FARGO — North Dakota State has ripped through its 2019 schedule with just one game having been decided by seven points or less. So, as expected, the undefeated Bison were given the No. 1 spot in the Division I Football Championship Committee’s top 10 teams on Wednesday night, Nov. 6.
The rankings were released at halftime of the Miami (Ohio) at Ohio University FBS game on ESPN2.
NDSU is 9-0 overall. James Madison, 8-1, was given the second seed followed by No. 3 Weber State and No. 4 South Dakota State. The committee ranked the following five through 10: Cal State Sacramento, Northern Iowa, Central Arkansas, Montana, Furman and New Hampshire.
It was the fourth straight year the committee gave a clue to what it was thinking before selection Sunday. An NCAA release this week said, “The reveal may have some bearing on the final bracket that will be publicized during the selection show.”
It will be the only reveal this season before the Nov. 24 selection show at 11:30 a.m. CST on ESPNU. If the Bison continue their winning ways, they’ll certainly retain their No. 1 seed. NDSU is expected to be favored in the last three regular season games at home against Western Illinois and South Dakota and at Southern Illinois.
JMU has a home game against No. 23-ranked New Hampshire on Saturday and finishes with games against Richmond and Rhode Island. The Dukes will be solid favorites in all three.
Weber State and SDSU have the toughest road to a top four seed of the top four teams. Weber hosts No. 22-ranked North Dakota on Saturday and travels to No. 5 Montana the following week.
The Jackrabbits have No. 12 Illinois State and No. 7 Northern Iowa at home the next two weeks.
It’s debatable who has the strongest resume between No. 3 Weber and No. 4 SDSU. Weber is unbeaten against the FCS and its only two losses were to FBS teams San Diego State and Nevada. SDSU’s only two losses were to unbeaten Minnesota and unbeaten NDSU.
The FCS field consists of 10 automatic qualifiers and 14 at-large entrants. The top eight seeds get a first round bye and will host a second round game. The other 16 teams bid for first round games.
The national title game is set for Jan. 11 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas.