The field of 20 teams competing for the 2011 NCAA Division I Football Championship was announced today by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee.
Sam Houston State University (11-0) tops the bracket as the top seed after capturing the automatic qualifying berth from the Southland Conference. The Bearkats, are making their fifth appearance and first since 2004.
Second-seeded North Dakota State University (10-1) is making its second consecutive appearance. The Bison captured the Missouri Valley Football Conference automatic berth.
Georgia Southern University (9-2), which is making its 18th overall tournament appearance, is the number-three seed. The six-time national champion Eagles captured the Southern Conference automatic berth.
The University of Montana (9-2) is the number-four seed after capturing the Big Sky Conference automatic berth. The Grizzlies, the 1995 and 2001 national champion, are making its 21st appearance.
Rounding out this year’s seeded teams is the University of Northern Iowa (9-2) with the number-five seed. The Panthers are making its 16th overall appearance.
First-round hosts include Big South automatic qualifier Stony Brook University (8-3), Ohio Valley Conference automatic qualifier Tennessee Technological University (7-3), Old Dominion University (9-2) and Eastern Kentucky University (7-4).
The top four national seeds will host winners from the first round match-ups. Others hosting second rounds game will be Northern Iowa, Appalachian State University (8-3), the Bobcats of Montana State University (9-2) and the Colonial Athletic Association automatic qualifier, Towson University (9-2).
Other automatic qualifiers in the tournament include University of Albany (8-3), the Northeast Conference champion, who clinched its first trip into the championship. Also making its first trip into the championship is Norfolk State University (9-2), winner of the automatic bid from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Winning the Patriot League was the Mountain Hawks of Lehigh University (10-1).
Other teams in the field: first time participant, University of Central Arkansas (8-3); James Madison University (7-4); Maine (8-3); University of New Hampshire (8-3); and Wofford College (8-3).
Ten conferences received automatic-qualifying berths: the Big Sky Conference, Big South Conference, Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley Football Conference, Northeast Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, Patriot League, Southern Conference and Southland Conference.
The combination of www.NCAA.com
and ESPN’s family of networks will once again provide coverage of all rounds of the 2011 NCAA Division I Football Championship.
Television schedules and games times for all rounds of the 2011 championship will be updated daily at the NCAA Sports web site (www.NCAA.com/fcs
The 2012 NCAA Division I Football Championship Game is slated for 1 p.m. Eastern time Saturday, January 7, at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas. ESPN2HD/ESPN3will televise the championship game.
FIRST ROUND GAMES
November 26 at Stony Brook, N.Y.
Albany (NY) (8-3) at Stony Brook (8-3)
November 26 at Cookeville, Tenn.
Central Ark. (8-3) at Tennessee Tech (7-3)
November 26 at Norfolk, Va.
Norfolk St. (9-2) at Old Dominion (9-2)
November 26 at Richmond, Ky.
James Madison (7-4) at Eastern Ky. (7-4)
SECOND ROUND GAMES
December 3 at Huntsville, Texas
Albany (NY)/Stony Brook winner at #1 Sam Houston State (11-0)
December 3 at Bozeman, Montana
New Hampshire (8-3) at Montana State (9-2)
December 3 at Cedar Falls, Iowa
Wofford (8-3) at Northern Iowa (9-2)
December 3 at Missoula, Montana
Central Arkansas/Tennessee Tech winner at Montana (9-2)
December 3 at Statesboro, Georgia, 2 p.m. (ET)
Norfolk State/Old Dominion winner at Georgia Southern (9-2)
December 3 at Boone, North Carolina
Maine (8-3) at Appalachian State (8-3)
December 3 at Towson, Maryland
Lehigh (10-1) at Towson (9-2)
December 3 at Fargo, North Dakota
James Madison/Eastern Kentucky winner at North Dakota State (10-1)
The 2011 championship field consists of 10 automatic qualifiers and 10 at-large qualifiers.
Big Sky Conference – #4 Montana (9-2)
Big South Conference - Stony Brook (8-3)
Colonial Athletic Association - Towson (9-2)
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference - Norfolk State (9-2)
Missouri Valley Football Conference - #2 North Dakota State (10-1)
Northeast Conference - Albany (New York) (8-3)
Ohio Valley Conference - Tennessee Tech (7-3)
Patriot League - Lehigh (10-1)
Southern Conference - #3 Georgia Southern (9-2)
Southland Conference- #1 Sam Houston State (11-0)
Big Sky Conference - Montana St. (9-2)
Colonial Athletic Association - James Madison (7-4)
Colonial Athletic Association - Maine (8-3)
Colonial Athletic Association - New Hampshire (8-3)
Colonial Athletic Association - Old Dominion (9-2)
Missouri Valley Football Conference - #5 Northern Iowa (9-2)
Ohio Valley Conference - Eastern Kentucky (7-4)
Southern Conference - Appalachian State (8-3)
Southern Conference - Wofford (8-3)
Southland Conference- Central Arkansas (8-3)
The championship game, hosted by the locally-based Southland Conference, the City of Frisco and the Hunt Sports Group, is the culmination of a 20-team championship bracket. The Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) is comprised of the conferences and institutions that compete in the NCAA Division I Football Championship - Big Sky, Big South, Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-Eastern Athletic, Missouri Valley Football, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot League, Pioneer, Southern and the Southland. The Ivy League and Southwestern Athletic Conference are in the FCS as well, but neither chooses to participate in the football championship.