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The crystal ball: 2018 FCS playoff prediction

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - The NCAA Division I playoff committee may have to rewrite the selection criteria because teams with only six wins against Division I competition - usually not preferred - are highly welcomed this year.

There's no other choice with the playoff bubble full of about three or four teams expected to be in this year's 24-team field and an equal number who will fall just shy of making it.

Hey, can the NCAA go back 20 teams, maybe 16 again, this year?

The following is a projected FCS playoff field. The actual field will be announced on an ESPNU selection show on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET).

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PROJECTED BIDS BY CONFERENCE

* - Automatic qualifier

Big Sky (4): Eastern Washington, Montana State, UC Davis, Weber State*

Big South (1): Kennesaw State*

CAA (6): Delaware, Elon, James Madison, Maine*, Stony Brook, Towson

Missouri Valley (4): Indiana State, North Dakota State*, South Dakota State, UNI

Northeast (1): Duquesne*

Ohio Valley (2): Jacksonville State*, Southeast Missouri State

Patriot (1): Colgate*

Pioneer (1): San Diego*

Southern (3): ETSU*, Furman, Wofford

Southland (1): Nicholls*

Bubble Watch: Eastern Kentucky, Lamar, Monmouth, UIW

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PROJECTED PAIRINGS

Top 8 seeds receive first-round byes

Indiana State at Southeast Missouri first-round winner at No. 1 seed North Dakota State

Colgate at Stony Brook first-round winner at No. 8 seed Maine

San Diego at Montana State first-round winner at No. 5 seed Eastern Washington

Towson at Nicholls first-round winner at No. 4 seed South Dakota State

Wofford at Elon first-round winner at No. 3 seed Kennesaw State

Duquesne at Delaware first-round winner at No. 6 seed James Madison

Furman at UNI first-round winner at No. 7 seed UC Davis

ETSU at Jacksonville State first-round winner at No. 2 seed Weber State

Updated November 17, 2018

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