The Colonial Athletic Association could get "five or six teams" in the Division I FCS playoffs, a member of the division's postseason selection committee said.
It would not be surprising given the CAA's strength from top to bottom. But Kyle Moats, athletic director at Missouri State and a playoff committee member, verbalized the potential for the league to get a large number of teams in the field Friday on my 970 WDAY radio show.
"I probably shouldn't say that and put numbers on it because I'm not supposed to, but the reason I say that is because there are so many good teams in the CAA," Moats said. "There's a lot of good teams with winning records. If you are 5-4 with two weeks left in that league, you're probably going to get consideration."
No league has received six bids to the FCS playoffs.
The playoff committee is made up of athletic directors representing the 10 conferences that receive automatic bids to the 24-team FCS field. Moats is the Missouri Valley Football Conference representative.
Ten league champions receive automatic bids to the postseason and the committee selects 14 at-large teams. The committee also seeds the top eight teams that receive first-round playoff byes and sets the brackets.
Moats said the MVFC looks like it will almost certainly get three teams with the potential for more.
There are seven teams in the CAA with records of 5-4 or better with two weeks left in the regular season.
- Delaware 5-1, 7-2
- Maine 5-1, 6-3
- Elon 4-1, 6-2
- James Madison 4-2, 6-3
- Stony Brook 4-2, 6-3
- Towson 4-2, 6-3
- Rhode Island 3-3, 5-4
The CAA is almost certain to qualify five teams for the 24-team playoffs, but six will be difficult because in many cases the seven teams at 5-4 or better play each other. This weekend Elon hosts Towson, Stony Brook hosts Delaware and James Madison hosts Rhode Island.
Next week Maine hosts Elon and Towson hosts James Madison.
There are going to have to be a couple of upsets for teams to get to seven wins.
Moats said any Valley team that gets to seven wins will get "high consideration" because of the strength of the league.
The current Valley playoff contenders look like this:
* North Dakota State 6-0, 9-0
* South Dakota State 4-2, 6-2
* Northern Iowa 4-2, 5-4
* Western Illinois 4-2, 5-4
* Indiana State 3-3, 5-4
* Illinois State 2-4, 5-4
Again, some of the teams play each other in the final two weeks of the regular season so all six teams won't be able to reach seven victories.
Illinois State plays at Indiana State on Saturday, while the Sycamores travel to Western Illinois in the final week of the regular season.
Northern Iowa plays at Youngstown State on Saturday and hosts Missouri State the last weekend. Illinois State closes the regular season at home against Youngstown State.
"Six wins makes it tougher because there is going to be a lot of teams out there at 8-3," Moats said. "There's a lot of good teams out there. It's hard. When you get to 20 to 24, it's really hard."
The 2018 FCS Selection Committee:
Brad Teague, Central Arkansas - Southland Conference (Chair)
Thorr Bjorn, Rhode Island – Colonial Athletic Conference
Randy Eaton, Western Carolina – Southern Conference
Kent Haslam, Montana - Big Sky Conference
Kyle Moats, Missouri State – Missouri Valley Football Conference
Tim Murray, Marist – Pioneer Football League
Robert Roller, Campbell – Big South Conference
Greg Seitz, Jacksonville State – Ohio Valley Conference
Bill Smith, Bryant – Northeast Conference
Jermaine Truax, Bucknell – Patriot League