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Nov. 19 Playoff Projections

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Here are my final projections before the playoff committee announces the field tomorrow morning at 10:00am Eastern. Remember the seven D-I win total is what is strongly recommended for the field.

We know the following ten schools are in as automatic qualifiers from the ten automatic qualifying conferences:

Albany--Northeast Conference
Georgia Southern--Southern Conference
Lehigh--Patriot League
Montana--Big Sky Conference
Norfolk State--Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
North Dakota State--Missouri Valley Football Conference
Sam Houston State--Southland Conference
Stony Brook--Big South Conference
Tennessee Tech--Ohio Valley Conference
Towson--Colonial Athletic Conference

The remaining ten schools in the field will selected from the following using the latest GPI and the results from today:
3T. Northern Iowa won 23-20 at #12 Illinois State (2OT)--The Panthers are in
5. Montana State lost 36-10 vs. #8 Montana--The Bobcats are in
6T. Appalachian State won 28-24 at #43 Elon--The Mountaineers are in
6T. Wofford won 28-27 at #19 Chattanooga--The Terriers are in
10. Maine lost 30-27 at #14 New Hampshire--Despite the loss, the Black Bears are in
12. Illinois State lost 23-20 vs. #3T Northern Iowa (2OT)--The Redbirds are at the 7 win total so I think the close loss to a Top 4 GPI team will get them in
13. Indiana State lost 35-28 vs. #52 Southern Illinois--The Sycamores have just 6 wins so I believe they will be left out
14. New Hampshire won 30-27 vs. #10 Maine--The Wildcats are in
15T. Old Dominion 9-2 ENDED SEASON--With the other losses, I believe the Monarchs are in
15T. Youngstown State lost 38-34 vs. #66 Missouri State--The Penguins have just 6 wins so they likely will be left out.
18. Central Arkansas 8-3 ENDED SEASON--Because of the losses, the Bears should be in.
19. Chattanooga lost 28-27 vs. #6T Wofford--The Mocs have just 5 wins so I believe they will likely be left out.
20. Furman lost 54-32 at FBS Florida--The Paladins have just 6 wins so I believe they will be left out
21. Portland State lost 48-33 vs. #38 Weber State--The Vikings have seven wins but two were over lower level competition so I believe they are out
22. James Madison won 34-17 at #39 Massachusetts--The Dukes reached the 7 DI win total with this victory and because of the other results, I believe they will be the last at-large team to get a spot.

With that, here are my ten at-large selections in the order I believe they will be selected:
1. Northern Iowa
2. Montana State
3. Appalachian State
4. Wofford
5. New Hampshire
6. Maine
7. Illinois State
8. Old Dominion
9. Central Arkansas
10. James Madison

My seeds are as follows:
1. North Dakota State
2. Sam Houston State
3. Georgia Southern
4. Northern Iowa
5. Montana

Here are my projections for seeds, along with the 1st and 2nd round games:

1st Round Teams
Illinois State
Old Dominion
Central Arkansas
James Madison
Tennessee Tech
Stony Brook
Albany
Norfolk State

With these teams, I would project the following matchups based on geography:
Norfolk State @ James Madison
Albany @ Stony Brook
Tennessee Tech @ Old Dominion
Central Arkansas @ Illinois State

The second round games would be like this:
Albany/Stony Brook @ #1 North Dakota State
Central Arkansas/Illinois State @ #2 Sam Houston State
Norfolk State/James Madison @ #3 Georgia Southern
Tennessee Tech/Old Dominion @ #4 Northern Iowa
Maine @ #5 Montana
Wofford @ Montana State
New Hampshire @ Lehigh
Towson @ Appalachian State

But we shall see tomorrow if these are indeed the 20 schools or if we have a surprise or two.

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Updated 11-19-2011 at 11:15 PM by rwallace

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