffs. The Rams have three FCS losses to currently-ranked teams, but it’s a ranked win over Elon that propels them into the playoffs. Winning over Elon is better than any win from 7-4 teams like Montana, Chattanooga, Mercer or Youngstown State.

While Rhode Island went head-to-head against CAA bubble team Delaware, Delaware lost four FCS games to Rhode Island’s three, including three of the Blue Hens’ last four games. That gives the Rams a slight advantage.

Finally, Rhode Island gets the nod against Austin Peay because the Governors played four FCS games outside of the conference against teams with a 9-35 record (.204 winning percentage).

MORE: The case for and against 16 FCS teams for a bid at large in the 2022 playoffs

First team out

Austin Peay (7-4) ASUN

Austin Peay is the first team eliminated due to their weak schedule outside of the conference. However, Austin Peay’s conference win over Eastern Kentucky combined with just two FCS losses makes the Governors more of a playoff spot than the other bubble teams.

Other teams who narrowly missed out

Chattanooga (7-4) SoCon

  • A season-ending loss to Western Carolina knocked the Mocs out of the playoffs.

Delaware (7-4) CAA

  • Four FCS losses can’t be offset by Delaware’s FBS win. A defeat in the Battle of the Blue keeps the Blue Hens away.

Montana (7-4) Big Sky

  • The Grizzlies are lacking an quality win to equal four FCS losses.

Mercer (7-4) SoCon

  • Mercer lost head-to-head to Chattanooga, leaving the Bears behind the Mocs for playoff considerations.

Youngstown State (7-4) MVFC

  • The Penguins don’t have a ranked win, and a loss to Missouri State is a heavy loss on the playoff summary.