2016 FCS Playoffs Update: Bison Stampede
[lead align=”default”]The question in these 2016 FCS playoffs, just like each of the previous five years, is can anyone stop the North Dakota State Bison?[/lead]
Sure, they’re working on their sixth title in a row. Yeah, they’re one of the top seeds in the tournament and they’re closing in yet again. What does that mean, right?<--more-->
There are, however, other very worthy contenders still standing. Here’s where we stand leading up to the title game in Frisco.
2016 FCS Playoffs: Left Side of the Bracket
In the northwest quadrant of the bracket, there is one dominant force. That happens to be there aforementioned Bison, the one seed. They obliterated San Diego to get to the quarterfinals. While there, they face South Dakota State, making for an interesting regional rivalry.
Like the Bison, the Jackrabbits also did not have to play on the first round of this tournament. When they got to the second round, they played a tight game with Villanova, but ultimately dispatched the Wildcats.
Guess what: these two Dakota teams played in October. South Dakota State, not the five-time defending national champion, won the first meeting. Does NDSU get them this time in a game that means a hell of a lot more?
Beneath both of them on the bracket are James Madison and Sam Houston State, the fourth and fifth best teams in the field, respectively. The Bearkats have the second most prolific passer in the nation, Jeremiah Briscoe. On the other hand, James Madison had one of the best rushers in FCS, Khalid Abdullah. Offense shouldn’t be a problem for either one of them. Both schools are excellent at what they do best.
2016 FCS Playoffs: Right Side of the Bracket
Facing opposite that side of the bracket, there’s some guy named Bo Pelini. You know, the Bo Pelini that coaches Youngstown State. Also the Bo Pelini who coached Nebraska and, as the legend had it, was a fan of cats. The Penguins fought through two teams to get to the quarterfinals, and in the latest, they upset number three Jacksonville State.
They face Wofford for a chance to win their region. The Terriers barely got out of the first round, edging by Charleston Southern by a point. The upset win over The Citadel was a little more sizable.
We could have had a championship of North Dakota State and North Dakota. Problem is, North Dakota went out in the second round to Richmond. The Spiders take on the second overall seed, the Eastern Washington Eagles. If EWU wins it on the red turf over Richmond, they advance to the national semifinals.
2016 FCS Playoffs: Favorites
North Dakota State is a favorite to win the whole thing, but this game coming up against South Dakota State is of concern. The Bison’s only loss was to this team. Maybe it’s hard to beat the same team twice in a year, but we will find out shortly. All that’s on the line is ending a dynasty; no pressure.
Given how all the seeded teams flamed out on the top right of the bracket, if Eastern Washington gets through, they have a great shot at the title game.